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World's largest plane successfully completes maiden flight

IANS  |  Los Angeles 

The world's largest aircraft, developed by Stratolaunch, completed its first flight test on Saturday.

With a dual fuselage design and wingspan greater than the length of an American football field, the airplane took off from in at 6:58 am (Pacific Time), said in a statement, reported.

Achieving a maximum speed of 189 miles (302.4 km) per hour, the plane flew for 2.5 hours over the at altitudes up to 17,000 feet.

As part of the initial flight, the pilots evaluated aircraft performance and handling qualities before landing successfully back at the Mojave Air and Space Port, according to the company's statement.

"What a fantastic first flight," said Jean Floyd, of

"Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible We are incredibly proud of the team, today's flight crew, our partners at Northrup Grumman's and the Mojave Air and Space Port," he added.

Regarding initial results from Saturday's test flight, Stratolaunch said the test team performed a variety of flight control maneuvers to calibrate speed and test flight control systems, including roll doublets, yawing maneuvers, pushovers and pull-ups, and steady heading side slips.

Moreover, it conducted simulated landing approach exercises at a max altitude of 15,000 feet mean sea level.

Stratolaunch was founded by the late in 2011 to develop the as a flying launch pad for orbital-class rockets.

The aircraft has a world-record wingspan of 385 feet, and is 238 feet long. It is wider than any airplane on the planet. It weighs half a million pounds, according to a report.

"A historic milestone for the #Stratolaunch team with this record setting aircraft taking flight! This is about going to the edge of space and beyond!" tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, for

"I only wish the late @PaulGAllen could see this - his memory and impact lives on," he tweeted.

Dozens of photographers, industry bloggers and gathered this week to glimpse the unique twin-fuselage plane.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, April 14 2019. 05:04 IST
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