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The world's largest aircraft Roc completed its longest flight.
On January 13, the world's largest aircraft Roc (Stratolaunch Model 351) with a wingspan of 385 feet (117.3 m) from Stratolaunch Systems made a second test flight with a payload prototype of the Talon-A hypersonic airborne aircraft. This was the Roc's ninth test flight overall, lasting 6 hours, a record in test history.
In addition to the record duration of the flight, the aircraft was also for the first time in the airspace outside the territory of the Mojave Desert.
The Roc took off from the site of the Mojave Aerospace Port in southeastern California on Friday morning and landed there six hours later, at 5:51 p.m. local time. According to representatives of Stratolaunch, during the flight the plane reached an altitude of 22,500 feet (6860 meters). The previous test flight of the Roc took place in October last year.
It is reported that tests with a payload under the Captive-carry program with a hypersonic glider Talon-A fixed on a pylon are preparation for the next stage - tests with separation of Talon-A from Roc and subsequent landing. These tests are expected to start at the end of the year.
Stratolaunch CEO and President Zachary Krevor noted the progress in the test schedule, adding that the company is very close to the next stage, which includes both testing the separation of the Talon-A hypersonic airframe from the pylon and starting its test flights.