why build such a large spacecraft? Well, it was built to be able to launch rockets from the atmosphere. It has a total wingspan of 118 meters, which makes it a colossal machine. And it has successfully completed its fourth flight. Here we will talk about the flight of the largest airplane in existence.
who made such an aerial monster? Stratolaunch did. They decided to name it ‘Roc’. It flew for 1 hour and 43 minutes over the Mojave Desert. At the end, it reached an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).
Roc is named after the mythological bird featured in The Arabian Nights. It was he who carried Sinbad the sailor on his adventures.
Different tests were carried out on this last flight. The pilots prepared the transport aircraft to support launches of the upcoming hypersonic test bed vehicle, Talon-A. It is a reusable rocket. And it will be capable of subjecting payloads to speeds in excess of Mach 5.
This capability will allow Stratolaunch customers access to the hypersonic flight environment. This is critical for scientific research. It favors technology development and component demonstration.
Validating the landing gear
The test served as a continuous performance evaluation. They tested the handling characteristics of the aircraft and the validation of the complete operations of the huge landing gear.
“Today’s flight was very successful. It demonstrates and validates the improvements to the aircraft’s transport systems and overall flight performance.” Said in a statement Zachary Krevor. He is president and chief operating officer of Stratolaunch.
“The full landing gear retraction and extension worked well. It is a necessary milestone to prepare the aircraft to dispose of Talon-A. We will do more hypersonic flight testing later this year.”
The company plans to begin hypersonic test flights in 2022. Flight of the largest aircraft in existence expects to soon become more frequent. They anticipate providing services to government and commercial customers in 2023.