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The First Flight Of The World’s Largest Plane

The world’s largest plane by wingspan took its first flight on Saturday above the Mojave Desert in California.

With a wingspan wider than the length of an American football field, the plane features six turbofan engines, a dual fuselage design and was made using parts from two Boeing jets, according to The New York Times.

The Stratolaunch, as the plane is called, is designed to carry rockets to an altitude of 35,000 feet, at which time they would ignite and launch into orbit, according to The Verge. The rockets would carry commercial satellites into space.

The plane was built by Stratolaunch Systems, which was created in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. By launching rockets, satellites and other spacecraft from the sky, the company is betting it will be able to avoid the types of delays that ground launches are prone to, such as bad weather.

The Stratolaunch plane features six turbofan engines and a dual-fuselage design.
Stratolaunch Systems

During the test flight that lasted more than two hours, the plane reached an altitude of 17,000 feet and a top speed of 189 mph, according to the company.

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