Largest Aircraft in the World Starts Engine Tests

For the first time, all the six engines of a colossal airplane from a private spaceflight company Stratolaunch were test fired. This largest aircraft in the world has the biggest ever wingspan.

Stratolaunch is led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and he stated that each of the six engines operated as expected in the initial tests.

According to the company, loaded with fuel, the 747 turbofan engine were started one at a time and then turned back to idle at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The airplane has a double body and has been made as a mobile launch platform to transport rocket in the low-Earth orbit.

The wingspan of the aircraft stretches 386 feet and is longer than a professional football field.

The empty, unfueled weight of this largest aircraft in the world is 500,000 pounds and it can fly with a load of 550,000 pounds in its two fuselage.

The company says, the airplane will takeoff from the runway just like any other aircraft and once it reaches a cruising altitude of 36,000 feet, the small satellites will be launched into the low-Earth orbit.

Stratolaunch Systems was founded by Allen in 2011 with the objective to make access to low-Earth orbit more routine, reliable and convenient.

Allen collaborated with Scaled Composites, an aerospace company founded by spaceship builder Burt Rutan, to design and build this huge airplane.

Stratolaunch also signed a deal with Orbital ATK last year, from where it will get the Pegasus XL air-launch rockets which will be used on this huge airplane.

These satellites have the ability to carry satellites weighing up to 1,000 pounds and up to three such can be fitted on a single Stratolaunch flight.

These satellites will be placed underneath the conjoined center wing.

It is expected that the airplane will be launched in full service by the end of this decade.

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