Local

December 7, 2012

NASA’s Super Guppy: Air and space power working together

Tags:
by Tech. Sgt. Christine Jones
4th Combat Camera Squadron
Guppy3
121128-F-GQ530-106.JPG

“Able to carry satellites and rockets in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a guppy?!?”

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Super Guppy, designated as 377SG-201, spent the night at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., Nov. 27, awaiting cargo that called for its versatile airlift capability. The incredible aircraft, specifically designed to transport oversized cargo, was tasked with transporting  a large metal ring. The ring of tooling will be used by the fabrication folks to create the heat shield for the Orion rocket.

“Like a cupcake tin is used to form the cupcakes, this tooling is used to form the heat shield, which ensures all the critical dimensions are the same each and every time,” said Stuart Williams, NASA’s lead engineer on the project.

“It looks funny, plus it’s an aircraft we don’t normally work with,” said Sgt. Augustine Corona, load team supervisor, 452nd Aerial Port Support Flight. “I was in charge of the entire cargo loading process and ensured everyone was safe. I had to stay on my game and not be distracted by the sight of this amazing airplane.” Corona’s primary duty at March ARB is assisting forward-deploying Marines. Supporting the Super Guppy mission was definitely something new for him and his crew.

The potential, historical impact of the Super Guppy’s mission and loading its special cargo provided a first-time training opportunity for many of the March Airmen. “We had some young Airmen out here that have never seen an airplane like this,” said Tech. Sgt. Corona.

The massive, tadpole-shaped aircraft is not only one-of-a-kind in appearance, but also in the operation of its cargo door. A disconnect system at the fuselage break allows the nose to open 110 degrees without interfering with the flight controls. Most Air Force aircraft load from the rear, so this was an unusual experience for Team March Airmen.

“Before yesterday, I’d never heard of the Super Guppy and now I know that it’s the only one out of five still in operation,” said Staff Sgt. Vanessa Reed, a broadcast journalist who documented loading of the Super Guppy with 4th Combat Camera Squadron. “The components it’s picking up are part of the most advanced space craft to date, it really feels like I just witnessed history.”

This aerospace wonder has a super-sized cargo area that is 25 feet in diameter and 111 feet long. In comparison, a C-17 Globemaster III cargo compartment is 18 feet in diameter and only 88 feet long. Its specialized ability to transport oversized, oddly shaped cargo puts it in a class by itself — no other plane in the world can match its uniqueness.

In the past, the NASA aircraft proved its one-of-a-kind capabilities when tasked to transport cargo such as a pair of Navy T-38s; spacecraft parts and tools; and even a V-22 Osprey, with its tail intact. In addition, the Super Guppy has been credited with transporting Saturn Rockets and International Space Station modules.

This aerospace propulsion superhero’s Southern California visit facilitated a rare training opportunity between Air Force, NASA, and aerospace corporations.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

March Key Spouse Program kicks off initial training

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Valerie Fioretta, key spouse facilitator and director of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, March Air Reserve Base, explains an exercise to participants during an init...
 
 
(photo courtesy/March Aero Club)

Retired nurse flying high at March Aero Club

(photo courtesy/March Aero Club) Joan Cooper, a retired U.S. Navy nurse, stands next to a plane at the March Aero Club. Cooper recently received her private pilot license after a year of flying with the Aero Club. If you are in...
 
 

RNC announces holiday wreath laying, gravesite decorating schedule

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside National Cemetery (RNC) will once again be the site for Wreaths Across America, a campaign begun in 2006 that invites people across the country to decorate the gravesites of Veterans interred in the 131 national cemeteries, with holiday wreaths created by the Worcester Wreath Company of Maine. Cadets of the Civil...
 

 
(courtesy photo)

Distinguished Marksman among the 452d AMW

(courtesy photo) Staff Sgt. Rodger E. Scrivner, client systems technician, 452nd Communications Squadron from March ARB, California, poses with his rifle and badges that he earned making him a double-distinguished marksmen, con...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

March airmen repair base water drainage channel

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Senior Master Sgt. Robert Montgomery, heavy equipment superintendent, 163rd Civil Engineering Squadron, California Air National Guard, March Air Reserve Base guides an exca...
 
 

Ghost stories, paranormal experiences abundant at March Field

(Final in a five-part series on things that go bump in the night) You may not have noticed that last week’s ghost story left you hanging. What did the chaplain see when he looked out the window in his door? What did your imagination tell you? Did you finish the story? Read on and you...
 




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