2 Jun 2017

Stratolaunch Systems Unveils Huge Plane for Launching Space Flights

The Roc

‘The Roc’ is coined to be the largest plane ever built, made for aerospace company Stratolaunch Systems (owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), and built by Scaled Composites. The Model 351 aircraft has been built for air-launching space flights from a height of 11,000m, with a payload in excess of 230 tons.

With 28 wheels, six engines and weighing in at around 250 tons, it is no surprise the estimated cost of the build was $300 million in 2011. The wingspan is longer than an American-football field. To keep costs down, a lot of the systems (such as avionics, controls, flight deck and landing gear) have been adapted from a Boeing 747-400. The plane will require a runway 3.7km long just to take off.

‘The Roc’ has just been released for testing, as of May 2017. Welcome to the future of space travel!


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