Local

July 13, 2012

March ARB takes on the Super Guppy

Tags:
by Darnell Gardner
452 AMW public affairs
Guppy 1

The transit alert parking area at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., was the brief resting place of a very awkward looking aircraft, referred to as the “Super Guppy,” on June 28. It was just a quick gas-and-go for the flight crew and their hulking aircraft, but for onlookers from March ARB, it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Bystander Val Ubaldo, 452d Installation Personnel Readiness section said without hesitation, “I don’t know what it is.” Curiosity, amazement and wonderment, were part of the “wow-factor” that kept him fixated on the oddly shaped aircraft. He could not resist asking flight line personnel servicing the aircraft questions about the aircraft’s shape, mission and why it was here. When told it was a NASA aircraft transporting the space shuttle trainer’s crew compartment, his search for answers was satisfied so he continued to look on while taking a few pictures.

The Super Guppy sprouted wings in 1962, after being specially designed from the base of a KC-97 and a Stratocruiser. The aircraft were cut in half horizontally, extended 16 feet, then grossly expanded in diameter, taking on the image of a guppy with a swollen cranium.

They were initially assigned as transport platforms for the European Space Agency, but after noting the aircraft’s versatility, NASA decided to join the list of users.

The Super Guppy has the capacity to carry up to 26 tons of cargo. Its cargo compartment is 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide, and 111 feet long. The nose of the aircraft opens more than 200 degrees to the side, allowing for easy uploading and downloading of cargo.

“When fully loaded with cargo, we get about 240 knots of true airspeed,” said “Ray-J” Johnson, aircraft commander. “We are not a performance-driven platform, because of our payload and shape. We have to fly at low altitudes, which greatly increases our fuel consumption.”

“We are moving about 3500 pounds of cargo today for NASA, but we can also be contracted to move cargo for other entities,” said Johnson, who is also an astronaut.

The Guppy received a full complement of ground services from the March transit alert crew and then continued on its journey to Travis Air Force Base, Calif.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(Official U.S. Air Force photo)

Knowing the facts: National American Indian Heritage Month

(Official U.S. Air Force photo) Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was the highest ranking officer of Native-American ancestry and the first general lost in action during World War II. November is National American Indian Heritage Mo...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card Program

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on Nov. 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. “VA continues to focus on implementation...
 
 

Red Cross shares top safety tips for Thanksgiving

Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have a safe trip. The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use...
 

 

Officials Highlight Health, Wellness Resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj....
 
 
HBI

Tips for getting enough healthy protein in your diet

At a time when over a third of American adults are obese and childhood obesity rates are rising exponentially, more Americans are looking for meat alternatives in their dining choices. In fact, close to 16 million Americans are...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin