Stratolaunch’s mega-plane gets first taxi test

Stratolaunch plane
The world’s biggest airplane taxis along the Mojave Air and Space Port’s runway during a ground test conducted by Stratolaunch. For a size comparison, note the pickup truck driving between the plane’s twin fuselages. (Paul Allen via Twitter)

That’s one more not-so-small step for Stratolaunch’s giant airplane: The space venture’s founder, software billionaire Paul Allen, is showing off a 34-second video of the twin-fuselage aircraft as it aced its first taxi test on the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Allen said the test was conducted Dec. 16, marking a rare outing for the plane that’s destined to serve as a flying platform for launching rockets into space. In a Dec. 17 tweet, he promised that there’d be “more to share soon.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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