Stratolaunch is on sale for $400 million. The world’s largest aircraft may be put on the market for the hefty sum of $400 million just a few months after its maiden flight. Vulcan Inc, the company behind the sale, controlled by the estate of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has reportedly decided to get rid of the plane less than a year of the death of Mr. Allen.
The future has indeed been a bit bleak for the world’s largest aircraft since the death of Allen. The American billionaire, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, was at the origin of the massive plane. Founded in 2011, the company had the ambition of establishing a spatial vessel fleet. But the passing of the businessman has left everything uncertain.
Nonetheless, after various track tests, the massive Stratolaunch — the largest aircraft in the world — did finally make its first test flight in April this year. Performed over the Mojave Desert in California, the flight lasted 2.5 hours with a top speed of 304 km / h and an altitude of up to 5180 meters. However, this initial success after years of development could however have a bitter taste.
About a week ago, based on four sources, Reuters had reported that Vulcan Inc was planning on shutting down operations. However, a spokesperson for Stratolaunch, contacted by the news agency, had disputed the claims, saying that her group’s activities were continuing.
With six jet engines fitted to the Boeing 747, the Stratolaunch twin-boom aircraft is based on 28 wheels. It has a wingspan of 117 m, 72 m long and a curb mass of 230 tons.
With a maximum mass of 590 tonnes at takeoff, it is intended for the transport and launching of rockets to place satellites in low orbit. In this case, with up to three Pegasus XL rockets from an altitude of 10 km.