Floyd said that as the plane lifted off, "I did whisper a "thank you" to Paul for allowing me to be part of this remarkable achievement".
The world's largest plane, operated by aerospace venture Stratolaunch, finished its first flight examination on Saturday. Allen died of lymphoma in October 2018, only a handful of months before his creation could take flight for the first time.
While Stratolaunch calls its aircraft the world's largest, other airplanes exceed it in length. Cheap to the extent that it becomes as easy as booking an airline flight ticket. It hit a top speed of 304 kilometers per hour and reached an altitude of 17,000 feet, reported AFP. The enormous Stratolaunch has the largest wingspan in the world at 117.3 meters (384.8 feet), significantly larger than the previous record holder, the Antonov An-225 "Mriya" heavy lift cargo aircraft. "People want to see what's next". It may one day also launch passenger shuttles into space.
As taking off from the ground is the most fuel-consuming portion of a rocket launch, the idea of a stratosphere launch is meant to allow for the increase of a rocket's payload, also allowing for a faster turnaround between launches, say specialists at both Stratolaunch and Virgin Orbit, according to a CNBC report.
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It is created to carry into space, and drop, a rocket that would in turn ignite to deploy satellites.
Stratolaunch originally touted this jet as the world's biggest aircraft, but toned down that statement this weekend referring to it as the "world's largest all-composite aircraft".
Although the cost of the airplane hasn't been made public, other details are known. It features six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 turbofan engines, a similar type to those being used on the Airbus A300, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 767. Rather, Stratolaunch could take off from various runways and then fly to a spot with good weather. "It flew very much as we had simulated and as we predicted", he said.
If all goes as planned, Stratolaunch said the plane is expected to launch its first satellite sometime next year.