Stratolaunch: World’s largest aircraft and satellite launch contender completes first ever flight

Plane established by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen boasts wingspan of 385 feet

Sunday 14 April 2019 16:27 BST
'World's biggest plane' in numbers

A giant aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan has landed after its first ever flight.

The twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet landed two hours after taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The company said the jet hit altitudes of up to 17,000 feet (5,180 metres) above the Mojave Desert while performance and handling qualities were evaluated.

CEO Jean Floyd said the aircraft made a “spectacular” landing, adding it was amazing to “watch this majestic bird take flight”.

Established by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Stratolaunch is vying to be a contender in the satellite launch market. Mr Allen died in October 2018.

The aircraft is designed to release rockets attached to the centre of its enormous wing, which stretches 385 feet (117 metres) from tip to tip.

Associated Press

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in