TECH
26/02/2015 11:55 GMT | Updated 26/02/2015 11:59 GMT

This Is The World's Largest Plane, And It Shoots Space Ships

This is the world's largest plane. Or at least it will be when it finally gets built.

It's called the "Roc", it was commissioned by Stratolaunch, it has a wingspan larger than a football field is long and it's going to be offering a 'cheap' alternative to space launches by taking rockets most of the way.

Powered by six Boeing 747 engines, the "Roc" is actually being built in the Mojave, California by Scaled Composites, the same company that has built Virgin Galactic its space fleet.

stratolaunch

With a wingspan of 385ft, "Roc" will be able to lift the custom-built three-stage Thunderbolt rocket to high altitude at which point the rocket will detach and continue its journey into low Earth orbit.

Despite its gargantuan size, the aircraft will only need a crew of three who will be located in the right-hand section of the fuselage.

Stratolaunch hopes to start full flight testing in a years time with full launch operations starting in 2018.