The world’s largest aeroplane with a wingspan bigger than a football field took off on its maiden test flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California on April 13. Called ‘Roc’, the aircraft is built by Stratolaunch, an American space transportation venture headquartered in Seattle, Washington and founded by late billionaire Paul Allen.
The massive aircraft has a wingspan of 117 metres, around the length of an American football field, and is designed to launch rockets from the air. On its maiden flight, it flew to a height of 4.5 km and stayed afloat for 2.5 hours, attaining a top speed of 304 km/hr.
It’s powered by six engines that are mounted on carbon-composite twin fuselage. It can drop rockets weighing over 200,000 kg at an altitude of around 10 km.
Founded by Allen in 2011, Stratolaunch is a private spaceflight company that seeks to launch rockets into orbit from high altitude using its novel megaplane carrier aircraft.