Scaled Composites Stratolaunch (videos)

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Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Jan 31, 2009
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Wow, it even has 65 feet in span on the Hughes HK-4 (AKA the "Spruce Goose") and an MTOW greater than an A380 and almost as much as that other big six-engined jet, the AN-225. It will be interesting to see if this actually works technically....and then if it does later as a business.
Wake me up when it finally gets off the ground.

Then a few years later, wake me up again when (if?) it launches the kind of big orbital rocket it was designed for (which currently does not exist, at least not soon).

Carrying up three little "flea" Pegasus rockets on this huge plane doesn't make much sense to me. The Pegasus was originally launched by a B-52, then once proven (And NASA retired their last B-52 - #008), it has been launched highly successfully by a modified L-1011 owned by Orbital.
Stratolaunch's Roc, The World's Largest Aircraft, Has Flown For The First Time
This is a landmark event in aviation history and something the late billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dreamed of seeing.
13 Apr 2019

Roc now takes the throne as the world's largest aircraft with a 385-foot wingspan, a gross takeoff weight of 1,300,000 pounds, and powered by six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 Turbofan engines normally found on the 747-400. Combined, these engines put out a whopping 340,500 pounds of thrust. The Roc—it is nicknamed after the huge bird from Greek mythology—will haul rocket payloads up into the sky before sending them on their way into space. The idea is the craft acts as a completely reusable and flexibly deployable first stage, which could dramatically cut down the cost of putting payloads into space and do so in a highly flexible manner not offered by traditional launch-pad based systems.


Stratolaunch Reportedly Shuts Down Leaving World's Largest Plane With An Uncertain Future
Less than a year after founder Paul Allen's death, the ambitious project appears to have come to an end and everything will be up for sale.
MAY 31, 2019

Space launch company Stratolaunch, which the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen had founded nearly a decade ago, is reportedly in the process of closing down for good and will be selling off all of its physical assets and intellectual property rights. The news comes less than two months after the firm's massive Roc aircraft, the largest plane ever flown, took the sky for the first time.
It would be a shame to see such an asset get mothballed. Hopefully some company like Virgin Orbit can incorporate it into their future plans. Carrier vehicle for a LauncherTwo? or LauncherThree?