On Saturday, Stratolaunch The world’s largest aircraft by wingspan completed a successful first flight over California’s Mojave Desert. The gigantic aircraft has a 385-foot wingspan, six engines, weighs about 500,000 pounds.
It’s so large that it requires two cockpits and powered by six Boeing 747 engines. It is the dream of late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen. Stratolaunch Systems Corp.
Chief Executive Jean Floyd said, “It was an emotional moment for me, to personally watch this majestic bird take flight, to see Paul Allen’s dream come to life in front of my very eyes.”
The jet lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port shortly before 7 a.m. and climbed into the desert sky 70 miles north of Los Angeles. The company said it flew for two and a half hours, achieving a maximum speed of 189 mph and altitudes up to 17,000 feet.
The aircraft is designed to carry as many as three satellite-laden rockets at a time under the center of its enormous wing.