World's largest plane makes first flight

World's largest plane makes first flight

The Spruce Goose was flown only once, on November 2, 1947, and had the largest wingspan of any aircraft to ever take to the skies until Saturday's flight. With this successful first test flight though, it proves that their plane concept does work and could see an increasing amount of interest from other aerospace companies looking to release rockets into space. Pacific time (1400 GMT) and stayed aloft for more than two hours before landing safely back at the Mojave Air and Space Port as a crowd of hundreds of people cheered. "We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today's flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman's Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port".

Regarding initial results from Saturday's test flight, Stratolaunch said the plane performed a variety of flight control maneuvers to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing maneuvers, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips.

The impressive machine spent two and a half hours in the air during the test flight, reaching speeds of 189 mph (304 km/h), not almost as much as the world's fastest supercars. By 2020 Stratolaunch aims to loft 250-ton rocket ships into the stratosphere to launch satellites.

The aircraft has a world-record wingspan of 385 feet, and is 238 feet long.

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The centre wing of the plane can hold up to 500,000 pounds in weight.

Stratolaunch - an American firm set up by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen - debuted the aircraft in Mojave, California. "The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement and we congratulate everyone involved".

The test: The twin-fuselage plane has six engines and was made from two used Boeing jetliners.

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