World’s Largest Airplane Makes First Flight
Aerospace is getting a lift. Saturday’s successful initial flight of Roc, a six-engined behemoth boasting a record 385-foot wingspan, over California’s Mojave Desert carried a special poignancy. The catamaran-style, twin-fuselage jet was created by Stratolaunch, an eight-year project of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died in October. By 2020 Stratolaunch aims to loft 250-ton rocket ships into the stratosphere to launch satellites.
Is this a game-changer? With only a few rocket launch facilities available, this winged marvel will theoretically enable launches from wherever there’s a long enough runway.