The Stratolauncher Will Be the World’s Largest Plane

  • Photo by Adrian Koeppel
    Photo by Adrian Koeppel
  • Mary Grady

Forget the Spruce Goose; the Stratolauncher is set to become the world’s largest airplane when it begins flight-testing early next year. Currently under construction inside a massive, 103,257-square-foot hangar at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the carrier plane will be equipped with twin fuselages built from light-but-strong composite materials that will extend 238 feet from nose to tail when complete. Its sweeping wingspan will measure 385-feet—wide enough that if the plane was taxied to the center of a football field, its wings would extend 12.5 feet beyond each goalpost.

The Stratolauncher is being built by Scaled Composites for Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems and is designed to carry a payload to a high altitude, where it can be launched into low earth orbit. The design is based on the SpaceShipOne aircraft that won the $10 million Ansari XPrize in 2004 and that is now being developed for commercial space tourism by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic enterprise. Stratolauncher will be powered by six reconditioned jet engines salvaged from two Boeing 747s, and will weigh more than 1.2 million pounds. It will require a runway more than two miles long for takeoff and landing. (stratolaunch.com)

From Around the Web...
The aviation corporation’s best business jet continues to distance itself from the competition…
The new interior has high-speed network access and plenty of places to charge your devices…
This concept plane can land on grass, gravel, or sand airstrips…
The luxuriant new interior has a flowing layout conceived with comfort and relaxation in mind…
Photo by Cean One Studios
Alex Wilcox talks about his company’s costs, conveniences, and customers…
Your one-stop shop for the business jets, private helicopters, and industry news that captivated...
The aircraft has a range of up to 7,135 miles and a cruising speed of Mach .85…
Photo by Katsuhiko Tokunaga
Our writer is a passenger while her pilot performs barrel rolls, loops, and other aerobatics…
The Vision Jet is equipped with the company’s famed cutting-edge tech and full-plane parachute…
Helicopter enthusiasts with a propensity for the posh will be delighted…