Serget Brin of Google is indeed a busy man. For when he is not on his job, the billionaire is busy realizing a massive and ambitious Aircraft Construction Project.
He is not the only one who want to realize something big, Paul Allen, co-founder Microsoft has been working for years to make access to space from affordable and convenient. It is this desire that has given birth to Stratolaunch.
The massive 250 ton aircraft made its first public appearance on Wednesday as it rolled out from its hangar in Mojave, California. The aircraft that is designed by Burt Rutan will start its fuel testing. The original plan was to launch the aircraft by the end of 2016.
it was just a few weeks back that the aircraft got the chance to move out of its three-story construction scaffolding rolling out on its 28 wheels for the first time.
Jean Floyd, CEO Stratolaunch Systems Corporation admitted that the 500,000 pound frame of the aircraft may sound heavy. The wingspan of the aircraft is 385 feet which is longer than the football field and from nose to tail it measures 238 feet.
The aircraft will get its power from six used jet engines, and the avionics and other elements of the aircraft have been taken from two Boeing 747-400s.
Nicknamed as “The Roc” after the enormous mythical bird of prey which had the ability to carry big animals in its claws, the aircraft has been built to air launch partner company Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket.
The rocket will be released at 35,000 feet for satellite delivery and will be carried between the two fuselages. The Roc will have the ability to fly with payloads of nearly 550,000 lbs and with 250,000 lbs of fuel, the combined total weight of the aircraft will be nearly 1.3 million lbs.
It is still some time before the massive Roc can take to the skies. In the coming months and weeks, active ground and flight testing will be performed at the Mojave Air and Space Port. This aircraft is completely new and one of its kind. It is because of this reason testing will be done quite diligently and the safety of staff, crew and pilots is most important.
All the things are going as per plans for Stratolaunch and it is expected that it will make its first demo flight by as early as 2019.
It is clear that the scope, size and delays of this big project will raise eyebrows. This project partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for a short period of time. But, due to different ambitions, the company split in 2012.
it has already been proven that space travel can become cheaper by using reusable rockets. However, according to Allen having airport-style operation will bring down the cost of launching rockets and the possibilities will be high.