The world’s largest airplane has been unveiled by Stratolaunch, the aeronautics company founded by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen.
The plane based on wingspan weighs 226,796kg (500,000 pounds) and rests on all 28 wheels without support, the first of its kind.
The 385 feets long Stratolaunch aircraft features two cockpits and six Boeing 747 engines. It’s capable of carrying payloads up to 550,000 pounds.
Allen in a tweet on Wednesday, said: “@Stratolaunch came out of the hangar for fuel testing. More pictures soon!”
Allen founded the company in 2011 as part of a plan to make travel to low Earth orbit more accessible.
On LinkedIn last year, the Microsoft co-founder, wrote: “Opening up access to (low Earth orbit) will deliver many benefits. For example, we could deploy more satellites that would enable better understanding of why our weather patterns are changing and help increase agricultural productivity. And, we could study atmospheric chemistry more closely to better study and mitigate climate change.”
Stratolaunch CEO, Jean Floyd, in a statement, said: “This was a crucial step in preparing the aircraft for ground testing, engine runs, taxi tests, and ultimately first flight”
He added that the aircraft will start testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port over the coming months, with plans for a launch demonstration in 2019.