Stratolaunch approaches first flight

Stratolaunch is the world’s largest aircraft by wingspan and is the largest all-composite plane ever built. Utilizing six Boeing 747 engines for a payload capacity of over 500,000 lbs. and an operational range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles, Stratolaunch is capable of delivering payloads to multiple orbits and inclinations in a single mission.

Stratolaunch’s reusability and air-launch capabilities enable us to take an airport-style approach to operations for launch services. Stratolaunch will take off from a runway, rather than a logistically vulnerable fixed range, which allows us to avoid hazards such as inclement weather, airborne traffic and heavy marine activity. Stratolaunch’s airborne launch platform significantly reduces the risk of costly delays or cancellations.

Srratolaunch has the follow advantages
1. Launch from any point to avoid bad weather.
2. Launch from any point to hit a specific orbital shape.

Point 1 and 2 means that Stratolaunch will avoid most random events that would require rescheduling

3. Launch from the air for a performance boost of about 5-10%.