The ‘world’s largest plane’ has successfully completed its first ever flight over the Mojave Desert in California.
According to a report by Reuters, the aircraft called Roc built by Stratolaunch Systems Corp and set up by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen flew shortly before 7 a.m. Pacific time (1400 GMT) and remained aloft for more than two hours.
The aircraft which has a wingspan of an American football field and is powered by six engines on a twin fuselage later landed safely back at the Mojave Air and Space Port after flying a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour and altitudes of 17,000 feet.
The plane is designed to for satellite deployment, specifically to drop rockets and other space vehicles weighing up to 500,000 pounds at an altitude of 35,000 feet.
Stratolaunch Chief Executive Officer Jean Floyd stated: “What a fantastic first flight. Today’s flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground launched systems. We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today’s flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman’s Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port.”
(Photo source: YouTube – Stratolaunch)