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  • 46

It would be the world’s largest airplane. It’s being built by a billionaire. And it’s getting ready to fly.

Submitted
COLORADO SPRINGS — The massive airplane that Paul Allen’s aerospace company has been building in the California desert could fly for the first time as soon as this summer, officials said. (www.msn.com) More...

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mjlewis
Michael Lewis 5
I guess this does blow the An-225 away. It's wingspan is only 290ft! MTOW on the 224 is approx. 1.4MM lbs so that's close.

Here's the graphic I was hoping to find:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/Stratolaunch_comparison.svg/1024px-Stratolaunch_comparison.svg.png
ed7778
Reminds me of that awesome "peace-bomb" bomber in the 1936 film "Things to Come" except that the engines were in the middle.
RECOR10
RECOR10 3
If it was on Jeopardy the category would be "Solutions to problems we do not have"...I will take that for $1000 Alex....
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
So, who is going to spot the flight first, FlightAware or Planeplotter?
shrudini
shrudini 1
Hopefully, FLightAware.
chalet
chalet 2
FLYING: please keep us updated on her first flight preparations, I would not want to miss it for anything. Thanks
MultiComm
What is the wheel base ... can it land at remote airports around the world in case of emergency without taking out a glide slope antenna or exceeding runway width?
mjlewis
Michael Lewis 2
We'll it'd certainly be limited! says it has about 1200nm range, and needs at least 12,000ft runway length!
darrenyorston
Darren Yorston 3
Did you read the article? Its being built for a specific purpose. So unless there are satellites at remote airports around the world requiring launch it probably doesnt need to land at any.
MultiComm
From my comment ... “In case of emergency” ...

Yes I read the article.
dtgriscom
Daniel Griscom 3
It's a reasonable question, "specific purpose" or not. You can't say that there will never be a need or desire to have it land other than at its home base.
herdy34
Jon Herd 3
What about emergencies?
darrenyorston
Darren Yorston 1
The aircraft has has a 1200nm range. Any emergency diversion is going to be within 1200nm of its origin. The aircraft's launch and maintenance facilities are at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Sure in an emergency the aircraft could divert to Canada or Mexcio but it would really seem a little odd if in an emergency it overflew all the airfield in the Western USA to land in Canada or Mexico. Though there are only three airports in Mexico over 12000ft. Only one Don Miguel Hidalgo International is technically within range at 1175nm.
MultiComm
I’m not trying to be combative here but an emergency is just that. Typically emergencies don’t allow a return to base unless you are just orbiting your base (which may be the case for the mission of this aircraft).

I am not just speaking of a single engine failure. What about decompression, multiple engine failure, electrical or fire issues, fuel leak ... the list goes on. It can happen.
Kairho
Kairho Carroll 3
...and it just did earlier this week (Southwest 1380 at PHL).
craigbell1941
Craig Bell 1
World's largest my butt, how much does it gross out?
Kairho
Kairho Carroll 6
From the article: "maximum weight at takeoff of 1.3 million pounds"
1SHSFLYER1
T C -2
I see lots of problems with that design for first flight and general durability in service. The article says, "If it flies successfully" and the operative word is IF. Wishing them the best and praying for the test pilots.

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