Watch the World’s Biggest Plane Get One Step Closer to Its First Flight
The world’s biggest aircraft is one step closer to taking off.
Stratolaunch, created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is the world’s biggest plane with a 385-foot wingspan and a height of 50 feet. And the plane reached a new milestone on Sunday when it was moved out of its hangar for the first time in December and completed a series of taxi tests on a runway. The plane was able to hit speeds of 46 mph
With its successful runway test, the aircraft, which uses different engines found in the Boeing 747 and weighs 500,000 pounds, is even closer to conducting flight tests as soon as next year, according to NBC News. Representatives will continue conducting taxi tests at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
While the Stratolaunch has a good amount of size on the A380, which is the world’s biggest passenger aircraft with a wingspan of 262 feet, it will not be transporting passengers.
Rather, the aircraft will be used to launch rockets carrying satellites into space, with the rockets attached to the belly of the plane and dropped out once the aircraft ascends to roughly 35,000 feet.
Though there’s no set date yet on when the aircraft will be fully operational, company representatives plan to have it ready to fly within the decade.