Reached Top Taxi Speeds Of Up To 40 Knots, According To Company Founder Paul Allen

The Stratolaunch airplane is closer to a first flight following high-speed taxi tests conducted last weekend at California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.

Geekwire reports that the airplane, nicknamed “Roc”, is the world’s largest by wingspan. When it becomes operational, Stratolaunch, which was co-founded by former Microsoft executive Paul Allen, plans to deliver small satellites into orbit using the horizontal-launch platform.

In an email, Vulcan spokeswoman Alex Moji said that the recent taxi tests build on the success of low-speed taxi tests conducted last December. “We are excited to report all objectives of this test were achieved – the aircraft reached a runway speed of 40 knots (46 mph),” she said. “The data collected will be used to evaluate and update our flight simulator for crew training.”

The tests were confirmed in a Tweet from Allen, who included a video of the taxi test on the social media platform.

The first flight of the Stratolaunch airplane is currently not expected before sometime in 2019, and may not happen before 2020. The company has a partnership agreement with Orbital ATK to develop the rockets that will be carried by Stratolaunch and boost satellites into orbit.

(Image provided by Stratolaunch)

FMI: Original report