Report: Stratolaunch Aircraft Completes Land Control Test

Stratolaunch Systems has completed a ground-based control test of its aircraft designed to facilitate air launches of rockets in order to bring satellites into low-Earth orbit, ValueWalk reported Wednesday.

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder who established Stratolaunch in 2011, said in a Twitter post that the Seattle, Washington-based company’s aircraft recorded 46 miles per hour in top taxi speed during the test.

The company conducted the test Sunday to validate the control responses of the plane, which is designed to transport rockets to the Earth’s stratosphere and launch them at an altitude of approximately 33,000 feet.

The Stratolaunch plane has six Pratt & Whitney-built turbofan engines, two fuselages, a 385-foot-long wingspan and a maximum liftoff weight capacity of 590 metric tons.

Scaled Composites started development work on the Stratolaunch aircraft project in January 2012 at a California-based hangar, the report added.

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