The largest plane in the world has crossed the skies this Saturday before the eyes of its creators. After years of development in the Mojave Desert, north of Los Angeles, the Stratolaunch 117.34 meters from tip to tip of its wings is a giant flying launch pad, designed to launch satellites into low Earth orbit.
"Whatever the load, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as reserving an airline flight," offered in 2018 the CEO of the company responsible for the plane, Jean Floyd.
The company, Stratolaunch Systems, was founded in 2011 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Now she owns the world's largest airplane, 238 from tip to tail. Its goal is to offer the military, private companies and even NASA a cheaper way to take their devices to space.
"It's the biggest plane in the world. It's so huge, it seems I should not be able to fly, "Jack Beyer, an aerospace photographer for NASASpaceFlight.com, told CNN on Thursday. "People are interested in the first Stratolaunch flight because they want to see the future," Beyer said. "It's the same reason why people tune in every year to see Apple's keynotes. People want to see what's next. "
So that an apparatus as immense as this, with an apparent impossibility of rising from the ground, the materials with which it is built are strong and light. The Stratolaunch is made mainly of carbon fiber material instead of aluminum. To save money on the design of new engines and landing gear, the jet works with six Pratt Whitney engines, which were originally designed for the Boeing 747. Its landing gear, which includes some 28 wheels, was also designed for the first time for 747s. .