This Airplane Is on Steroids

Stratolaunch’s First Taxi Test

I just heard about the largest airplane ever to be built. They say it will be ready later this year, but I don’t know that for a fact. You can ask Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who is financing it, or Google its name, the mighty “Stratolaunch.” You might find out more information than I know.

I asked several tech friends for information and did some Googling myself. I was astonished to find out that the aircraft is so big that it requires two cockpits and six jet engines to fly.

This big bird is probably being designed for commercial use because its wingspan is longer than a football field. It measures 385 feet and reportedly will be used to transport rockets carrying satellites and astronauts into Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Last summer, billionaire Allen revealed the visionary firm’s ambitious plans for the giant record-breaking aircraft.

Allen told the Washington Post, “I would love to see us have a full reusable system and have weekly, if not more often, airport-style, repeatable operations going.”

When asked about the possibility of manned missions, Allen added: “If you caught the bug back in the Mercury era, of course, it’s in the back of your mind.

“But I think you’re seeing right now, other than [space station] resupply missions, most spaceflights are about launching satellites. That’s the reality.”

As well as sending cargo to space, the plane could be used to launch a secretive shuttle-size rocket codenamed “Black Ice.”

Right now the Stratolaunch is being tested in every conceivable way.

Allen plans to release more details about the functions and services in the near future.

For more information, read The Independent.”

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