Get a Sneak Peek at the Largest Plane in the World

It’s amazing that this aircraft is able to take flight.

strato from droneCourtesy Stratolaunch Systems Corp.

From Earth, planes flying overhead can look pretty microscopic, but if you’ve ever had the opportunity to fly, you realize how big aircrafts can really be. Now, try to imagine an airplane with a wingspan longer than a football field. That plane might not look so little in the sky. (Take a look at how many hours the longest flight in the world is.)

strato back largest planeCourtesy Stratolaunch Systems Corp.

Stratolaunch, a company founded by Microsoft’s co-founder, Paul Allen, created the largest plane ever to lift rockets into the sky before they are launched into space. The plane takes off from a regular runway and once it reaches a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, multiple “launch vehicles” are released into orbit. A lot of pressure is on the pilot since launching this aircraft is no easy task. (Two pilots were flying from Oahu to Hawaii—then they heard the engines go quiet.)

strato from drone in hangarCourtesy Stratolaunch Systems Corp.

The wingspan of the massive plane is 385 feet and the length is 238 feet. It’s powered by six Boeing 747 engines that can carry over 500,000 pounds into the sky. The launch vehicles are attached and released from the very centre of the plane for safer deployment.

The Stratolaunch plane is set to take its first voyage in 2019, so make sure to keep your eyes on the sky. If only they could start making commercial planes this big!

Now, read up on these hidden airplane features you had no idea existed.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest