Dreamed up by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the Stratolaunch is the world’s largest aircraft, a wingspan measured a massive 385 feet. This stunning and luxury plane has only ever flown once.
The Stratolaunch set off on its first flight in April 2019 at the Mojave Air and Space Port, six months after Allen died and eight years after it first went into development. The modern plane flew just for two hours before returning to its base at the California airport.
This plane with a unique design is powered by six jet engines salvaged from a Boeing 747 and its wings stretching a truly massive 385 feet. With a capacity of 500,000 pounds and an operational range of 2,300 miles, the Stratolaunch as a way of to taking rockets into the stratosphere before launching them even higher. The original goal was for the luxury plane to carry satellite payloads to 35,000 feet, at which point they would be deployed into low orbit.
Stratolaunch’s aircraft is presently the largest one in the world, consisting of two 747 hulls mated together via a reinforced center wing. The plane measures 117 meters from one wingtip to the other and has an overall weight of 226,796 kgs. Besides this, it is powered by six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines which give it a maximum lift capacity of up to 249,476 kg.
Fitting perfectly with a luxury lifestyle, the vessel, the largest aircraft by wingspan, is designed to carry rockets to blast commercial satellites into space. Its wingspan is longer than a football field. The tail is 50 feet from the ground. It was made by reassembling parts from two used Boeing jetliners.
One of the advantages provided by Stratolaunch is that flying in and out of a traditional runway gives greater flexibility and, eventually, will allow for a quick turnaround between launches.