StratolaunchThe largest aircraft in the world, with a 200,000-pound composites structure, is built in Mojave, Cal.

Stratolaunch Systems, an American company, created in 2011 by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) is currently building what will be the largest aircraft in the world. It will be used as a flying launch pad for space exploration.

This enormous machine is 72 m long (2,835 ft.) and is equipped with six jet engines and a 28-wheel carriage. In fact there are two aircraft, connected by a giant wing structure measuring 117 m (4,606 ft.) Under the wing, in the center, a system will serve as a flying launch pad.

The aircraft will take off with a rocket and a payload. Once it has reached the stratosphere, the rocket will separate and deliver its satellite into low-Earth orbit. Then the aircraft will return and land.

This reusable launch pad will bring costs down and have an optimized use, particularly by freeing itself from weather hazards.

Stratolaunch System is planning a first flight by the end of this year and regular services by 2020.

 

Written by Joshua Jampol

Joshua Jampol is an American writer, journalist and broadcaster. He has over 30 years’experience on a variety of industrial and high-tech topics.

 

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