THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRPLANE IS UP FOR SALE FOR $400 MILLION

  • Holding company Vulcan is seeking to sell Stratolaunch at $400 million, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.
  • Vulcan is the investment conglomerate of late billionaire Paul Allen.
  • There are several possible suitors for Stratolaunch, especially the most active space industry trio of billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.
  • While it’s unknown if either Musk’s SpaceX or Bezos’ Blue Origin is pursuing a purchase of Stratolaunch, people familiar tell CNBC that Vulcan has spoken to Branson about selling Stratolaunch to his Virgin Group.

Stratolaunch, which is the world’s largest airplane and has flown only once, is up for sale.

Holding company Vulcan is seeking to sell Stratolaunch for $400 million, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. Vulcan is the investment conglomerate of late billionaire Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder. Allen died last October following complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The hefty price tag includes ownership of the airplane as well as the intellectual property and facilities.

Stratolaunch is the world’s largest airplane by wingspan, which stretches 385 feet — longer than an American football field. The plane is powered by six jet engines salvaged from Boeing 747 aircraft.

Allen’s vision of a massive plane that can launch rockets from the air was at least partially fulfilled in April, when Stratolaunch flew for the first time after about eight years in development. Based at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the giant airplane flew for more than two hours before landing after what was deemed a successful first flight…

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