Stratolaunch: the largest plane in the world breaks an altitude record

The Roc, the huge plane produced by Stratolaunch, continues its tests. Last Friday, during its seventh test flight, the aircraft broke its own altitude record…

The device, which should soon make it possible to place various objects in orbit at a lower cost, chain the successes. Last year, the Roc carried out its second successful test flight. On June 16, the huge plane was able to put its instruments to the test for the seventh time. The machine, which flew for more than three hours, was thus able to reach an altitude of 27,000 feet, or about 8,200 meters. It therefore approached the cruising altitude of an airliner, which is between 9,200 and 12,200 meters above sea level.

Rock – Credit; stratolaunch

Stratolaunch thus states: The seventh flight focused on further technical testing of Roc with the recent addition of the pylon on the central wing of the plane“. This must allow the plane to carry a supersonic rocket. Indeed, the Roc must take off normally, transport the launcher to a sufficient altitude, then release it. Then the rocket engine takes over, in order to quickly reach Earth orbit.

Stratolaunch: the first operational flights should start next year

One such payload is the Talon-A, Stratolaunch’s prototype hypersonic vehicle. The machine, 8.5 m long, is designed to fly at Mach 6, six times the speed of sound. But the account company is not limited to the latter. Stratolaunch thus states: The company is also making solid progress in the system integration of its first hypersonic flight test vehicle, TA-1, and in the manufacture of a third vehicle, TA-2, the first fully reusable hypersonic test vehicle“.

The company plans to prioritize the development of the Talon-A, in order to perform a first altitude launch quickly. According to Stratolaunch, operational flights are expected to begin in 2023. Nevertheless, the sixth flight of the Roc did not go as planned. Indeed, the trial had to be terminated prematurely. Stratolaunch reportedly found ” unexpected results“. The company has not yet specified the nature of these.

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Source : space.com

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