LOS ANGELES — Billionaire Paul Allen's Stratolaunch, a massive aircraft designed to launch rockets into space from high altitude, was rolled out of its hangar Wednesday in the Southern California town of Mojave for the first time in preparation for testing.
Here are things to know about the program that has been underway since 2011:
It's really big: The Stratolaunch aircraft is enormous, with a wingspan totaling 385 feet, longer than the wingspan of any other aircraft and greater than the length of an American football field. Its twin fuselages stretch 238 feet.
By comparison, the H-4 flying boat — nicknamed Spruce Goose and built by Howard Hughes in the 1940s — has a 320-foot wingspan and is just under 219 feet long. Among commonly seen aircraft, the double-decker Airbus A380's wings span 262 feet.
Weight and power: The Stratolaunch aircraft weighs 500,000 pounds empty, can carry 250,000 pounds of fuel, and with payload can take off at a maximum weight of 1.3 million pounds. It's powered by six jet engines of the same type used by Boeing 747s.