The world’s largest airplane surfaced from its hanger for the first time in June. People reacted in different ways from the discovery; there are those that thought it was incredible, while others were skeptical about its odd look.
Stratolaunch has crossed yet another beautiful phase by successfully testing the big bird’s large engines for the first time. The company is targeting to get the aircraft up and flying latest by 2019.
The engine tests underwent through three stages; first, they used a supplementary source of power to charge the engines, the “dry motor.” Second, they used fuel to power the engines, this was called the “wet motor” phase, and then on the third stage, they started all the engines one at a time to test if they could idle, and their performance was superb, just as expected.
The project has been in development for the last seven years. This week’s engine test success is a clear indicator of the plane’s possible completion.
“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,” CEO Jean Floyd wrote as he announced the successful trials.
The company was founded in 2011 with a primary aim of providing customers with cheap access to space. Its main project, the Stratolaunch, was aimed at completing in 2016, it was delayed but this week’s progress proves that the plane is still on the right track.
How big is the plane
Looking at the aircraft, you’d think it is something out of a sci-fi movie. It has a 385 ft. Giant wingspan, larger than a football pitch.
However, the world’s largest airplane is not meant for passengers; it is designed to launch space rockets from the sky. In the process, this arrangement will significantly save the amount of fuel used to launch rockets to space from the ground.