The Stratolaunch Model 351 is a twin-body aircraft from Scaled Composites. It is 73 m long and has a wingspan of over 117 m.
The aircraft was designed as a carrier. It is capable of lifting 250 tons into the air as a payload. At the same time, the maximum take-off weight of the Stratolaunch Model 351 is more than 589 tons.
The aircraft performed the first flight test over the American Mojave Desert. There is also a special hangar where this giant was rolled out in 2017.
According to the plan, the Stratolaunch Model 351 is to be used to launch space-type rockets using the air launch method. The rocket starts at the moment when the carrier aircraft reaches an altitude of more than 10 km and a certain (sufficient) speed. The designers create an airplane, the rocket on which will be located between its two fuselages.
So far there is no data on how much the United States is going to produce such carrier aircraft, as there is no data on the number of crew members of the Stratolaunch Model 351.
As noted, the first flight tests made it possible to clarify a number of characteristics of the aircraft-launch platform. The creators of the machine will use this data to further work on the Stratolaunch Model 351.