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World's biggest plane flies for the first time

14 April 2019

After years of development in the desert north of Los Angeles, a very big, six-engined mega jet with the wingspan of an American football field flew Saturday morning for the first time.

The aircraft, the largest in the world by wingspan, took off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California at 9:58 a.m.

Stratolaunch, the world's largest airplane with a 385-foot wingspan, took off and successfully landed for the first time in the California desert on Saturday.

The world's largest plane flew for the first time on Saturday.

Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, founded Stratolaunch Systems 2011 after emerging in aerospace by funding the development of the experimental air-launched SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 became the first privately built manned rocket to reach space.

Stratolaunch Systems is owned by Vulcan, which manages the estate of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died in October after complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The trial has been spotted by photographers at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Citing initial parameters, the officials said that the platform performed a variety of flight control manoeuvres to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing manoeuvres, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips.

"The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement and we congratulate everyone involved". Surviving in an aviation museum, it has an approximately 320-foot (97.5-meter) wingspan but is just under 219 feet (67 meters) long.

The pilot Evan Thomas told reporters the experience was "fantastic" and that "for the most part, the airplane flew as predicted".

However, neither Krevor nor Jean Floyd, the chief executive of Stratolaunch, said anything about the test flight program, including when the plane will fly again and how long the overall test program will last. Its twin fuselages - sort of the airplane equivalent of a catamaran - are 238 feet (72.5 meters) long.

"Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground launched systems", he added. The odd aircraft, built by the legendary aeronautical engineering company Scaled Composites in the Mojave Desert, has two fuselages and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.

World's biggest plane flies for the first time