The biggest plane in the world, the Stratolaunch aircraft, is coming closer and closer to launching with each passing day. Designed to fly into low-Earth orbit, a successful first flight could revolutionize the future of aviation.
The Stratolaunch aircraft has been turning heads ever since it was first unveiled in 2017. It is designed to fly into low-Earth orbit, between 99 to 1,200 miles above the ground. Its first flight is currently set for sometime in 2019. A successful first flight could pave the way for more aircraft of its kind.
Biggest Plane in the World Set to Launch in the Near Future
So large it requires two cockpits and fuselages to pilot, the Stratolaunch looks as if two separate planes were fused together at the wings. It has a 385-foot wingspan, which makes it the largest aircraft ever constructed.
Currently, it is still being tested and is passing the numerous safety tests a piece of machinery like it would require to be safe to fly.
In a YouTube video posted by the Stratolaunch channel, people can watch a runway test in action. In it, the plane is shown to reach a top speed of 46 miles per hour while still on the ground.
Devised by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, his hope for the project is to create an easy, safe, and reliable way for humans to reach low-Earth orbit. It is designed to take flight before firing rockets to attain the appropriate height. Some expect this method of reaching high altitudes to become more affordable than the current rocket launchers.
The Stratolaunch is currently expected to be used only for things like transporting satellites into orbit. Still, one can’t help but dream and think about the wide range of its possibilities.
Both shipping and transportation could be fundamentally changed thanks to it. Mainly because of the advantages derived from moving around the planet with lesser gravity, saving massive amounts of time.
Even so, anything like this would be quite far off, as there has yet to even be set a concrete launch date, besides the year.
Image Source: Flickr