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World’s largest plane by wingspan lifts off into the history books

16 April 2019

The world's largest airplane takes flight! The Microsoft co-author passed away in late 2018.

In a world where the USA military employs massive cargo aircraft like the C-5 Super Galaxy, big is a word that can be attributed to a whole lot of airplanes.

A release had the fantastic milestone of Stratolaunch announced. The dual-fuselage plane, with a wingspan of 385 feet, is now the largest aircraft to ever take to the skies.

The plane, built by Stratolaunch Systems Corp, stayed aloft for more than two hours, hitting a top speed of 304km per hour, and reached an altitude of 5 182m.

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Powered by the same type of engines used by Boeing 747s, the aircraft is created to take off at a maximum weight of 1.3m lbs.

The company seeks to cash in on higher demand in coming years for vessels that can put satellites in orbit, competing in the United States with other space entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and United Launch Alliance - a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It would be a sight to see, right?

The aircraft is so big its wing span is longer than a football field, or about 1.5 times that of an Airbus A380.

Paul Allen had founded Stratolaunch back in 2011.

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If successful, it will "enable airline-style access to space that is convenient, affordable and routine", Stratolaunch explained.

The pilots that flew the behemoth of an aircraft had to carry out a long to-do list including flight-control maneuvers and simulating landing approach exercises.

"We all know Paul would have been proud to witness today's historic achievement", said Jody Allen, Paul's sister and chairwoman of Vulcan Inc., one of Paul Allen's companies. The plane was able to return to the ground safely after completing its maiden flight.

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World’s largest plane by wingspan lifts off into the history books