Industry Stratolaunch completes first flight

Stratolaunch Systems Corporation has completed the first flight of the world´s largest all-composite aircraft.

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Stratolaunch took off in the morning from Mojave Air and Space Port for a 2,5-hour flight over the Mojave Desert with altitudes of up to 17,000 feet. As part of the maiden flight, the pilots tested and evaluated the aircraft´s handling characteristics and performance. After a successful flight, Stratolaunch returned safely to its home airport.

“What a fantastic first flight,” said Jean Floyd, CEO of Stratolaunch. “Today’s flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground-launched systems. We are incredibly proud of the Stratolaunch team, today’s flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman’s Scaled Composites and the Mojave Air and Space Port.”

In a statement, Stratolaunch described the tasks that were performed during the first flight: “[The crew] Performed a variety of flight control manoeuvres to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing manoeuvres, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading sideslips […] Conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15,000 feet mean sea level.”

With Stratolaunch, the Paul G. Allen company hopes to be able to offer flights into space soon. The aircraft is a mobile launch platform that will be able to support multiple launch vehicles with a total weight of up to 500,000 pounds.

“We all know Paul would have been proud to witness today’s historic achievement,” said Jody Allen, Chair of Vulcan Inc. and Trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust. “The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement, and we congratulate everyone involved.”

The Stratolaunch Systems Corporation was initially founded back in 2011 by Paul G. Allen and believed in safeguarding Earth for future generations. Stratolaunch hopes to offer airline-style access to space the empowers the world´s problems solvers to collect important and new data for advancements in science, technology and research.

The first flight of Stratolaunch is another milestone in the company.


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