World’s largest plane makes first flight over California

• The world’s largest aeroplane – Scaled Composites Stratolaunch – made its first test flight over the Mojave desert in California.

About:

• Bodies involved: The aircraft being built for Stratolaunch Systems by Scaled Composites.

Features:

• The aircraft has two fuselages and six Boeing 747 engines.

• The aircraft has the largest wingspan ever to fly, superseding the Hughes H-4 Hercules. It’s wing span is longer than a football field, or about 1.5 times that of an Airbus A380.

• It can carry a 550,000 lb (250 t) payload and has a 1,300,000 lb (590 t) maximum take-off weight.

• Application: It is designed to carry into space, and drop, a rocket that would, in turn, ignite to deploy satellites.

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Mains Paper 3 : Science and Technology

Prelims level : Stratolaunch

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