Video of world’s biggest plane with hypersonic launch is best thing you’ll see today

  • This is the moment the world’s largest plane, the Roc, launched a hypersonic craft
  • The super-sized aircraft is powered by six Boeing 747 engines
  • It completed its first test flight earlier this year

Published on Jun 20, 2024 at 11:55 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jun 20, 2024 at 6:38 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Incredible footage shows the moment the world’s biggest airplane launches a hypersonic aircraft. 

The Roc, designed and built by Stratolaunch, has a wingspan of a whopping 117 meters (385 feet) and is used to carry and ‘air launch’ hypersonic vehicles – as you can see in the clip above. 

The super-sized aircraft is powered by six Boeing 747 engines and has the capacity to carry more than 223 tons (500,000 lbs). 

READ MORE! The world’s biggest airplane has 6 Boeing 747 engines

As the plane is larger than a standard American football field it needs plenty of space to take off – 3,657 meters, to be exact. 

Although, don’t mistake the world’s largest aircraft for the world’s biggest passenger plane.

The plane completed its first test flight this year

In March this year, Stratolaunch proudly announced the Roc had successfully completed its first powered flight of the Talon-A test vehicle, TA-1. 

The Roc launched from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California while carrying a hypersonic Talon-A test vehicle – or TA-1 – inside. 

It then released the hypersonic at an altitude of around 10,668 meters (35,000 feet) before speeding away.

Speaking after the launch, Zachary Krevor, president and CEO of Stratolaunch, said: “Today was a great day for the Stratolaunch team.

“I am extremely proud of their perseverance to reach this point.

“The successful outcome of the test is a direct result of the team’s technical prowess and professionalism.”

It’s used to launch hypersonic aircraft

Stratolaunch will use the data from the March launch to prepare for an upcoming flight of a reusable version of the TA-1 hypersonic, called – you’ve guessed it – TA-2. 

He went on: “While I can’t share the specific altitude and speed TA-1 reached due to proprietary agreements with our customers, we are pleased to share that in addition to meeting all primary and customer objectives of the flight, we reached high supersonic speeds approaching Mach 5 and collected a great amount of data at an incredible value to our customers. 

“Our goal with this flight was to continue our risk reduction approach for TA-2’s first reusable flight and be steadfast in our commitment to delivering maximum value to our customers. We are excited to review the data from today’s test and use it as we plan our next steps toward TA-2’s first flight later this year.” 

And we’ll make sure to keep you posted on that as.

Various airspace giants, like NASA, are also developing hypersonic vehicles to achieve even more in the world of aviation and go bigger, better, and faster.


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.