Many of you are no longer air travel virgins, but we bet our next sweldo you've never seen, much less ridden, something like this gigantic piece of aircraft engineering. Fellas, take a look at the Roc; it's going to be the largest aircraft in human history!
Image via Vulcan.com
With an astounding 385-foot wingspan, the Roc is wider than a friggin' football field. It's the brainchild of Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen and world famous aerospace engineer Burt Rutan. The two men founded Stratolaunch Systems, the company that's now building the Roc. Speaking of which, here's another, GIF-ied look:
GIF via Sploid.gizmodo.com
OMFG, WAS IT REALLY CARRYING A ROCKET? Your eyes weren't deceiving you. The Roc is being built for—get this—launching rockets into space! Awesomesauce!
According to Stratolaunch Ventures, this method will revolutionize space travel and burn less cash compared to conventional on-the-ground launches as less fuel and manpower will be used to fire a rocket. The company also says that this method will not depend as much on weather conditions which means less launch postponements.
Here's a nifty graphic comparing the Roc to other mammoths in the sky:
Image via Sploid.gizmodo.com
A couple more jaw-dropping engineering deets about this flying fortress: It will be powered by six Boeing 747 engines and has two fuselages (the torpedo-shaped portion of an airplane where the wings and tail are connected) measuring almost 240 feet long.
But don't go searching for it on the heavens yet, bro. This giant aircraft is still under construction in California while official operation is scheduled to start in 2018. American TV station KGET 17 scored the first images of the Roc under construction which shows the massive scale of the aircraft compared to a human:
Image via KGET 17
Image via KGET 17
Too bad most of us will never get to ride the Roc given its interstellar purpose. But whatever, we're just glad it's real! Here's to hoping it's safe and secure; nobody wants a king-sized version of this air tragedy, you know.