The world’s biggest plane is a step closer to its first flight, after passing another major milestone.

During the aircraft’s first low-speed taxi test, Stratolaunch successfully travelled down the runway at 25 knots (28 miles per hour). Once testing has been completed, the aircraft will be used to launch satellites and other craft into space.

The main purpose of the test was to put the aircraft’s ability to steer and stop through its paces.

A ground team from Stratolaunch Systems Corp monitored a number of systems, including steering, braking, anti-skid and telemetry.

All objectives of this test were achieved.

In a written statement George Bugg, aircraft program manager at Stratolaunch, said: ‘This was another exciting milestone for our team and the program.

‘Our crew was able to demonstrate ground directional control with nose gear steering, and our brake systems were exercised successfully on the runway.

‘Our first low speed taxi test is a very important step toward first flight. We are all proud and excited.’

Since the first engine runs in September, the Stratolaunch team has performed a series of engine tests from a newly established Stratolaunch Mission Control Center (MCC) located at its facility at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The MCC serves as the Seattle-based firm’s hub for testing communications and will eventually be the centre of its aircraft and launch operations.

Once low-speed taxi tests have been safely completed, the company will begin the next phase of taxi testing, which will include increased speeds.

The plane is the vision of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who wants it to act as a giant air pad in the sky, allowing payloads to reach space faster and at a lower cost than existing technologies.

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The world’s biggest plane is a step closer to its first flight, after passing another major milestone. During the aircraft’s first low-speed taxi test, Stratolaunch successfully travelled down the runway at 25 knots (28 miles per hour). Once testing has been completed, the aircraft will be used to launch satellites...