World’s widest plane makes second flight

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April 30, 2021
stratolaunch
Photo: Twitter/Stratolaunch.

The world’s strangest plane has completed its second test flight over the Mojave Desert.

Stratolaunch wants to use its twin-fuselage plane, with its giant wingspan of 385 ft and six engines, to launch hypersonic vehicles.

READ: Airbus, JetBlue bring widebody comfort to single-aisle jets.

It released videos of the flight, which lasted three hours and 14 minutes and reached altitudes of up 14,000 feet, on Twitter.

The plan is for the carrier aircraft to release one or more high-speed vehicles once the plane reaches its 35,000ft cruising altitude.

The company is developing a reusable, autonomous, liquid rocket-powered hypersonic test vehicle capable of traveling six times the speed of sound.

The Talon A is expected to conduct over a minute of hypersonic flight testing before gliding back to the ground to conduct an autonomous, horizontal landing on a conventional runway.

The company said the flight tests went well with all results as expected.

The aircraft first flew in April 2019 and the company was founded in 2011 by Microsoft’s Paul Allen as means of launching satellites into space.