The double-bodied stratolaunch plane, boasting the widest wingspan in the world at 385 feet (117 meters), is one step closer to the sky following recent runway tests. the world’s largest plane recently completed a second taxi test reaching a speed of 46mph (74 km/h) at the mojave air and space port in mojave, california.
stratolaunch weighs about 500,000 lbs (227,000 kilograms) and can carry a payload of up to 550,000 lbs. (250,000 kg). the plane made its first public appearance last year and has since moved through a series of successful testing phases ahead of a first flight planned for late 2019 or early 2020.
according to the company’s website, the massive aircraft will transport rocket launchers and satellites bound for low earth orbit. deploying rockets and satellites from a moving aircraft such as stratolaunch could reduce the risk of launch cancellations or delays from bad weather.
the new video shows the enormous aircraft speeding down the runway powered by six pratt & whitney turbofan engines. no specific date has been announced for the next stage of testing but when the engineering team does eventually get the stratolaunch into the air it will be the largest plane to ever take flight.