World’s biggest airplane that is made to launch rockets directly into the stratosphere has completed its first successful test flight. The airplane Stratolaunch is the biggest airplane with a width of 385 ft from one wing to another. The plane is made to launch rockets directly into the stratosphere, saving the time and money spent in rockets from the ground. In the first test flight, Stratolaunch flew to 16,000 ft with a speed of 185 mph and cruised at the altitude smoothly without facing any hiccups. With this test flight, the plane is ready to take rockets high in the sky and launch it in the stratosphere.
Stratolaunch is 385 ft (117m) wide, 238 ft (73m) long and 50 ft (15m) tall in size, thus making it the biggest airplane in the world. When it’s not loaded with fuel and payload, the plane weighs about 250 tons, but with payload and fuel, its weight may go up to 650 tons. To take off with this weight, it uses six Boeing 747 engines mounted on two separate fuselages. The maximum altitude this airplane can reach is 35,000 ft, and the range in a single fuel fill-up is 2,000 nautical miles.
Stratolaunch’s CEO Jean Floyd said that the successful test flight is the emotional moment for him and every member worked on this project. He also said that he is happy to see the results of after patiently working on developing the plane. Stratolaunch is one of the best ways to launch the rocket in space without spending much money. With this way, the space companies can minimize the expenses by hiring a Stratolaunch flight and sending the rockets to Stratosphere and then maneuvering it to space. Unlike many other rockets, the Stratolaunch is reusable for most of the times without needing any refurbishment treatment. Stratolaunch had partnered with SpaceX for development in early stages, but SpaceX parted ways to focus on reusable rockets.