Stratolaunch, the world's largest airplane, took flight today

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It has a 385 foot/113.35 meter wingspan. :eyepop:

World’s biggest airplane takes flight for the first time ever
The world’s largest airplane took flight for the first time ever on Saturday morning. Built by rocket launch company Stratolaunch, the 500,000-pound plane with a 385-foot wingspan lifted off shortly after 10AM ET from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California. It was a critical first test flight for the aircraft, designed to launch rockets into orbit from the air. The inaugural flight lasted for 150 minutes, according to the company, after which the plane safely landed.

Some more information on the plane: Say Hello to Stratolaunch, The Largest Airplane Ever Created
 

danielravennest

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Sadly, this plane may never live up to its potential. First, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen was funding this project, and he died recently. Second, since Stratolaunch started, reusable rockets have made giant strides, negating the advantages of air-launch. For example, the Falcon Heavy launch the other day recovered 93% of the rocket hardware (all three boosters, and both halves of the payload fairing). The only part that didn't come back was the second stage, which had just one of the 28 engines. It is now in an orbit that gets to 90,000 km, which is where it dropped off the payload.
 
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