May 312017

The extremely large Stratolaunch was rolled out of the hangar for the first time today. It’s still a ways away from completion and flight.

Stratolaunch Aircraft Makes First Rollout To Begin Fueling Tests

 Posted by at 2:12 pm
  • becida

    Half a million pounds of airplane! Well it looks like an airplane even if they are talking about “orbit”.
    That’s a great concept … I’d like to be there when they try & get it off the ground..

    • publiusr

      AN-225 may not have quite the same wingspan–but more payload.

  • Bob

    I like it!

  • se jones

    Seems odd they’d have two (what appears to be) cockpits.

    • B-Sabre

      I believe one is for the flight crew, and one is for the launch crew. It’s also simpler to make two identical fuselages than to make two custom ones.

      • se jones

        Otay, makes sense I guess.

        This thing is just a bizarre concept, I know I wouldn’t want to invest in a s/c or s/c constellation, where the whole project would be compromised if the “launch pad” crashed.

        • Scottlowther

          Both Stratolaunch and SpaceX use reusable first stages. But there’s an interesting extraordinary difference:
          1) SpaceX: “Our first stage will be reusable… sometimes. We expect to crash from time to time. We expect to throw a few away. So our vehicles will be built in sizable numbers on an assemblyline.”
          2) Statolaunch: “Our first stage will be reusable, every time. Recovery and reuse will be as easy and commonplace as with a jetliner. So we’ll only need a few (maybe just the one), we won’t need an assemblyline.”

          Both ideas are fine. But one is uniquely vulnerable to jackass with a rocketlauncher, another jackass with a time bob, or just some form of random bad luck.

    • Rick

      does it have a crawlway in the center span? Like a Jeffries Tube? so someone can heroically climb in and manually release the safety locks on some British designed nuclear powered aircraft that cannot be shut down?

      Will there be room for the strings too?


  • Rick

    between this and another plutocrat demanding the construction of a giant dirigible…

    007 only had to deal with one megalomaniac and his silly mechanical ego at a time. We’ve got at least two, not counting the “yachts” that have near ocean liner tonnage.

    I bet the market for Volcano Lair Tropical Islands is really competitive right now.

    • B-Sabre

      Not to mention fluffy white cats.