Elephant Man Cargo Plane: The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy Of The Nasa
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The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy is a transport aircraft for the transport of oversized cargo. The Aero Spacelines is Developed on the basis of the previous modifications " Pregnant Guppy ", released in quantities of five copies in two versions. The first flight made in August 1965.
The first aircraft Super Guppy, or «SG», was built using the fuselage military transport aircraft Boeing C-97 (military version of Boeing 377 ). The fuselage has been lengthened to 43 meters and its diameter is increased to 7.6 m (maximum inner diameter); length of the inner cargo compartment was 28.8 m. The fuselage narrowed down, and the width of the floor was 2.7 m. The nose section of the fuselage opens sideways to load oversized cargo.
On the plane were installed new turboprop engines Pratt & Whitney T-34-P-7. Was redesigned wing and tail. Carrying capacity of the aircraft increased to 24 545 kg, cruising speed - up to 480 km / h.
The second version of the aircraft was officially named the Super Guppy Turbine (SGT); installed on the aircraft turboprop engines Allison T56. Unlike the previous version, the fuselage of the aircraft was re-designed; it is possible to increase the width of the floor of the cargo hold up to 4 m, length of cover - up to 33.8 m, load capacity - up to 24 700 kg.
In the early 1970s, two Super Guppie used by Airbus Industrie for the delivery of bulk parts for final assembly plant in Toulouse. In 1982 and 1983 two more aircraft were built in France by UTA Industries after Airbus acquired the rights to produce the aircraft. With the advent of new transport aircraft of similar configuration - Airbus Beluga - aircraft were withdrawn from constant use.
The last of the five aircraft owned and operated by NASA for the delivery of bulk products for ISS (based at the airport Ellington Field , Houston, Texas). Four aircraft are conserved and are in different countries: USA, UK, France and Germany.
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