The world’s largest plane was first tested in June 2017, and is expected to launch in 2019.
Stratolaunch completed the first testing of its new engine in June 2017, while is engaged in continuing the groundwork required for the flight’s 2019 launch.
Stratolaunch is working on developing a functional air-launch-to-orbit aircraft and commenced the project in 2010. The successful take off was a benchmark in the development of this flight.
The large plane consists of six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines, which are lifted from two used Boeing 747-400s. The first test conducted in June, comprised three phases, one in which a dry motor was run using auxiliary power, second in which a wet motor was run introducing jet fuel, and the last stage in which each of the six engines were observed to ensure proper functioning.
“Over the next few months, we will continue to test the aircraft’s engines at higher power levels and varying configurations, culminating to the start of taxi tests,” said Jean Floyd, CEO of the company.
The Stratolaunch is massive with a giant wingspan of 385 ft (117 m). The successful first test flight has motivated the company to venture into taxi tests, in the following months.