Stratolaunch Complete First Phase of Aircraft Engine Testing

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft (Credit: Dylan Schwartz)

MOJAVE, Calif. (Stratolaunch PR) — Stratolaunch Aircraft Hits Another Milestone with Completion of First Phase of Engine Testing

The Stratolaunch team is proud to announce that our aircraft is one step closer to providing convenient, reliable, and routine access to low Earth orbit.

We hit another important milestone this week by completing the first phase of engine testing. For the first time we started the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

Engine testing was conducted with a build-up approach and consisted of three phases. First as a ‘dry motor,’ where we used an auxiliary power unit to charge the engine. Next, as a ‘wet motor,’ where we introduced fuel. Finally, each engine was started one at a time and allowed to idle. In these initial tests, each of the six engines operated as expected.

It has been a busy, exciting, and productive several months since the aircraft left the hangar for the first time and began ground and flight line testing.

Stratolaunch engine (Credit: Dylan Schwartz)

The team completed fuel testing, testing all six fuel tanks to ensure proper operations. Each of the six fuel tanks were filled independently to ensure proper operations of fuel mechanisms and to validate the tanks were properly sealed.

In addition to fuel testing, we began testing the flight control system. So far we have exercised the full limits of motion and rate of deflection of control surfaces on the wing and stabilizers.

Building up to this week’s engine tests, prerequisite testing of the electrical, pneumatic, and fire detection systems were completed successfully.

Over the next few months, we will continue to test the aircraft’s engines at higher power levels and varying configurations, culminating to the start of taxi tests.

As we work toward that milestone, we look forward to sharing additional details on the aircraft’s journey.

Mr. Jean Floyd
Chief Executive Officer, Stratolaunch Systems Corporation

  • Dave Erskine

    A one-off behemoth…. developing slowly and seemingly passed by as technology advances- space products are small, more nimble and appropriate. Ok, not Falcon Heavy. But, hey, I’m geeking like any 66yo aero-space brat. Ooooh! Bright Shiny…. Go for it Pauly A!

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    It’s his money, so go for it. Not quite sure what the utility of 3 Pegasuseses at once is.

    Also, whenever I hear/read “Paul Allen”, I think of American Psycho.

  • I’m pretty sure the correct term is Pegasi.
    And the paint scheme isn’t white, it’s bone.

  • Douglas Messier

    Oh no
    There goes Fresno
    Go go Birdzilla

  • Jeff2Space

    Step 1: Build huge twin fuselage, six engine carrier aircraft which will be quite costly to develop and maintain.

    Step 2: ???

    Step 3: Profit!

    Seriously though, there is still little in the way of concrete plans for what this thing is going to launch.