Scaled Composites Model 351 Stratolaunch
|Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Scaled Composites|
The Model 351 Stratolaunch is an aircraft built for Stratolaunch Systems by Scaled Composites to carry air-launch-to-orbit rockets. The twin-fuselage design is the aircraft with the longest wingspan ever flown (117m), surpassing the Hughes H-4 Hercules flying boat (98m). The Stratolaunch is intended to carry a 250t payload and has a 590t maximum takeoff weight.
The aircraft first flew on April 13, 2019, and shortly thereafter, the company announced it would halt development of its air-launched family of launch vehicles following the death of Stratolaunch founder Paul Allen in October 2018. The company ceased operations the next month, and placed all company assets, including the aircraft, for sale. Cerberus Capital Management acquired Stratolaunch Systems including the Stratolaunch aircraft in October 2019. Stratolaunch announced in December 2019 that it would now be focusing on offering high-speed flight test services.