One of the leaders of the Stratolaunch project, Paul Allen, tweeted a video of the prototype of the Stratolaunch aircraft, during which he made several runs on the runway. According to preliminary calculations, the device will be able to lift up to 250 tons of cargo (with the aircraft weighing 230 tons). It is expected that the first test flight will be held in 2019.
Stratolaunch is planned to be used as an air platform for launching launch vehicles for delivery of cargoes to low Earth orbit. If the plane successfully takes off, it will be the largest airplane in the air: the wingspan of the aircraft is 117 meters.
Captured new video of @Stratolaunch plane as it is reached a top speed of 40 knots (46 mph) with all flight surfaces in place on Sunday. The team verified control responses, building on the first. pic.twitter.com/OcH1ZkxZRA
– Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) February 26, 2018
The testing took place on 24 and 25 February. To check the operation of engines and on-board systems, the device performed several trips. On the runway Stratolaunch developed a speed of 40 knots (46 miles per hour).