larshall

World’s largest airplane - Stratolaunch with 6 747 engines ...

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It's undeniably an incredible bit of engineering. Wouldn't fancy a dual engine failure on one wing in that thing at V1 though, and even without any engine problems, I bet it will feel bizarre to be sat in the starboard cockpit on the take off roll trying to keep it lined up on the runway lol. Going to be amazing to see that thing finally take off though, that's for sure. Good job it's got an MTOW of 1.3 million lbs though, it'll need that to lift the test pilot's massive balls off the ground lol

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I think it is a great concept, with the number of 747-400's coming out of service those engines will be in surplus, no wonder this was his engine of choice

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Not quite sure, design-wise, why they didn't go for a high-mounted tailplane which went all the way across between both vertical fins, like it is on for example, the OV-10 Bronco. Seems to me that would have made the airframe a bit more structurally rigid and ensured anything slung underneath it was well clear of causing turbulence to the elevators, but I guess they must have their reasons.

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That's a really scary-looking configuration esp. with all that weight - would love to witness the first test flight...  

(Can't wait till I can download it for FSX - any painters out there?)

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5 hours ago, Chock said:

It's undeniably an incredible bit of engineering. Wouldn't fancy a dual engine failure on one wing in that thing at V1 though, and even without any engine problems, I bet it will feel bizarre to be sat in the starboard cockpit on the take off roll trying to keep it lined up on the runway lol. 

Nah, they have these things called cameras now. Just slap a GoPro on the center wing and feed it to a cockpit MFD.

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15 minutes ago, Paraffin said:

Nah, they have these things called cameras now. Just slap a GoPro on the center wing and feed it to a cockpit MFD.

Why do you need a crew at all? just make these things into the worlds largest drones. That would be safer for flight testing and carrying the explosive payloads (rockets)

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13 hours ago, ytzpilot said:

Why do you need a crew at all? just make these things into the worlds largest drones. That would be safer for flight testing and carrying the explosive payloads (rockets)

Good point, although I can think of two reasons why it would be manned. As a drone, it might be more restricted in flight path to avoid populated areas (although I guess they'll be doing that anyway). And second, you just know these billionaire-funded projects will have to include a seat for the CEO. If it were me, I'd sure want at least one flight in the thing!

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Is it just me, or do the nose and cockpit areas(s) look a bit reminiscent of the nose and cockpit of the Rockwell B-1 Lancer?

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Right, the Kerbal game is a good way to understand the concept. You spend a lot of rocket mass and fuel just getting up out of the drag in the lower atmosphere. And then all that becomes dead weight you have to cast off (or recycle like the SpaceX booster). This is just another alternative for re-using the "booster." 

The SpaceX idea scales up better for large payloads. This looks like it might be competitive for smaller projects, like launching small rockets with multiple tiny satellites.

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Thanks to the OP for this.

Some old hands may remember the BBC's Tomorrow's World when incredulity was raised at some of the scientific predictions made, when the 747 first was touted.Who'd think that aircraft which got nicknamed a Jumbo would be out-sized by the A380? So, look forward to this massive bird actually lift off.

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