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Home / Science / Stratolaunchs Roc, the largest aircraft in the world, flew for the first time (updated)

Stratolaunchs Roc, the largest aircraft in the world, flew for the first time (updated)



The space launch company Stratolaunch, founded partly by the late billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, for the first time sent his gigantic Roc airplane up in the air. The flight took place this morning at 6:46 am from Stratolaunch's home on Mojave Air And Space Port, California. It was tracked by a Cessna Citation jet during the inaugural flight.

Roc now conquers the throne as the world's largest aircraft with a wingspan of 385 feet, a gross weight of 1,300,000 pounds, and is powered by six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 turbofan engines, which are normally found on the 747-400 are. Taken together, these engines delivered an impressive 340,500 pounds. The Roc ̵

1; named after the giant bird of Greek mythology – will haul rocket payloads into the sky before sending them into space. The idea is that the vehicle functions as a fully reusable and flexible first stage, which could drastically reduce the cost of placing payloads, and in a highly flexible manner that is not offered by conventional launch ramp based systems.

We have closely monitored the program, which has been somewhat limited since the death of its primary financier and visionary Paul Allen. A whole family of launcher rockets was to be hauled by Roc, and for the time being it was paired with only one pair. As we have explained in the past, the Pentagon is probably the most interesting and lucrative client of Stratolaunch.

Roc is still in the air at the time of publication. We will update this post with more information about this exciting milestone in aviation history.

UPDATE: 9:25 pm PDT –

Roc has landed safely at the Mojave Air And Space Port. Congratulations to Stratolaunch and all their partners for a successful and historic first flight!

Update: 11:46 pm PDT –

We have some high-resolution pictures of the flight to show: [19659005]

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