Giant Stratolaunch aircraft lifts off from California
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A giant six-engine aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan has taken off from California on its first flight.
The massive, twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet designed to air-launch rockets into orbit lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port early Saturday.
Founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch is vying to be a contender in the satellite launch market.
The aircraft is designed to release rockets attached to the center of its enormous wing, which stretches 385 feet (117 meters) from tip to tip — a longer wingspan than any other aircraft.
Stratolaunch recently dropped plans to develop its own line of rockets and will focus on launching Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL.
Allen died in October 2018.