The gigantic Stratolaunch aircraft flew Thursday for its second time, taking to the skies over the Southern California desert.
The six-engine jet with the world’s longest wingspan took off from Mojave Air and Space Port two years after its maiden flight, following a change in ownership and purpose.
“We are airborne,” the Stratolaunch company tweeted at about 7:30 a.m.
The behemoth safely touched down on its 28 wheels about three hours later and Stratolaunch called the flight test a success.
Named Roc, the twin-fuselage aircraft has a wingspan of 385 feet (117 meters). It was developed by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, who died just months before it flew for the first time in April 2019.
Allen intended to use it as a carrier aircraft for space launches, carrying satellite-laden rockets beneath the center of the wing and releasing them at high altitude.
Gigantic Stratolaunch aircraft makes 2nd test flight (2021, April 29)
retrieved 29 April 2021
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