digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft
Stratolaunch-apogee.jpg
Artist's depiction of Stratolaunch carrier at apogee, just before launching spacecraft (center vehicle) into orbit.
Role Space Launch Carrier
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Scaled Composites
First flight projected for 2016
Status In development
Number built 1

The Scaled Composites Model 351 (nicknamed the "Roc"), is being built for Stratolaunch Systems to provide a platform from which air-launch space missions can be staged.[1] With a wingspan of 117 m (385 ft), the design has the longest wingspan of any airplane to date (July 2015).[2]

In August of 2015, Scaled Composites president Kevin Mickey stated the company has so far assembled "roughly 200,000 pounds of composite structure" for the vehicle and if put on an American football field, "its wingtips would extend beyond the goalposts by 15 feet on each side."[3]

Each of the twin fuselages of the aircraft is 238 feet (72 metres) long and will be supported by 12 main landing gear wheels and two nose gear wheels. It will require 12,000 feet of runway to lift-off.[4]

As of November 2015, the rocket or payload for the mega aircraft has not been publicly announced, after two previous plans—SpaceX Falcon 9 Air and Orbital ATK Pegasus II rocket design concepts—had been shelved.

History[edit]

The project was started nearly a year prior to the December 2011 public announcement. Dynetics began work in early 2011, and had approximately 40 employees working on the project at the time of the announcement, as of December 2011. SpaceX efforts began only shortly prior to the public announcement.[5]

In January 2012, Stratolaunch CEO Gary Wentz made it explicit that Stratolaunch would name the carrier aircraft only later. The "mothership is currently known only by its Scaled model number: M351."[6]

Construction progress on the giant hangar being built in Mojave, California for the Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft was given in an October 2012 story at Parabolic Arc.[7] The first of two manufacturing buildings, the "88,000 square foot facility [to] be used to construct the composite sections of the wing and fuselage sections" was opened for production in October 2012, two months ahead of schedule and on budget.[8]

In October 2013, the first flight of the carrier aircraft was expected in 2016, with the first flight of the air-launched rocket in 2018.[9]

As of April 2015, the aircraft was 40% complete, with fabrication of parts at 80%.[10] In November 2015, Stratolaunch CEO Gary Wentz "stepped down as president and CEO of Stratolaunch Systems to join United Launch Alliance to lead human launch services" for ULA. Vulcan Aerospace ended its contract with Orbital ATK in mid-2015 and indicated that a decision on a new rocket for the Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft would be made in late 2015.[11]

Design[edit]

The Model 351 has a structural similarity to the Scaled Composites White Knight Two. It features two main fuselage sections joined with a common wing with a centrally mounted Mating and Integration System (MIS) capable of handling a 230,000 kg (500,000 lb) load and being developed by Dynetics. Each fuselage has its own horizontal and vertical stabilizer. Three engines are positioned on pylons outboard of each fuselage. The cockpit is positioned within the right fuselage.[12]

The aircraft will be powered by six 56,000 lbf (250 kN) Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines[13] that were obtained from "two used 747-400s that will be cannibalized for engines, avionics, flight deck, landing gear and other proven systems that can be recycled to cut development costs."[5] As of April 2012, two former United Airlines Boeing 747-400 aircraft (Serial numbers 28715 & 28716) have been acquired and are currently stored at the Mojave Air & Space Port.[14]

The primary launch cargo was originally slated be a multistage booster developed by SpaceX. However in December 2012 Stratolaunch announced that they had amicably parted company with SpaceX due to the design evolving away from a good fit with SpaceX's long-term business model. In late 2012 and early 2013, Stratolaunch worked with Orbital Sciences Corporation to develop an alternative rocket conceptual design.[15] By May 2013, Orbital was under contract to develop the Pegasus II for Stratolaunch, with a payload of 6,100 kg (13,500 pounds).[16]

The Orbital contract work was ended in mid-2015, and Stratolaunch has not publicly announced a new plan for the rocket or payload for the large aircraft as of November 2015.[11]

World's longest wingspan[edit]

Allen and aircraft initial[17] concept designer Burt Rutan stated that the carrier aircraft would have a wingspan of 117 m (385 ft),[18] This would make it the largest airplane, by wingspan, to ever fly.[19]

Specifications (Stratolaunch Systems Carrier)[edit]

Wingspan comparison of the Stratolaunch carrier with other large airplanes

Data from [20]

General characteristics

  • Length: 238 ft (73 m)
  • Wingspan: 385 ft (117 m)
  • Gross weight: 1,300,000 lb (589,670 kg)
  • Powerplant: 6 × Pratt & Whitney PW4056 turbofan, 56,750 lbf (252.4 kN) thrust each

See also[edit]

Related development

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/stratolaunch-orbital-air-launch/
  2. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3184219/World-s-biggest-plane-launch-2016-Designers-reveal-megaplane-send-astronauts-orbit-using-mini-shuttle.html
  3. ^ http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/04/largest-plane-in-the-world-stratolaunch-test-flights-2016/
  4. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/world-largest-plane-construction-calif-article-1.2131231
  5. ^ a b Mecham, Michael; Frank Morring, Jr. (2011-12-20). "Allen Places Big Bet On Air Launches". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2011-12-23. Dynetics has been under contract to Vulcan for almost a year and has some 40 employees on the project so far. SpaceX joined more recently, and the overall team is still working through details of how to progress toward its 2016 first launch. 
  6. ^ Belfiore, Michael (2012-01-05). "Stratolaunch: world’s biggest airplane to launch spaceships". Retrieved 2012-01-14. The mothership is currently known only by its Scaled model number: M351 ...[with design] planned for completion by late summer of next year ... [and to] begin flight testing in late 2015 in Mojave, with rocket test launches from the airplane to begin at Cape Canaveral in late 2016. 
  7. ^ Messier, Doug (2012-10-05). "Space Goose’s Nest Grows in the Mojave". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved 2012-10-07. 
  8. ^ Lindsay, Clark (2012-10-23). "Stratolaunch opens production facility at Mojave spaceport". NewSpace Watch. Retrieved 2012-10-27. (subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Norris, Guy (2013-10-04). "Stratolaunch quietly making progress". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  10. ^ Patrick Clarke (17 April 2015). "Paul Allen Launches 'Vulcan Aerospace' to Enhance Space Travel". Travel Pulse. 
  11. ^ a b Stratolaunch’s Plans Up in the Air, Jeff Foust, SpaceNews, 18 November 2015, accessed 28 November 2015.
  12. ^ W.J. Hennigan (14 December 2011). "Paul Allen to build behemoth plane for space launches". The Los Angeles Times. 
  13. ^ Mecham, Michael (2011-12-14). "Stratolaunch Aims to Break Affordability Barrier". Aviation Week (New York). Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  14. ^ "Scaled Composites Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Stratolaunch News Page". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Bergin, Chris (2013-05-25). "Stratolaunch and Orbital – The Height of Air Launch". NASA SpaceFlight. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  17. ^ Belfiore, Michael (2012-01-23). "Burt Rutan on Designing the World’s Largest Aircraft". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2012-01-20. In 1991, to address a requirement to launch a booster heavier than 500,000 pounds, [Rutan] did the Model 205 and 206 preliminary designs. ... "About 10 years ago, to encourage innovation and design responsibility among the young engineers at Scaled, I took on the status of design advisor, while the title of Principal Configuration Designer went to a very talented team of designers, including Jim Tighe, Cory Bird, Bob Morgan and others. Except for the Bipod roadable aircraft, all the airplanes designed at Scaled after SpaceShipOne were not Burt Rutan designs." 
  18. ^ Paur, Jason (2011-12-13). "Microsoft Billionaire Paul Allen Launches New Space Venture". Wired (New York). Archived from the original on 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  19. ^ "Paul Allen to unveil Stratolaunch Systems today". newspacejournal.com. NewSpace Journal. 2011-12-13. Archived from the original on 2011-12-17. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  20. ^ Inside The Roc's Lair AviationWeek 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-09-20.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_Stratolaunch — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
122 videos foundNext > 

Stratolaunch Systems, A Paul G. Allen Project

6/14/13: Stratolaunch Systems unveils a new design concept for its revolutionary space transportation system. Watch the video or visit ...

Burt Rutan talks about Stratolaunch

Burt Rutan is an aerospace engineer renowned for designing Voyager (the first plane to fly around the world without refueling) and the Paul Allen-funded ...

Stratolaunch systems - (by Paul G. Allen, SpaceX, Scaled Composites and Dynatics) demo video

[Video from Stratolaunch systems.] - http://robotpig.net.

White Knight: Commercial Space Flight - Amazing Documentary

Scaled Composites White Knight: Commercial Space Flight - Amazing Documentary TV The Scaled Composites Model 318 White Knight (now also called White ...

Stratolaunch World's Largest Aircraft 1st Flight scheduled 2016

Stratolaunch will soon be the largest plane in the World. The Stratolaunch is currently in production at California's Mojave Air and Space Port. Aerospace firm ...

Stratolaunch Самый большой самолет в мире

Stratolaunch Самый большой самолет в мире Наш сайт http://portal47.wix.com/zavaylov ВКонтакте https://vk.com/club102273615 ...

Retro Rocket #46; Stratolaunch Systems

I talk about Burt Rutan and Paul Allen's Stratolaunch Systems. Photo and graphics; Scaled Composites & Stratolaunch Systems.

Mojave Air & Space Port 2012

Mojave Air & Space Port 2012 On the western edge of the Mojave desert in Kern County, California, there is a place like nowhere else on Earth. In the skies over ...

CEO Newsletter January 2013

CEO Stuart Witt talks about accomplishments during 2012 and expectations for 2013 at Mojave Air & Space Port.

World's biggest plane to launch in 2016

World's biggest plane to launch in 2016: Designers reveal megaplane could send astronauts into orbit using a mini shuttle The Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft will ...

122 videos foundNext > 

21 news items

 
Satellite PR News (press release)
Sun, 20 Dec 2015 08:52:30 -0800

Stratolaunch, competitive project to Virgin SpaceShipTwo or more to Launcher One, after almost five years of development probably will change its final shape. It is possible that Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder and founder of Vulcan Inc. and ...
 
Telegraph.co.uk
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:29:41 -0700

Scaled Composites Stratolaunch Another concept model, this could become the carrier aircraft for Stratolaunch Systems, a space transportation venture based at the Mojave Space Port. It would have a wingspan of 380 feet, the largest of any plane ever built.

NBCNews.com

NBCNews.com
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 06:15:00 -0800

He backed the SpaceShipOne project along with the legendary but now retired aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, founder of Scaled Composites. Stratolaunch, started in 2011, is working on a carrier aircraft that looks like a scaled-up version of Virgin ...
 
Houston Chronicle
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:33:04 -0700

He may not succeed, of course. The landscape of new space is littered with failures. When workers at XCOR, Scaled Composites, Stratolaunch, Virgin Galactic or any of the dozen new space companies at Mojave drive to their offices, it's impossible to ...

Midland Reporter-Telegram

Midland Reporter-Telegram
Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:29:23 -0700

When workers at XCOR, Scaled Composites, Stratolaunch, Virgin Galactic or any of the dozen new space companies at Mojave drive to their offices, it's impossible to miss the symbolism at the heart of the spaceport. There, a prototype of Rotary Rocket's ...

iXBT.com

iXBT.com
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:33:03 -0700

Постройкой самолета занимается компания Scaled Composites, Stratolaunch будет использовать шесть двигателей от самолета Boeing 747-400. Размах крыльев Stratolaunch составит 117,3 м, при этом крупнейший серийный авиалайнер в мире ...

Softpedia

Softpedia
Wed, 14 Dec 2011 03:00:49 -0800

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen pledged some $200 million of his own wealth for founding and funding Stratolaunch Systems, a new commercial space venture that will transport cargo and tourists to low-Earth orbit. In order to get things off the ground, ...

Engadget German

Engadget German
Tue, 04 Aug 2015 00:07:30 -0700

2011 hat Microsoft-Mitgründer Paul Allen die Firma Stratolaunch gegründet, um fliegende Raketenstarts zu realisieren: Ein gigantisches Flugzeug soll eine Rakete Huckepack nehmen und in eine optimale Abschussposition bringen, aus der sie dann - bereits ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight