The world's largest plane flew for the first time on Saturday. "We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today's flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman's Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port".
At a half-million tons, the jet took flight shortly after 10 a.m.at Mojave Air and Space Port, reaching a maximum speed of 175 miles per hour and a peak altitude of 15,000 feet.
However, neither Krevor nor Jean Floyd, the chief executive of Stratolaunch, said anything about the test flight program, including when the plane will fly again and how long the overall test program will last.
Citing initial parameters, the officials said that the platform performed a variety of flight control manoeuvres to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing manoeuvres, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips.
If successful, such a project would be a cheaper way to launch objects into space than rockets fired from the ground.
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The company is now developing four different rocket systems, which can be launched to space from the center wing part of the aircraft. The aircraft is created to carry as many as three satellite-laden rockets under the center of its enormous wing, which stretches 385ft, or 117m.
It is created to carry into space, and drop, a rocket that would in turn ignite to deploy satellites.
"The rest of the satellites journey will be taken care of by the rocket's engines that would automatically get ignited". The test flight was meant to test the aircraft's performance and handling, eventually touching back down at MASP.
An audience cheers the first, historic flight of Stratolaunch. And for the most part, the airplane flew as predicted which is again exactly what we want. Until now, it had just carried out tests on the ground. "It climbed out quickly and that was great to see", Evan said. They include the six-engine Antonov AN 225 cargo plane, which is 275.5 feet (84 meters) long, and the Boeing 747-8, which is just over 250 feet (76.3 meters) long.
Stratolaunch promises to cut the time between two launches as it is capable of using traditional runways for space missions.