On Saturday, April 13, Stratolaunch Systems successfully conducted the first test flight of the largest aircraft in the world. The test was conducted in the Mojave Desert (California, USA).
The experimental flight lasted two seconds.half an hour. A maximum speed of 282 km / h and an altitude of 4.6 km was reached. All devices and mechanisms worked fine. The Stratolaunch Model 351 is equipped with six Pratt & Whitney turbojet engines from the PW4056 brand. After the first flight, the plane made a successful landing.
Giant aircraft Stratolaunch Model 351,possessing two fuselages, weighing about 227 tons, with a wingspan of 117 meters and a length of 73 meters, it is intended for the air launch of spacecraft for flights to Earth orbit. The main objective of the aircraft - the removal of rockets from the dense layers of the atmosphere to a height of 10,675 meters, from where the rockets on their engines start to enter orbit. Missiles will be located between the two stratolaunch fuselages. The payload reaches 250 tons.
Currently, Stratolaunch Systems has one contract to launch the Pegasus XL with the American military-industrial company Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Source: SpacecoastPix, theverge.com