Re: Another mighty initial thrust idea
A ground-level launch will *only* be relevant if the launcher is dangling on a thread — the enormous difference that you don’t seem to see is the ability of the ground to absorb reaction forces from the launch. Though you seem to think it’s minor, that is a HUGE difference, if you have a heavy craft (which our plane, unlike a rocket, is) which has to get moving fast — your claims these factors are irrelevant are meaningless handwaving.
How do you plan to compensate for the 20-times-thicker atmosphere in testing? What I’m saying is this: while a totally unstable test at lower altitude means we’re definitely in trouble, a stable test tells us nothing about a launch in the stratosphere.