World’s Largest Aircraft Emerges Triumphant In Fourth Test
On 24 February 2022, Stratolaunch’s “Roc” Carrier Aircraft took to the skies and successfully completed its fourth flight test. Known as the world’s largest aircraft, Roc has a wingspan of 117 metres and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.
During that soaring Thursday, the aircraft flew for 1 hour and 43 minutes over the Mojave Desert and reached an altitude of 4,572 metres. Compared to its last test flight in January, Stratolaunch’s carrier aircraft spent less time in the air and reached a lower altitude. The result was as such because the focus for the test flight was not on speed, endurance, or cruising altitude.
The objective of this test was to continue evaluating the aircraft’s performance and handling characteristics. Additionally, it was to validate full landing gear operations, including door functionality and alternate gear extension.
Stratolaunch President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Zachary Krevor reported that the “successful flight demonstrates and validates improvements to the carrier aircraft’s systems and overall flight performance”.
The results of Roc’s fourth flight test proved the aircraft to be closer to operational status — a necessary milestone to support launches of the upcoming hypersonic testbed vehicle Talon-A. The Stratolaunch team continues to make great progress on system integrations of two Talon-A test vehicles and has begun constructing a third. A more focused hypersonic flight test is planned to occur later this year.
The Talon-A vehicles are reusable testbeds made for experiments, hypersonic research and operational missions. The highly-instrumented vehicles can fly at speeds higher than Mach 5 and can carry data with various payloads. This will allow routine access to the hypersonic flight environment, which is crucial for scientific research, component demonstration and technological development.
The American aerospace company anticipates delivering services to government and commercial customers as early as 2023.
Stratolaunch’s mission is to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles.
In other automotive news, Morgan Motor Company unveiled the new Super 3 on 24 February as well. With current motoring standards in play and varying customisable features available, the three-wheeler is Morgan’s new creation of stylish adventure.
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