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Stratolaunch, set up by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is created to launch satellites into space from its wing.

Washington D.C [U.S.A], April 14: The world's largest airplane took off for the first time on Saturday morning.

"Today's flight furthers our mission to provide a flexible alternative to ground-launched systems, Floyd said".

Stratolaunch, the world's largest airplane with a 385-foot wingspan, took off and successfully landed for the first time in the California desert on Saturday. We do this by enabling convenient, affordable, and routine, airline-style access to space that empowers the world's problem solvers - so that they can collect rich and actionable data and drive advancements in science, research, and technology from space. It's got six engines, two fuselages and a wingspan wider than a football pitch. The aircraft is created to take rockets weighing as much as 400,000 pounds to 35,000 feet for launch and will tap into the burgeoning market for communications, reconnaissance and broadband satellites being put between 300 and 1,200 miles in altitude.

In the next three years, after completing the test phase, Stratolaunch expects to launch satellite-bearing rockets into space.

It hit a top speed of 304 kilometres per hour (189 mph) and reached an altitude of 17,000 feet or 5,182 meters.

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Pilot Evan Thomas reportedly said the experience was "fantastic" and that "for the most part, the airplane flew as predicted".

The test team conducted standard aircraft testing exercises. The Stratolaunch is powered by six enormous Pratt & Whitney PW4000 jet engines formerly used on the Boeing 747 that only used four engines.

Stratolaunch aircraft first emerged from its Mojave hangar in 2017 and underwent ground tests, including taxiing and rolling down a runway at near-takeoff speeds. "Really, for a first flight, it was spot on".

Paul Allen, a founder of Microsoft, funded the project and announced plans for Stratolaunch in 2011.

"The aircraft is a remarkable engineering achievement and we congratulate everyone involved".

There have been concerns about how Stratolaunch's business will work once it takes on customers, with some questioning whether a trend toward smaller satellites would dampen demand for such a large plane.