Assembly of the Stratolaunch, the enormous air launch carrier aircraft venture backed by billionaire Paul Allen, is 76% complete, and it is being readied for engine installation and full systems testing. “This is one heck of an ambitious undertaking. It has never been done before and is the largest wingspan aircraft ever, so that is a big deal,” says Chuck Beames, president of Vulcan Aerospace and executive director of Stratolaunch Systems. Yet, despite clear progress toward ...

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