Stratolaunch Systems has successfully completed the first flight of the world's largest all-composite aircraft, the Stratolaunch. With a dual fuselage design and wingspan greater than the length of a football field, it took flight from the Mojave Air & Space Port. Achieving a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour, the plane flew for 2.5 hours over the Mojave Desert at altitudes up to 17,000 feet. As part of the initial flight, the pilots evaluated aircraft performance and handling qualities before landing successfully.
"What a fantastic first flight," said Jean Floyd, CEO of Stratolaunch. "Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground-launched systems. We are incredibly proud of the team, today's flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman's Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port."
The test team conducted standard aircraft testing exercises.
The Stratolaunch aircraft is designed as a mobile launch platform that will enable airline-style access to space that is convenient, affordable and routine. The reinforced centre wing can support multiple launch vehicles, weighing up to a total of 500,000 pounds.
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