Stratolaunch – The World’s Largest Plane Completes Second Taxi Test

Almost a year ago, the giant Stratolauch dual-fuselage aircraft, having a wingspan of 117 m made its first public appearance. It is now one step closer to taking to the skies than it was previously. It recently completed a second taxi test that allowed it to a speed of 46 mph as it sped down a runway in Mojave, California.

Stratolaunch systems was announced back in 2011 and is one of the several companies working to develop an air-launch-to-orbit aircraft. Ever since first appearing to the public it has undergone a series of successful tests and is planned to actually take to the skies in late 2019 or early 2020.

(Source: New Atlas)

The first successful taxi test took place in December last year and the aircraft travelled under its own power down a runway and reached a speed of 28 mph. The engineers were able to monitor different systems such as steering, braking, anti-skid and telemetry. The new test has significantly increased the speed as the Stratolaunch plane sped down the runway powered by six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

No dates have been announced for the next stages of testing but with the fast pace the team is working, we can expect it to be soon. The huge aircraft, once it does make it to the air will be the largest plane to ever take flight. The huge aircraft weighs an astonishing 500,000 lb and is designed to carry payloads up to 550,000 lb.

(Source: New Atlas)
Back in 2011, co-founder of Stratolaunch Systems Paul Allen commented, “We are at the dawn of radical change in the space launch industry.” It may have sounded too ambitious at the time, but as we look at the things as they stand today, he was not far from the truth and we can only expect further changes in the future.

You can watch the video of the test here:

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