Remember the giant Stratolaunch Roc aircraft carrier? Several years have passed since the last flight in 2019. The world’s largest aircraft, thanks to its 385-foot wingspan, finally made its second test flight on Thursday, it reported Space.com.
Roc already has two test fields very long wings and this test had the plane in the sky for three hours and 14 minutes. The twin fuselage reached an altitude of about 14,000 feet and about 173 knots (200 mph). The NASA space flight The YouTube channel triggers the fields in action and looks magnificent:
Roc seems to be barely moving in his aisles on the track.
For a quick refresh, the 385-foot wingspan makes it the world’s largest wing span. Check it out against other colossal planes:
Why did it take so long to get a second flight? Like Space news reports that Stratolaunch owner, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has sold the venture to no one else The former owner of Chrysler, Cerberus Capital Management.
Now the plane plays a new role. Stratolaunch wanted to use the plane for launch services, but now it serves as a platform for launching Stratolaunch’s own hypersonic car (a vehicle that can travel at least five times faster than the speed of sound).
One of these hypersonic vehicles is the Talon-A. This reusable vessel is 28 feet long and develops simultaneously with the aircraft.
In 2022, Stratolaunch hopes to conduct a test to confirm that Talon-A can be released from the Roc aircraft. He then hopes to eventually get Talon-A in some propulsion tests to reach hypersonic speeds.
The Roc itself received some good improvements during its two-year hiatus. Roc uses systems adapted by the Boeing 747-400 such as its engines, landing gear and cockpit. It now has a new environmental control system, more tools and improvements to the flight control system to make it better.
Daniel Millman, chief technical officer of Stratolaunch, says this second flight is just the beginning and more flights are ahead.
As if Stratolaunch isn’t busy enough, he also plans to offer his system to the Department of Defense to help reduce the risk of flight tests. It will be interesting to see how this aircraft is used now that it is under new ownershipbut for now it’s just amazing to watch.