Just out of curiosity - Airplane Guys

I know you was funnin'... but for those that don't know, gear is almost always left down on a maiden flight. Two reasons. They'll have strain gauges hooked up to measure airloads and such just to verify design data. You can swing the gear successfully all you want in the hanger, it's a whole different animal doin' it with 150kts of air blasting on it..... that and it's damned embarrassing to do a gear up landing on the maiden flight. ;)
What you are saying Jim is that there is a hard earned reason for the saying "Baby steps".

P38 20mm canon being test fired after maintenance.
A P38 raiding mission. https://acepilots.com/usaaf_mitchell.html
Always thought there were some strong advantages to using an airplane " first stage to space"
Read a good article on that the other day. I'll put it up here if I remember where it was.... :doh:

The gist of it was the structural design. Rockets are designed for vertical loading. They're made like a soda can if you will... very light skins that carry the structural loads. In order to transition from horizontal to vertical flight, there's some pretty heavy side loading involved... much more than our thin skinned tubes can handle.
Designing and building a rocket to handle the air and side loads for an airplane launch would add enough weight to negate any advantages an air launch vehicle would have, and then some.

ROC (the airplane in the vid) has a useful load capability of half a million lbs. SpaceX's largest vehicle weighs 11 million lbs. Even if we reduced that weight by a factor of 10, it's still twice as heavy as what ROC can lift... and ROC is in a class by itself.

The physics say no.