Thursday, June 1, 2017

Paul Allen’s colossal Stratolaunch plane emerges from its lair

Now that's a big'en! 

SeattleTimes reports Paul Allen’s monstrous Stratolaunch airplane finally rolled out of its hangar in Mojave, Calif., Wednesday, showing off its complete twin-hulled majesty for the first time.

It will now spend many months on ground tests before a first flight. And it’s not expected to be used to launch a rocket into space — a mission that some observers are skeptical will ever make business sense — any sooner than 2019.

Two tugs pulled the 250-ton giant from the hangar where it was built for Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems company by Scaled Composites, the specialty airplane-development firm founded by aviation pioneer Burt Rutan.

Over the past few weeks, mechanics removed the last of the three-story scaffolding that had surrounded the aircraft during construction, leaving the aircraft’s full weight to rest on its 28 wheels for the first time.
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