Stratolaunch successfully completes maiden flight

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The Stratolaunch flight took place in the Mojave Desert in California. (Stratolaunch)

Stratolaunch, rsquo the planet &; s largest passenger aircraft and brainchild of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has finished its first flight.

The aircraft, which features a distinctive twin-fuselage idea, took off from Mojave Air and Space Port at about 0700 on Saturday, April 13 (US time).

The maiden flight lasted about 150 minutes, together with the aircraft reaching a top speed of 189 miles per hour (164kn) and an altitude of 17, 000ft, Stratolaunch stated in a statement.

The test pilots performed a selection of flight management manoeuvres to calibrate speed and examine flight management systems. These comprised roll doublets, steady heading side slides, and yawing pushovers manoeuvres and pull-ups, Stratolaunch explained.

“ The flight itself was smooth, which is just what you need that the very first flight to be, ” a test pilot on board the aircraft and for the most part, the airplane flew as predicted which is again exactly what we need ”, examine pilot Evan Thomas said, according to a transcript of a media briefing on the Stratolaunch website.

&ldquoWe did the airplane and our spinning very nicely, got running down the runway and smoothly rotated. It truly just lifted off the floor and was prepared to fly and wanted to fly. It climbed out quickly which was great to see. ”

Thomas said the handling qualities in the aircraft, which were “ very much like we’d simulated and called ”.

It’s a airplane — that the propulsion, the system, the hydraulics Thomas stated.

The Stratolaunch, built by aerospace company Scaled Composites, is a stage designed to carry rockets into the upper air — around 35, 000ft — where they are sometimes air-launched to place payloads to low-earth orbit.

The all-composite aircraft has a payload capacity of 500, 000 lbs (245, 000kg), is powered by six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 turbofans, and has a 385-foot wingspan and 2 238-foot fuselages.

Stratolaunch chief executive Jean Floyd stated it was an “ rdquo & psychological moment; viewing the Stratolaunch take off.

“ To see the Stratolaunch aircraft in flight was nothing short of magnificent and the moment was made even more special knowing how many individuals have contributed to the achievement of the claims since its beginning in 2011, ” Floyd explained.

While Allen was among the driving forces behind the Stratolaunch, he was not there to watch the first flight milestone, having expired in October 2018 due to cancer. He was 65 years old.

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VIDEO: The first flight of the Stratolaunch aircraft, by the business ’ s YouTube channel .