Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane, completed a land controls test on Sunday, taking the massive aircraft one step closer to its eventual goal of taking flight. At more than 500,000 pounds and with a wingspan of 385 feet, the plane is truly a sight to behold.
The Stratolaunch is still being built and is currently under construction at Mojave Air & Space in Mojave, California. On Sunday it hit a taxi speed of 46 miles per hour, which is a monumental landmark. However, it's not quite ready yet. Engineers hope that the plane will be operational and flying within the next 10 years.
Related: World’s Biggest Airplane: All You Need To Know About Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch
“The primary purpose of the activity was to evaluate updates made to the steering and primary braking systems. We are excited to report all objectives of this test were achieved,” company spokesperson Alex Moji said in an email to Space News. “The data collected will be used to evaluate and update our flight simulator for crew training.”
This enormous plane won’t be carrying the average cargo. Rather, it will serve as another way to get objects, namely satellites, into the the stratosphere before getting them into space orbit, NBC News reported. Satellites usually launch from Earth; the Stratolaunch will take them directly to the stratosphere, the second major layer of the atmosphere and which starts anywhere between 5 miles and 11 miles from the surface of the Earth, depending on the starting location. This mode of transportation will be more reliable and less expensive than traditional rocket launches, Next Big Future reported.
At this time, Stratolaunch has not revealed any dates for future tests, Space News reported.
More from Newsweek