Stratolaunch has 28 wheels, six 747 jet engines, two flight decks, and a wingspan of 385 feet (longer than a football field). It’s the world’s largest aircraft.
Built by Paul J. Allen, Microsoft co-founder, Stratolaunch is not meant to carry passengers (yet), but rockets that will deliver satellites into low Earth orbit. According to The Washington Post, the ultimate goal of this massive aircraft is to become a reusable platform able to launch space shuttles (with astronauts) from any airport with a large-enough runaway.
Earlier this year, Stratolaunch took its first taxi test at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California where it is being built. It reached the speed of 46mph.
More tests are planned to make sure the aircraft is capable of meeting the take-off speed of 138mph. If Stratolaunch reaches the necessary speed without any problem, the aircraft could take its first flight in the next few months.
H/T: Travel + Leisure