12th June 2017
Stratolaunch, makers of the world’s largest all composite plane ever built, has reached a major milestone in its journey toward providing convenient, reliable, and routine access to low Earth orbit. The company is moving its Stratolaunch aircraft out of the hangar for the first time to conduct aircraft fueling tests. This marks the completion of the initial aircraft construction phase and the beginning of the aircraft ground and flight testing phase.
“Over the past few weeks, we have removed the fabrication infrastructure, including the three-story scaffolding surrounding the aircraft, and rested the aircraft’s full weight on its 28 wheels for the first time. This was a crucial step in preparing the aircraft for ground testing, engine runs, taxi tests, and ultimately first flight” said Jean Floyd, Chief Executive Officer, Stratolaunch Systems Corporation.
The Stratolaunch aircraft is the world’s largest plane by wingspan, measuring 385 ft and is designed for a max takeoff weight of 1,300,000 lbs., meaning it’s capable of carrying payloads up to approximately 550,000 lbs.
“Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be actively conducting ground and flightline testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port. This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff. Stratolaunch is on track to perform its first launch demonstration as early as 2019” continued Mr Floyd.