Posted on May 31, 2017 · Posted in Factory Fresh

Stratolaunch is the world’s largest aircraft by wingspan and is the largest all-composite plane ever built. Utilizing six Boeing 747 engines for a payload capacity of over 500,000 lbs. and an operational range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles, Stratolaunch is capable of delivering payloads to multiple orbits and inclinations in a single mission.

Stratolaunch’s reusability and air-launch capabilities enable an airport-style approach to operations for launch services. Stratolaunch will take off from a runway, rather than a logistically vulnerable fixed range, which avoids hazards such as inclement weather, airborne traffic and heavy marine activity. Stratolaunch’s airborne launch platform significantly reduces the risk of costly delays or cancellations.

Stratolaunch is currently under construction at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, Calif.

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Over the past few weeks, we have removed the fabrication infrastructure, including the three-story scaffolding surrounding the aircraft, and rested the aircraft’s full weight on its 28 wheels for the first time. This was a crucial step in preparing the aircraft for ground testing, engine runs, taxi tests, and ultimately first flight.

Once we achieved weight-on-wheels, it enabled us to weigh the Stratolaunch aircraft for the first time, coming in at approximately 500,000 lbs. That may sound heavy, but remember that the Stratolaunch aircraft is the world’s largest plane by wingspan, measuring 385 ft. – by comparison, a National Football League field spans only 360 ft. The aircraft is 238 ft. from nose to tail and stands 50 ft. tall from the ground to the top of the vertical tail.

The Stratolaunch aircraft is designed for a max takeoff weight of 1,300,000 lbs., meaning it’s capable of carrying payloads up to approximately 550,000 lbs.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be actively conducting ground and flightline testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port. This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff. Stratolaunch is on track to perform its first launch demonstration as early as 2019.

Mr. Jean Floyd
Chief Executive Officer, Stratolaunch Systems Corporation

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Visit http://www.stratolaunch.com to learn more.

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