Stratolaunch Accepts First 747 for New Launch Aircraft

A retired United Airlines 747 in front of the Scaled Composites hangar in Mojave. (Credit: Stratolaunch Systems)

HUNTSVILLE, AL, February 15, 2012 (Stratolaunch PR) – Today Stratolaunch systems closed on purchase of the first of two Boeing 747-400 aircraft that are being purchased from United Airlines.

Stratolaunch contractor Scaled Composites of Mojave California with support from their subcontractor BAE Systems has developed a complete plan for how the engines, landing gear, hydraulics and other subsystem components of these aircraft will be disassembled and reintegrated into a custom composite aircraft to be built by Scaled Composites in Stratolaunch’s new integration facility being built at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Tail number N196UA made its final journey on its way to becoming part of a revolutionary new aircraft last Friday and after final receiving inspection we have accepted the aircraft from United.

“The arrival of the first 747 aircraft in Mojave is extremely exciting for our team. This demonstrates Mr. Allen’s commitment to press forward with establishing a space transportation system that will change the way we currently perform space launch,” said Gary Wentz, CEO and President of Stratolaunch. A second aircraft will arrive in Mojave in late February to provide most of the remaining 747-400 components needed to assemble Stratolaunch’s new mother ship.

Editor’s Note: The aircraft had been sitting outside the Scaled Composites hangar in Mojave for almost three weeks. It was towed down the flight line on Thursday and now sits in front of the large BAE Systems hangar.