After breaking yet another world record by flying nonstop for six hours, the largest plane in the world has gone to the skies to demonstrate that having a 117-meter (385-foot) wingspan does not prevent it from traveling the distance. The current largest plane in the world, Stratolaunch’s Roc, flew for six hours over the Mojave Desert in California before returning to the same airfield, which is longer than it has ever been able to go on previous flights.
Roc is a test platform that will be used to launch Stratolaunch’s true state-of-the-art technology, the Talon hypersonic vehicle. It is powered by six engines and is roughly the size of two commercial airplanes joined at one wing. The Talon is supposed to be utilized in the design of the following generation of hypersonic aircraft and missiles to test hypersonic conditions in actual situations.
Roc has now completed nine flights, the last of which was in October 2022. These flights precede any Talon-A launch tests that may take place later this year.
CEO and President Zachary Krevor said in a statement to Space.com that “the careful analysis of release conditions will offer data to reduce risks and assure a clean and safe release of Talon-A during future tests.”
We are anticipating this year as we launch our hypersonic flight test service for our clients and the country.
Technically speaking, the Antonov-225 “Mriya,” which tragically perished in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, was the largest aircraft ever built (using the plane’s overall dimensions, including weight and fuselage length), but Roc, named after the legendary bird of prey in Middle Eastern mythology, completely outstrips all others in terms of wingspan. Since Roc’s wingspan is 117 meters, or the length of a football field, it is very amazing that this aircraft is even able to fly.