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Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch puts world’s biggest airplane into the sky for first time

13 Apr 2019, 15:59 UTC
Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch puts world’s biggest airplane into the sky for first time
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WOW. First flight of the worlds largest airplane. History is made. @Stratolaunch @NASASpaceflight #stratolaunch pic.twitter.com/e7x0omxvVc
— Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) April 13, 2019
Stratolaunch, the aerospace venture founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, sent the world’s biggest airplane into the air today for its first flight test.
The twin-fuselage plane, which incorporates parts from two Boeing 747 jumbo jets and has a world-record wingspan of 385 feet, took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California for what’s expected to be a flight lasting a couple of hours.
Stratolaunch didn’t immediately issue any statements about the flight, which had been anticipated for months — but Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for the science mission directorate, invoked Allen’s memory in his tweeted congratulations:

A historic milestone for the #Stratolaunch team with this record setting aircraft taking flight! This is about going to the edge of space and beyond!
I only wish the late @PaulGAllen could see this – his memory and impact lives on. https://t.co/h1VXQujsPk
— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) April 13, 2019
Allen founded Stratolaunch in 2011 to develop the large carrier airplane as a flying launch pad for orbital-class rockets. A year ago, Stratolaunch executives said they planned ...

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