Stratolaunch Hits 136 MPH in Taxi Test, Pops a Wheelie

Stratolaunch carrier aircraft lifts front landing gear off runway in high-speed taxi test. (Credit: Stratolaunch)

Stratolaunch continued high-speed taxi tests at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Wednesday. The company tweeted that the aircraft reached a speed of 136 mph (219 kph or 60.8 m/s) and lifted the front landing gear off runway 12-30.

Stratolaunch aircraft at the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Scaled Composites)

Word in Mojave has it that taxi and flight tests have been delayed over the past month due to weather. If the aircraft had to divert from Mojave, it would land on the lake bed at nearby Edwards Air Force Base. The lake bed has been soaked by rain.

  • Saturn1300

    If controls fail on one fuselage how much twist can the center wing take?

  • Jacob Samorodin

    Next roll-out will be for the first flight of this “Composite Goose”.

  • patb2009

    i’d worry more about loss of control authority.

    Say the right Elevator sticks at 10 degree up angle, now you need left elevator
    at 10 degree down to null out the pitch. Okay, but now the two are acting like ailerons and putting in right roll, so you have to crank a lot of yoke roll to counter that. Okay but
    now you have a lot of the aileron cranked in and elevator cranked in.

    How much more Control do you have left if you hit a rough patch of air?

  • nomo bo

    Why hell, my old ‘68 GTO could hit 130 mph. It couldn’t pop a wheelie but it damned sure woke up a cop in Rocky Ford, GA.

    The StratoGoose ain’t gonna fly, and if it does, it ain’t gonna land in one piece.

    Put it in a museum. You’ll have to truck it there in pieces, though.