It is said that science and technology is the soul of human progress, science and technology is the first productivity, the pace of human conquest of the sky also with the development of science and technology, constantly to progress. As a matter of fact, with the continuous development of science and technology, the vehicle technology of human beings in the field of aviation has been constantly improved. However, the new exploration goal of the universe also requires the development of new vehicle. Therefore, the stratospheric launch system, which claims to be the largest aircraft in the world, has finally spread its wings and soared into the sky. Today we're going to talk about what could be considered the largest airplane in history. It's called stratospheric launch.
The project began to be studied in early 2011, and in a report in December 2011, about 40 employees were involved in the research and development process. Efforts to launch the stratospheric launch, which was originally planned through SpaceX using a falcon 9 rocket, began before December. Stratospheric launch evaluated the payload of the falcon 9 rocket at the time, and based on that data, they made preliminary assumptions about the size of the plane. In May 2012, stratospheric launch took place in a specially built hangar at mojave aerospace port in mojave, California. In October 2012, production began on the first of two manufacturing plants, an 88,000 square-foot machine room for the composite parts of the wings and fuselage. Pegasus II was selected as an air launch vehicle in August 2013. In August 2014, the aircraft began to add weight to all of its solid-fuel boosters, according to an assessment that the aircraft's solid-fuel boosters were superior to its liquid-fuel boosters
It takes a lot of effort and time to design and test. Stratospheric launch has cost hundreds of millions of dollars as of May 1, 2017. On May 31, 2017, the aircraft underwent refueling tests and was ready for ground tests, engine runs, taxiing tests, and a final maiden flight for the first launch demonstration in 2019. At that point, it could be challenged by darpa's xs-1 or vector space systems. By September 2017, engine testing was ongoing, as well as testing of "" control surfaces and electric, pneumatic and fire detection systems." " In December 2017, its first low-speed taxi test reduced it to 25 knots (46km/h) and tested its steering, braking and telemetry on a runway powered by six turbofans. The high-speed taxi test, which began in 2018, reached 40 knots (74 km/h) in February and 78 knots (140 km/h) in October.
On January 9, 2019, the stratospheric launch vehicle completed a taxiing test of 110 knots (219 km/h) and released a photo of the nose landing gear lifted from the ground during the test. In January 2019, three months after the death of stratospheric launch founder and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, stratospheric launch abandoned the development of a PGA rocket engine and a dedicated launcher. This makes northrop grumman's pegasus XL the only launch option for the 800-pound (360-kilogram) aircraft. The stratospheric launch is then scheduled to make its first flight in a few weeks and its first launch from an airline in 2020. The aircraft made its maiden flight on 13 April 2019 at the mojave air and space port. The flight time was 2 hours 29 minutes and the flight distance was 17,000 feet (5,200 meters) and 165 kilometers (305 km/h). In other words, the launch of a spacecraft at that speed would be more flexible, and its speed would set a very high record.