Taking one step closer to hypersonic flight, the world’s largest plane was captured on video as it took off and soared into the sky. The Stratolaunch Roc, a mothership aircraft designed to carry rockets and vehicles, embarked on a momentous journey that marked its successful completion of the inaugural drop test in the Mojave Desert.
This pivotal test focused on evaluating the Roc’s remarkable ability to release an autonomous launch vehicle while gracefully cruising through the air.
According to the company’s press release, the test focused on the plane’s ability to release an autonomous launch vehicle while airborne. The awe-inspiring video, shared by Stratolaunch on Twitter, showcased the massive plane with a staggering take-off weight of 1.3 million pounds, along with the attached Talon-A vehicle which is an integral part of this groundbreaking venture.
As the Roc gracefully lifted off from the runway, the world held its breath, witnessing a feat that defied conventional limits. Its majestic wingspan, measuring approximately 385 feet, surpassed even the dimensions of the Airbus A380, a renowned commercial aircraft that pales in comparison.
This testament to innovative design and technological prowess heralds a new era in aviation, where boundaries are shattered, and bold aspirations take flight.
In another video posted by Stratolaunch, the Roc flawlessly landed on the runway, sans the Talon-A vehicle. Stratolaunch CEO Zachary Krevor, as quoted by Space.com, revealed that the highly anticipated first hypersonic flight is expected to occur in late fall this year.
“Our hardware and data collection systems performed as anticipated, and we now stand at the precipice of achieving hypersonic flight,” Krevor said in Stratolaunch’s press release. “Today’s test was exceptional,” he added.