• The Stratolaunch is the world's largest aircraft.
  • It has a 117 metre wingspan.
  • The aircraft recently completed a runway test in anticipation of its debut flight, which is planned for 2019.

The world's largest plane is so big, it needs two fuselages with separate cockpits. It's called the Stratolaunch, and it's designed to launch rockets into space in what is known as low-Earth orbit, which means the spacecraft is between 159 and 1 931 kilometres above the Earth's surface. (Most space flights, as well as satellites and the International Space Station, are in low-Earth orbit.)

Since it was unveiled in June 2017, the Stratolaunch has undergone a series of tests before it makes its first flight in 2019. On Monday, the Stratolaunch YouTube page posted a video of runway tests that saw the aircraft reach a top speed of 74 km/h.

Here's a look at the Stratolaunch, and why businesses might want to use it.

Stratolaunch Systems is owned by Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft.

Youtube / Stratolaunch


Allen's goal for the company and its namesake aircraft is to "provide convenient, reliable, and routine access to low-Earth orbit."

YouTube / Stratolaunch


It would do so by launching rockets toward space from mid-air, which the company hopes will be less expensive than current, commercial space launch options.

YouTube / Stratolaunch


That would be particularly useful for companies who want to send satellites into space.

YouTube / Stratolaunch


It has a117 metres wingspan which makes it the largest airplane by wingspan.

YouTube / Stratolaunch


The aircraft is 72 metres long, 15 metres tall, and has six high-bypass-ratio turbofan engines.

The Stratolaunch is designed to launch rockets from mid-air into low-Earth orbit.
YouTube / Stratolaunch


It weighs 22 6796 kilograms and needs 28 wheels between its two fuselages.

YouTube / Stratolaunch


The aircraft needs to perform a series of tests before it can take flight.

YouTube / Stratolaunch

The company most recently performed a runway test where the aircraft reached a maximum speed of 74 kilometres per hour.

YouTube / Stratolaunch

The Stratolaunch's first flight is scheduled for 2019.

The Stratolaunch is designed to launch rockets from mid-air into low-Earth orbit.
YouTube / Stratolaunch

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