Stratolaunch, the massive airplane that is being built by Scaled Composites to deliver satellites to low Earth orbit, successfully ran all six of its Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines for the first time this week, the company has announced. The engines, which previously powered a Boeing 747, support a payload capacity of more than 150,000 pounds and an operational range of about 2,000 nautical miles. At 385 feet from wingtip to wingtip, Stratolaunch is the largest airplane, by wingspan, ever built.
“Several failures in close succession” by a jet’s flight crew were the probable cause of a runway excursion at LaGuardia Airport last October, according to the NTSB’s final report, issued Thursday. The Eastern Air Lines Boeing 737-700, a chartered flight carrying then-vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence and campaign staff, overran Runway 22 during landing. None of the 11 crewmembers or 37 passengers were hurt in the incident.
Two brothers in Seattle, working as Egan Airships, have built a drone that combines features from both fixed-wing aircraft and blimps to create an aircraft that can hover, take off and land vertically, and fly at up to 40 mph. The 28-foot-long aircraft weighs less than 55 pounds and uses a patented streamlined envelope design, rotational wings and an extended tail. The Plimp aircraft is expected to be commercially available by early next year, the company said.