The largest plane ever built — the mighty Stratolaunch — is scheduled to take to the skies within the next few months.
The colossal aircraft, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is so big, it requires two cockpits and six jet engines just to get it off the ground.
With a wingspan longer than a football field at 385 feet, it will eventually be used to transport rockets carrying satellites and astronauts into Earth’s upper atmosphere.
At the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado, Stratolaunch revealed it’s now preparing for the plane’s maiden flight this summer.
It has already gone through two taxi tests in the past few months, with top speeds of 28 mph and 46 mph.
Three more tests are planned to see if can reach the required takeoff speed of 138 mph.
Last summer, billionaire Allen revealed the visionary firm’s ambitious plans for the giant record-breaking aircraft.
He told the Washington Post, “I would love to see us have a full reusable system and have weekly, if not more often, airport-style, repeatable operations going.”
When asked about the possibility of manned missions, Allen added: “If you caught the bug back in the Mercury era, of course, it’s in the back of your mind.