The world’s biggest aircraft has completed its maiden flight, delivering the ambitious aerospace dream of Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft who died in October.
The dual-fuselage, six-engine Stratolaunch plane, which was seven years in the making, flew over the Mojave Desert, cruising for two and a half hours at up to 17,000ft (5,200m).
Jean Floyd, the chief executive of Stratolaunch, said: “It was an emotional moment to personally watch this majestic bird take flight . . . without a doubt, he [Allen] would have been proud.
“To see Paul Allen’s dream come to life in front of my very eyes was truly inspiring and incredibly satisfying to me. I had imagined this moment for years but I never imagined the experience without Paul standing…