California: The Stratolauncher is going to become the largest airplane in the world, while it brings for flight-testing early next year.
The aforesaid airplane is currently under construction inside a massive, 103,257-square-foot hangar at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
The carrier plane will be outfitted with twin fuselages built from light-but-strong composite materials that will extend to a length of 238 feet from nose to tail when the whole structure of the giant air carrier gets completed.
Its broad wingspan will measure 385-feet, which means, its wings will be wide enough to extend 12.5 feet beyond each goalpost if the plane is taxied to the center of a football field.
Stratolauncher will be powered by six reconditioned jet engines salvaged from two Boeing 747s, and will weigh more than 1.2 million pounds.
It will require a runway having distance more than two miles, for its takeoff as well as landing.
The Stratolauncher aircraft carrier is built by Scaled Composites for Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems and is being designed to carry a payload to a high altitude, where it can be launched into low earth orbit.
The design is based on the Space Ship One aircraft which won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004.
That is now being developed for commercial space tourism by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic enterprise.
Video on Stratolaunch system of aircraft carrier