With 117-metre wingspan - completes first flight

Stratolaunch pops a wheelie during January's high-speed taxi test

Stratolaunch pops a wheelie during January's high-speed taxi test

This aircraft is created to take entire space rockets to the stratosphere for launch.

M - The world's largest aeroplane by wingspan has taken flight for the first time.

But Allen died in October of a year ago so the future of the company is uncertain.

The company says the idea is to lower the cost of spaceflight and make launching a satellite as easy as booking an airline flight.

It hit a top speed of 304 kilometers per hour (189 mph) and reached an altitude of 17,000 feet, or 5,182 meters.

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Regarding initial results from Saturday's test flight, Stratolaunch said the plane performed a variety of flight control maneuvers to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing maneuvers, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips.

It has 385 feet (117 meters) wingspan, far more than the largest aircraft ever to fly, such as the Airbus A380, the Antonov An-225 or even the H-4 Hercules, also called "SpruceGoose", created by Howard Hughes. It weighs 500,000 pounds (250 tons) empty, but full of fuel and with a rocket payload, it can weigh as much as 1,300,000 pounds (650 tons). "It's so huge, it seems like it shouldn't be able to fly", Jack Beyer, an aerospace and launch photographer for NASASpaceFlight.com, told CNN on Thursday.

The six-engine jet that will be used to launch rockets into space took off from Mojave Airport in California this morning on the testimony of hundreds of people.

The plane is created to drop rockets and other space vehicles weighing up to 500,000 pounds at an altitude of 35,000 feet and has been billed by the company as making satellite deployment as "easy as booking an airline flight". The rocket deploys the satellite before eventually falling back to Earth, burning up in the sky like a meteor.

Stratolaunch portrays its vessel as the "world's biggest plane" however there are air crafts which are longer from nose to tail. It's powered by the same type of engines used by Boeing 747s, and is created to take off at a maximum weight of 1.3 million pounds (589,676 kilograms). Storms can delay a traditional rocket launch, but a jet could simply take off and fly over bad weather - or around it - and then launch the satellite. "All of you have been very patient and very tolerant over the years waiting for us to get this big bird off the ground, and we finally did it".

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