pregnant guppy plane
Although NASA was lukewarm on the concept, Conroy mortgaged his house and founded Aero Spacelines International to build and operate the concept aircraft.. Many of the drawings were done by STRATO, E. Stanly and A.M. Kaplan. Airbus' Pregnant Guppy The Airbus Guppy livery is now on my website in the repaints section under "military and vintage" - help yourselves. [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. The Pregnant Guppy in early flights during 1963. John Conroy, inventor of the Pregnant Guppy and Super Guppy. @twv23 thx. 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. NASA has a long history of developing specialized transportation devices for its rockets and equipment.Â While the Super Guppy was big, it was still far short of the size and load bearing capacity needed to transport the Space Shuttle fleet.Â For that requirement, NASA instead settled on a piggy back design, mounting the Shuttle on a set of pylons above the top of a Boeing 747 that had been modified specifically for that purpose.Â Meanwhile, Airbus and Boeing borrowed from Conroy’s Pregnant Guppy concept and build their own “volumetric” designs.Â These specialty aircraft still fly today all over the world. Thanks Charlie, “My favorite thing about the Guppy is that it is unique. Not your average flying fish. The entire rear section (including tail surfaces) was detachable to allow cargo to be loaded directly into the fuselage. By eagleworks4u in forum FSX Replies: 3 Last Post: 12-24-2009, 02:50 PM. Data from Jane's All The Worlds Aircraft 1965–66, Jane's All The Worlds Aircraft 1971–72, Outsize cargo conversion of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. 3.1 years ago. What cargo aircraft can lift the greatest load (in weight, not cube) in the world today? 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 name Aero Spacelines selected for its unique plane was a natural. During the early years, the transportation of outsize cargo has always been a dilemma for government and private logistics planners. The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy is a mammoth and commodious cargo transport aircraft that is used to haul oversized cargo components. The design also inspired similar … I have a modification shop that rebuilds Stinson Gullwings and saw your note on this site. ... Guppy prop plane download for FSX. Ricavato sulla base del precedente Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, modificato per trasportare carichi eccezionali, il Pregnant Guppy è stato il primo aereo prodotto … Taylor, Michael J.H. Designed by Aero Spacelines, an American aircraft manufacturer from 1960 to 1968, the Super Guppy was introduced in 1965. Digging Deeper As stated above, the Super Guppy had been developed from the Pregnant Guppy which in turn was based on the C-97 military cargo plane, itself based on the … The NASA ocean-going tug, Apollo, loaded with an S1C rocket stage. However, the NASA management doubted that it could work.Â Several professional aeronautical engineers reviewed the concept and declared it unworkable.Â One NASA official quipped that the contraption looked like a “pregnant guppy”.Â The trip wasn’t entirely a loss, however, as he found some interested and supportive parties — if he could make it work, they told him, a contract would likely follow….Â But of course, no guarantees.Â One of those who expressed support was the famous Wernher von Braun, who liked Conroy’s swashbuckling, can-do attitude. Among its early duties was transporting the first and second stages of the Gemini program's Titan II from the Martin Co. in Baltimore, Maryland to Cape Canaveral. The plane flew perfectly and when they landed, the tower controllers recalled the crash trucks and fire engines. It was a version of the Boeing Stratocruiser airliner, on which the first two thirds of the fuselage had been blown up like a balloon to create a cavernous cargo space. If so by what company? 5,246 DJ123. The Pregnant Guppy on the ramp in preparation for NASA test flights and pilot evaluation in October 1962. For more photos of the Pregnant Guppy, Super Guppy and Super Guppy Transport, visit:  The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. NASA pilots Joe Vensel and Stan Butchart would work with John Conroy to evaluate the plane at Dryden.Â Photo Credit:Â NASA. 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 moon program. In honor of the earlier NASA officials off-handed comment, he named the plane the “Pregnant Guppy.” The Pregnant Guppy (registered N1024V) was built from an ex-Pan Am airframe with a five-m section from an ex-British Overseas Airways Corporation aircraft (G-AKGJ) added immediately behind the wing. The plane is based at Ellington Airport in Houston, near NASA's Johnson Space Center. The owner of Strato was a man named Abraham Moses Kaplan. The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy is a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft that is used for hauling outsize cargo components. The former Stratocruiser became a B-377 PG: the Pregnant Guppy. section of fuselage from a second Stratocruiser … I serviced N1038V a few times when it stopped over at the base. The construction was done in three main phases. Returning to California with the promise of a contract Conroy was able to hold his creditors at bay while the team at Aero Spacelines did the work to turn the mock-up into a real cargo carrier.Â They cut away the “inner” fuselage and rewired the plane and control systems to allow the huge cargo bay to be used.Â The plane flew perfectly.Â Soon they had put over 50 hours of test flying.Â The last remaining challenge was to prove that the plane could carry the heavy loads required. Conroy presented his plan for the modified plane to NASA, where an official said it looked like a pregnant guppy. The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy was first created in 1962 as a successor to the aptly-named Pregnant Guppy cargo aircraft. L'Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy era un quadrimotore da trasporto a fusoliera allargata sviluppato dall'azienda statunitense Aero Spacelines nei primi anni sessanta. On September 19, 1962, they logged the first test flight. While, planes’ performances are somewhat shape dependant, but aesthetics really aren’t anything to simply ignore and overdoing them is perhaps even more awful. I am attempting to find out what happened to Strato Engineering. The Super Guppy … I was in the USAF stationed at DMAFB from 1964 to 1968 and was an aircraft refueler. Eugene Stanley is my father-in-law.  The design inspired other later designs, such as the jet-powered Airbus Beluga and Boeing Dreamlifter. I was 19 years old the first time I saw it land and takeoff and I thought it was amazing something that big could actually fly! The aircraft was named for its striking resemblance to 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.  The design also … He had a storied aircraft career from his time as a Thunderbolt pilot in WW2 through many commercial and military aviation projects all the way into the 1990s, including his time at Strato. This was done by adding a 16 ft. 8 in. Apparently, Jack Conroy had GREAT confidence that his design would work! Retrieved October 5, 2006. "Model 377 Stratocruiser Commercial Transport", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Aero_Spacelines_Pregnant_Guppy&oldid=990907994, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 05:26. All of us in my family watched later when the plane made its takeoff as George Putnam reported on the historical flight. Photo Credit: NASA. Aero Spacelines fabricated a large dome that was mated to the top of the fuselage, which resulted in the iconic Pregnant Guppy. It was the successor to the Pregnant Guppy, the first of the Guppy aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines.Five were built in two variants, both of which were colloquially referred to as the "Super Guppy". ... nose at the front of the huge plane. 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. At just over 19’ in diameter, this massive cavity was specifically designed to carry the second stage of a Saturn rocket for the Apollo program. ui_manufacturer=Boeing ui_type=377 "Pregnant Guppy" ui_variation="NASA" ui_typerole="Four Engine Prop" ui_createdby="A2A … By the way, Airbus actually used a fleet of Super Guppies to transport airplane pieces before they developed their Belugas. The aircraft first flew on September 19, 1962, piloted by Conroy and co-pilot Clay Lacy. Photo: Unknown Wikipedia Commons. One Saturday we went to the airport and stumbled on the biggest airplane we had ever seen. The Pregnant Guppy loads a Saturn booster. The Pregnant Guppy was constructed using B-377 N1024V and parts of B-377 (c/n 15976). Flying is one thing and flying with grace like the Concorde is another.  The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. Wait, what was that plane I had requested again? The head of the drafting group was Eugene “Gene” Stanley, a former pilot in WW2. Conroy returned to California and mortgaged his house, used his personal savings and borrowed everything he could to build the plane on his own.Â Â He even sold his car to fund the project.Â It still wasn’t enough and he was able to find venture capital funding from William Ballon.Â Lacking funds to “do it right”, he coined an operating phrase that would carry him through the project, “Built to suit, draw to match, and paint to cover.”Â In essence, Aero Spacelines cut years off of the development time by just doing it, cobbling the parts together with 2×4 braces, hope and baling wire.Â What worked they drew into engineering plans after the fact.Â While risky, Conroy just had to hope that his prototype would fly. Give me a call 570-836-4800. NASA was finding that barge transport of their increasingly large space program components from manufacturers on the West Coast to test and launch sites on the East Coast was slow and expensive. My background was flying in Navy P-3 Orions, so Gene and I had plenty of great flying stories to share. With the beginning of the 1960s, Kennedy had declared that America was on the way to the Moon.Â NASA found it had a problem shipping newly constructed rockets from its west coast contractors to Cape Canaveral in Florida.Â The original plan, putting them on ocean-going barges through the Panama Canal, proved unworkable.Â The trip took two to three week and, on arrival, the fragile rocket boosters were dented, dinged and corroded from the salt spray.Â On hearing of NASA’s quandary, John Conroy had looked across the field at Van Nuys where his friend, aircraft broker Leo Mansdorf, had been storing B377 Stratocruisers that he had acquired, uncertain if they had any resale value.Â Surely, the big planes could be used, he thought, and it just might solve two problems — NASA’s and Mansdorf’s. In the summer of 1963, the Pregnant Guppy began flying NASA cargo. Conversion work was undertaken by On Mark Engineering. Photo Credit: NASA. Otherwise, the procedures and characteristics are the same as the standard Stratocruiser. Once on the ground, the engineers lightened the aircraft by 8,000 pounds before the next test flight.Â After a demonstration flight for NASA with a mock-up of the rocket booster on board, the airline signed a contract to fly on revenue runs — Conroy and Aero Spacelines were in business. Specially designed to be able to carry components for the Gemini Space Program, the aircraft then called the Pregnant Guppy had the largest cargo compartment of any plane that had ever been built.. Built from a heavily modified KC-97 Stratotanker, the Pregnant Guppy featured the largest cargo compartment of any aircraft ever built. Because of the restrictions of land travel, passing ov… The various Guppy aircraft served throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond, initially transporting space components, and later, as NASA scaled down its operations after the success of the Apollo program, transporting airliner sections.. I came to this site to get a link to some photos of the Guppy for a friend of mine after telling him my story. The wing, engines, tail, nose, and cockpit were unchanged, but a new upper fuselage of 6 m diameter was added, giving the aircraft a "triple-bubble" appearance in front view. The name stuck. cool 3.1 years ago. The new plane had cost over $1,000,000. • "Model 377 Stratocruiser Commercial Transport" by Boeing. 17.8k SemedianIndustries. That was a memorable experience for sure. Photo Credit: NASA. The Super Guppy's most precious cargo was the lunar-excursion module Eagle and the command ship Columbia flown by Apollo … Do you have any info on what happened to the company? A Super Guppy, with its nose and cockpit opened for loading, takes in the X-24B and HL-10 lifting bodies for transportation to WPAFB in May 1976. In 1960, U.S. airlines were disposing of their obsolete piston-engined Boeing 377 Stratocruisers in favor of the newer jet-engined airliners. Letoun Pregnant Guppy byl první z řady letounů Guppy vyrobených společností Aero Spacelines. Those were the days when you could ride your bike into the airport and ride around looking at some really cool planes. As the space program increased through the late 1960s, it became clear that this one aircraft could not carry the whole transport load, and so 25 more Stratocruisers and ex-USAF C-9… Photo Credit: NASA. The Super Guppy is the descendant of the Pregnant Guppy, the first Guppy aircraft produced by the company. A Super Guppy departs Edwards AFB en route to Johnson Space Center. There were a few others in the past but this is the last operating Guppy in the world. So Aero Spacelines created the Very Pregnant Guppy, with an inner diameter of 25 feet and a cargo compartment 94Vi feet long. Being a bit of a plane nerd at the time, I knew all about the Pregnant Guppy. The coastal plain gave way to the hills and straight ahead was the town of Boron, California.Â They were still skimming the tops of bushes and hills as they neared the town.Â As an awkward silence filled the cockpit.Â Nothing seemed to work, even as the pilots gingerly tried to climb the plane.Â If they turned, they would fall off their altitude and hit the ground. He would have to borrow fuel for the cross country flight.Â Conroy had over $1 million invested in the project — he was flat broke and had a long line of creditors hounding him. Thanks for your great site! It's a Plane: One man's obsession, it helped get us to the moon Tripp, Robert S. Spring 2002, American Heritage of Invention and Technology "Boeing 377 Pregnant Guppy" by Kenneth W. Shanaberger. Np bro. 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. 628 twv23. The idea for this ridiculous looking plane was originally NASA’s, for carrying bits of … First, Aero Spacelines had to lengthen the fuselage enough fit the 40 ft. long Saturn S-IV stage. Among its early duties was transporting the first and second stages of the Gemini program's Titan II from the Martin Co. in Baltimore, Maryland, to Cape Canaveral. I personally made many of those drawings including the bulkhead at the back of the cockpit as well as the installation of airflow ducts for ventilation into the tail section, and many other routine drawings involving the modification — so many I don’t even remember any of them specifically. In summer 1963, the Pregnant Guppy commenced cargo flights for NASA. Sadly, Gene is no longer with us, but the success of the Guppy project he and so many of you participated in lives on. “ Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. Did it get bought out? I own some of the old Wardlow STC’s for the conversions to the Stinson SR-10F. The plane flew much as a normal Boeing 377, with the exception of some additional drag. Anything you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Studio Editions. Retrieved October 5, 2006. I am working on a project which started with the stress analysis provided by Strato. I was raised in Van Nuys, near Balboa Boulevard and a few miles from the Van Nuys Airport. Updated August 31, 2004. In case you were wondering how the Guppy … 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. 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. Retrieved … I’d like to talk to you sometime if you did any work on the Stinson project for Wardlow. The stairs were down so we parked our bikes and went inside.
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