Stratolaunch announces the completion of its seventh test flight of the Roc, the aircraft with the largest wingspan (distance between wingtips) in the world.
The plane, with its characteristic two-fuselage design, flew for 3 hours and 1 minute over the Mojave Desert on Thursday, June 16, and reached an altitude of 27,000 feet (8,200 meters), a new record for the project. .
The seventh flight focused on continuing the expansion of the Roc’s flight envelope with the recent addition of the pylon under the aircraft’s wing center section. Test objectives included:
– Demonstration of increased maximum altitude capability;
– Continuous validation of the aircraft’s overall performance and handling characteristics, with the addition of the newly installed pylon;
– Ongoing validation of landing gear operations, including door functionality and alternate gear extension.
“Today’s flight is a success story of the Stratolaunch team’s ability to ramp up operational pace to the pace desired by our customers to perform frequent hypersonic flight airdrop tests,” said Dr. Zachary Krevor, CEO and President of Stratolaunch.
“Additionally, the team has reached a new altitude record of 27,000 feet, thereby demonstrating the aircraft performance required for our Talon hypersonic vehicle to achieve its wide range of hypersonic conditions.”
The Roc has a wingspan of 117 meters. Its twin-fuselage, six-engine design features components from Boeing 747s, including the cockpit and engines. Although there are two fuselages, only the right fuselage is occupied by pilots during flight.
The large jet can carry payloads of up to 226,000 kg (500,000 lbs) under its central wing, supporting a variety of hypersonic vehicles via the pylon installed and now being tested. Initially, he will soon transport and release Stratolaunch’s reusable Talon-A hypersonic vehicles.
With information from Stratolaunch