Otherwise, the procedures and characteristics are the same as the standard Stratocruiser. Photo credit: NASA/MSFC/Janet Sudnik The Super Guppy also benefited from upgraded engines, which are the same as those in Lockheed's P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft, though its cruising speed of 250 … The Super Guppy is the descendant of the Pregnant Guppy, the first Guppy aircraft produced by the company. As the plane taxied out toward the runway, the air traffic controllers on duty looked at amazement at the monstrous addition bolted to the top of the fuselage.Â Surely, nothing that weird could fly, they reasoned.Â With a sinking feeling, they realized that the pilot intended to take off.Â What they were looking at seemed a monstrosity — an ex-Pan Am Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, lengthened at the center point with a 5 meter long extender piece taken off a different B377 (this one ex-BOAC) with a huge, bulbous cargo hold ballooned over the top of the fuselage.Â When the pilot stopped at the hold short line and requested permission to take off for a first test flight, the tower controller first reached for the phone to scramble the crash trucks and fire engines.Â With that accomplished, he intoned, “Aero Spacelines, you’re cleared for take off….”Â As the plane started to roll, all eyes were on it — and not a few bets were placed that it wouldn’t fly. As the space program grew through the late 1960s, this one aircraft clearly could not handle the whole transport load, so 25 more Stratocruisers and ex-USAF C-97s were purchased to construct four Super Guppy aircraft, which were even longer and larger than the original. There were a few others in the past but this is the last operating Guppy in the world. The U.S. Department of Defense and government contractors also have tapped the Guppy's capabilities to move aircraft and large components around the continent, including T-38s for the Air Force and V-22s for the Navy. A Super Guppy departs Edwards AFB en route to Johnson Space Center. 628 twv23. NASA pilots Joe Vensel and Stan Butchart would work with John Conroy to evaluate the plane at Dryden.Â Photo Credit:Â NASA. [See more photos of NASA's Super Guppy swallowing jets] The first Guppy aircraft, called the Pregnant Guppy, was built from a heavily modified KC-97 Stratotanker in 1962 by the California-based company Aero Spacelines. In the end, John Conroy’s Super Guppy was the key aircraft that got America to the Moon.Â Wernher von Braun gave Conroy and his company the ultimate compliment when he summed it up succinctly, “The Guppy was the single most important piece of equipment to put a man on the moon in the decade of the 1960s.”Â Against all odds and based on just his own faith in his idea, his own funds and his hopes, John Conroy had made history. section of fuselage from a second Stratocruiser … The Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy was a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft built in the United States and used for ferrying outsized cargo items, most notably NASA's components of the Apollo program. In 1960, U.S. airlines were disposing of their obsolete piston-engined Boeing 377 Stratocruisers in favor of the newer jet-engined airliners.  The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. The plane is based at Ellington Airport in Houston, near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Thus, in the Spring of 1963 the plane was readied for its heavy lift test flight at Mojave, California.Â Sandbags and a full fuel load pegged the plane at its projected maximum gross weight.Â The pilot that day was Jacky Pedesky.Â As the plane lumbered down the runway, everything was within operating limits.Â When the pilot pulled back on the control yokes, the plane rotated and slowly rose into the air — too slowly, in fact.Â It seemed only barely able to climb.Â Without sufficient runway ahead to land, they had no choice but to press on.Â The airspeed was pegged at 128 kts — the plane was lumbering along just above the ground.Â Gingerly, they inched upward into slowly rising terrain ahead.Â For every foot they climbed, the terrain rose underneath the plane equally. The entire rear section (including tail surfaces) was detachable to allow cargo to be loaded directly into the fuselage. Unlike the Pregnant Guppy, the Super Guppy is pressurized, making it possible to fly above weather. She and her little sister, the "Pregnant Guppy," have carried a billion dollars worth of space equipment for NASA, and undoubtedly helped to speed up the US timetable for conquest of the moon. L'Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy era un quadrimotore da trasporto a fusoliera allargata sviluppato dall'azienda statunitense Aero Spacelines nei primi anni sessanta. The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. The Super Guppy's most precious cargo was the lunar-excursion module Eagle and the command ship Columbia flown by Apollo … This was done by adding a 16 ft. 8 in. It was the successor to the Pregnant Guppy, the first of the Guppy aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines, which in turn was named for its resemblance to a pregnant guppy.Five were built in two variants, both of which were colloquially referred to as the "Super Guppy". The NASA ocean-going tug, Apollo, loaded with an S1C rocket stage. The plane flew perfectly and when they landed, the tower controllers recalled the crash trucks and fire engines. 3.1 years ago. However, the huge aircraft performed flawlessly, the only difference in handling being a slight decrease in speed caused by extra drag of the larger fuselage.  The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. Might answer some questions. What cargo aircraft can lift the greatest load (in weight, not cube) in the world today? I serviced N1038V a few times when it stopped over at the base. Carrying the S-IV Saturn I rocket stage, the Guppy saved three weeks' transit time versus barge, for a cost of $16.00 (equivalent to $131.9 today) per mile (1.6 km).. The plane flew much as a normal Boeing 377, with the exception of some additional drag. Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication on the Guppy project and countless others that made this country great. Letoun Pregnant Guppy byl první z řady letounů Guppy vyrobených společností Aero Spacelines. 2.9 years ago. I am attempting to find out what happened to Strato Engineering. In case you were wondering how the Guppy … The Pregnant Guppy was sold to American Jet Industries and registered N126AJ for scrap and it was finally scrapped at Van Nuys in 1979. The idea for this ridiculous looking plane was originally NASA’s, for carrying bits of … The Pregnant Guppy was constructed using B-377 N1024V and parts of B-377 (c/n 15976). First, Aero Spacelines had to lengthen the fuselage enough fit the 40 ft. long Saturn S-IV stage. In August 1962 I was a draftsman at Strato Engineering, a Burbank firm subcontracted to AeroSpace and charged with making drawings for the conversion process on the Pregnant Guppy. Built from a heavily modified KC-97 Stratotanker, the Pregnant Guppy featured the largest cargo compartment of any aircraft ever built. I am working on a project which started with the stress analysis provided by Strato. The Super Guppy … The Pregnant Guppy in early flights during 1963. To test the project, first the team added the ex-BOAC lengthening section and test flew it.Â It worked fine, though it was a minor modification.Â Then, they had to do the real work of adding the huge “volumetric” cargo hold atop the fuselage.Â Conroy had the skin bolted on, leaving the regular fuselage in place for strength and to reduce the number of modifications needed.Â On September 19, 1962, they logged the first test flight.Â The plane flew perfectly and when they landed, the tower controllers recalled the crash trucks and fire engines.Â In honor of the earlier NASA officials off-handed comment, he named the plane the “Pregnant Guppy.”Â He had to take it to NASA’s offices in Alabama to show them that the concept worked, yet he had no money left. By the way, Airbus actually used a fleet of Super Guppies to transport airplane pieces before they developed their Belugas. Even before the Pregnant Guppy made its first flight, however, both NASA and Conroy knew they needed a roomier plane. Semedian Boeing Pregnant Guppy. ... Guppy prop plane download for FSX. The design also inspired similar … A large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft, the Super Guppy refers to either of two variants: the first Super Guppy (SG), or the second "Super Guppy Turbine" (SGT).The aircraft was a successor to the Pregnant Guppy which got its name from its resemblance to (surprise, surprise) a pregnant guppy. The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy is a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft that is used for hauling outsize cargo components. , Conroy presented his plans for an extensively modified Stratocruiser to NASA, where an official commented that the bloated aircraft resembled a pregnant guppy. At first the Super Guppy supported NASA’s Gemini Program’s Titan II transportation requirements.Â The plane would position to Baltimore, Maryland, and pick up Titan II rocket stages and fly them to Cape Canaveral.Â Based on the success of the aircraft and his new contracts with NASA to also support the Apollo Program, John Conroy built a larger version of the aircraft with an even larger cargo hold.Â This would be based on a YC-97J, which he called the Super Guppy.Â In the end, he built 25 of the Super Guppy modifications to address the large demand from NASA for heavy lift of high cubic volume equipment and rocket components.Â Each aircraft was customized to the requirements of NASA’s upcoming space flight needs.Â The B377 could transport Apollo S/C and components, while the YC97J was specially built to carry S-IVB stages, instrument units, LEM adapters and F-1 engines.Â After negotiations, Conroy and NASA settled on a price of $16 a mile for flights of the larger Super Guppy.
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