We heard that biggest Boeing aircraft has a wingspan of 80 meters. It is indeed a gigantic plane that can carry 850 passengers in a single class. But as we know, the innovators never take rest and keep making the better machines. In the hunger of bigger and better planes, the aircraft company Stratolaunch built a new airplane with a wingspan of around 113 meters. This airplane is manufactured for carrying rockets. The aircraft has six Pratt and Whitney Turbofan engines that will provide power for the launching of a satellite in lower orbit of the earth. It has a double-bodied design that provides easy and convenient access to low-earth orbit. The aircraft moves around with the help of 28 wheels.
The Aircraft is still in its testing phase, but soon it will be over, and this marvel of aeronautical engineering will be on the air. The Stratolaunch aircraft can carry 275 tons of weight. The testing of this massive aircraft includes three phases. The first phase of the testing is called dry motor where manufacturers are using auxiliary power to charge the engine. The second phase is called wet motor, where the fuel is introduced in all six fuel tanks of the aircraft. In the third phase of testing, the company commenced the testing of plane flight control system.
The CEO of Stratolaunch system Jean Floyd said that in coming months they would continue the testing of the aircraft’s engines at higher power levels and varying configurations. The company is initially planning to launch single orbital ATK Pegasus XL vehicle that will take off in a runway style. As it will reach the height of 11,000 meters, the aircraft will detach the rockets and these rockets will launch the satellite into low-Earth orbit.
Paul Allen founded the company in the year 2011 with the mission of making a convenient access to the low Earth orbit. Stratolaunch allied with the aerospace company, Scaled Composites to manufacture massive carrier planes. In the year 2016, Stratolaunch signed a deal with Orbital ATK for providing its Pegasus air launch rockets. These rockets will be used to take the satellite into the low-earth orbit. The carrying capacity of these rockets will be around 450 kg. The Stratolaunch aircraft can carry three of such rockets in a single flight of its plane.
The major advantage of Stratolaunch aircraft is the ability to position the aircraft in such a manner that is suitable to direct the satellite in a precise orbit without any weather issues. Earlier, the aircraft has been launched into space through a Launchpad, but that system consumes fuel in a large quantity. If the new system succeeds, it will save the tremendous amount of fuel.