‘World’s biggest plane’ completes first flight

A giant aircraft with the world's longest wingspan has landed after its first ever flight.

The twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet landed two hours after taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

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The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
Heavy black smoke rises from one of the six engines starting, before the first test flight of the world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, lands during its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, makes its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
The world's largest airplane, built by the late Paul Allen's company Stratolaunch Systems, takes off on its first test flight in Mojave, California, U.S. April 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
El Stratolaunch, un gigantesco avión de seis motores con la envergadura de alas más larga del mundo, inicia en California su primer vuelo el sábado 13 de abril de 2019. (AP Foto/Matt Hartman)
Stratolaunch, a giant six-engine aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan , makes its historic first flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif., Saturday, April 13, 2019. Founded by the late billionaire Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch is vying to be a contender in the market for air-launching small satellites. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
Stratolaunch, a giant six-engine aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan , makes its historic first flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif., Saturday, April 13, 2019. Founded by the late billionaire Paul G. Allen, Stratolaunch is vying to be a contender in the market for air-launching small satellites. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., sits behind a model aircraft during a news conference for the launch of his new venture Stratolaunch Systems Inc. in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Allen said Stratolaunch Systems Inc. will bring 'airport-like operations' to space flights, including eventual human missions. The first flight is planned within five years. Photographer: Kevin P. Casey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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The company said the jet hit altitudes of up to 17,000 feet above the Mojave Desert while performance and handling qualities were evaluated.

CEO Jean Floyd said the aircraft made a "spectacular" landing, adding it was amazing to "watch this majestic bird take flight".

Established by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Stratolaunch is vying to be a contender in the satellite launch market. Mr Allen died in October 2018.

The aircraft is designed to release rockets attached to the centre of its enormous wing, which stretches 385 feet from tip to tip.

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