Billionaire Paul Allen's aeronautics company has finally revealed their Stratolaunch aircraft and it is monstrous.
Previously hidden inside an enormous hangar throughout years of construction, the Stratolaunch was rolled out earlier this week after developers removed a three-story scaffolding system that had been created around it.
Now resting on its astounding 28 wheels for the first time, the aircraft weighs a whopping 500,000 pounds and is designed to carry a payload of 550,000 pounds.
The world's largest airplane, by virtue of its 385-foot wingspan, the Stratolaunch will hopefully take to the skies using the power of six Boeing 747 engines.
Before it leaves the ground, however, engineers say that the aircraft requires a myriad of additional testing, which isn't surprising since it has only just been taken out of the hangar.
In a statement from the Microsoft co-founders company behind the craft, they expressed optimism that the public will see a demonstration of the Stratolaunch taking flight sometime next year.
Those expecting to someday fly aboard the craft in the hopes of perhaps having more legroom during the next cross country vacation may be disappointed to hear that it is not a passenger plane per se.
As its name suggests, the Stratolaunch is actually designed for sending satellites into space from low Earth orbit, a realm of proverbial 'territory' that Allen sees as uncharted terrain ripe for development.
This week's unveiling is yet another sign that we are in the midst of a burgeoning space race between billionaires looking to use their wealth to tap into off-Earth possibilities and, just maybe, solve the UFO mystery along the way.
Source: Washington Post