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   Undertoad  Thursday Sep 25 01:11 PM

9/25/2003: Super Guppy



I had never seen this aircraft before, and was really interested to see it when xoxoxoBruce sent the images of it along. This is a Super Guppy, and its job is to move aircraft sections from point A to point B.

Because once you've started to build an aircraft, what do you do when key parts are to be added at another plant? You need an even bigger aircraft...



One that can actually open its jaw like a snake...



Big enough to swallow and cough up most of a V-22 helicopter fuselage, and to fly it halfway across the country.





I did not know this but the first "guppies" were built for the moon program. Now there are several, apparently; googling for a while showed that Airbus has a few of them too.

It would be frightening to see this in the skies above you.



Senor Oso  Thursday Sep 25 01:22 PM

I'm surprised it's driven by propellors rather than jets - you'd think those big aircraft parts would be pretty heavy.

I wonder if it's tough to pilot? It sure doesn't look very maneuverable at all.



hairdog  Thursday Sep 25 02:36 PM

I saw a couple of these at an airfield in Georgia (can't remember exactly where). They are truly silly looking. The people we were visiting live about 1/4 of a mile away from the airfield and say that the house shakes pretty well when these things take off.



mitheral  Thursday Sep 25 04:32 PM

Props are more effecient than jets at lower speeds and I imagine this thing doesn't fly all that fast. It's why all the water bombers are prop jobs.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Sep 25 05:22 PM

The 4 prop Boeing Stratocruisers (pic of a model in Dodads) were converted to freight when the 707 jet took over. When the space program reved up some of the Strats were converted to the first Guppies.
Good job UT.



Elspode  Thursday Sep 25 06:34 PM

If memory serves, the Super Guppies are the last vestiges of the B-29 airframe. Yes, the same aircraft that dropped the big one on Japan.



gossard187  Thursday Sep 25 08:36 PM

I like how the top is all reflective, reminds me of the coloring of fish: light on bottom so they blend in from below and dark on top so they blend in from above. I'm sure thats not the purpose for the makeup of this plane.

and a good quote on the naming of the various models: "The Pregnant Guppy was followed by the Very Pregnant Guppy, later renamed Super Guppy. They also made a smaller version -- the Mini Guppy."



lhand  Thursday Sep 25 08:40 PM

NASA's Super Guppy

It's the NASA Super Guppy. (Note the NASA logo on the tail.) It was manufactured by Airbus Industries and given to NASA by the Eurpoean Space Agency. More info at http://jsc-aircraft-ops.jsc.nasa.gov/guppy/index.html

It's a cool plane.



Nothing But Net  Thursday Sep 25 10:23 PM

Guppy sounds wimpy.

Looks more like a porpoise, anyway.



LUVBUGZ  Thursday Sep 25 10:40 PM

Super Guppy looks more like a Super Whale. I've never seen one of these. Cool pics Bruce. Did you take them or "steal" them from work?



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Sep 25 11:16 PM

They were emailed to my by an old boss that's retired.



Jaxxon  Friday Sep 26 04:17 AM

Re: 9/25/2003: Super Guppy

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
I had never seen this aircraft before, and was really interested to see it when xoxoxoBruce sent the images of it along. This is a Super Guppy, and its job is to move aircraft sections from point A to point B.
Its job was to move aircraft sections across Europe, from one Airbus assembly facility to another. Airbus stopped using them years ago.

The Super Guppy was replaced by the Beluga. Here's some info:

Official Site
Fan site (German only, but lots of pics)


andcal  Friday Sep 26 01:20 PM

At first, I thought it was an amazing coincidence how perfectly the "large aircraft part" fit inside the Super Guppy. Then I realized that if a company was planning on ever having to transport a piece like this by air, odds are that they could have included the Super Guppy's cargo bay size & shape as a design parameter for that aircraft part. See, there are smart people at work somewhere in this world. Even if they are outnumbered by the rest of us something like 10:1!



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Sep 27 03:04 PM

Actually it was the other way round, The V-22 was designed the replace the CH-46 helicopter that the Navy (Marines) use. The props fold and the wing pivots and stows longitudinally along the axis of the fuselage for shipboard storage. The one wrapped up in these pics doesn't have the wing or engines installed yet.



Elspode  Saturday Sep 27 05:43 PM

The Osprey has a troubling safety record to date. Apparently, transitional flight is a lot harder than anyone dared imagine.

I hope they get it completely worked out. It is a remarkable aircraft. Does anyone know if they've been made available for active duty again, or are they still on "hold"?



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Sep 27 09:06 PM

They never really got deployed Spode. They were still in training (learning curve) mode when they were shut down. They've been going through a series of revisions and government reviews. The contract was changed for a slower ramp up in production but a slightly larger end total.
Weight is always a big problem. At one point one of the engineers came up with a change in the computer that would save 5 oz and they gave he and his wife a 2 week trip to Hawaii. This was back before they got the first prototype in the air.
One crashed on its first flight because the sensors were wired backwards and as soon as it was 3 feet off the ground the computer thought the ship was upside and turned it over. Well it tried anyway. Bunch of people got fired over that one.
The one that crashed in MD on it's way back from testing in FL was wierd. I heard they skipped a stop to make up time as there was a bunch of Generals waiting with a brass band to greet them in MD. Never heard what the offical cause was but they had buzzed the field and were coming around for a landing when they went in the water.
Then they had the stink about the commander falsifying records to make it look like they were available for duty when routine maintainance hadn't been done yet. As I understand it they weren't actually flown with out being serviced but it gave the program a black eye. Probably the commander was pressured by higher ups to do it, but he took the fall.
I still don't know why the one that crashed in the Carolinas had so many people on board while training the pilots in group flight.
In our results oriented society and with the high cost of development on new stuff, they're pushing this new equiptment into service as quickly as they can. Might be too quickly.

Oh..for the record..none of the ships I worked on have crashed.



LUVBUGZ  Sunday Sep 28 10:20 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
One crashed on its first flight because the sensors were wired backwards and as soon as it was 3 feet off the ground the computer thought the ship was upside and turned it over. Well it tried anyway. Bunch of people got fired over that one.

Oh..for the record..none of the ships I worked on have crashed.
Are you telling me that the govnt. actually "fires" peeps who "F" up? That's a new one on me .

That's good to know, Bruce, that none of your handy work has caused a ship to crash. Does that apply on and off record? I didn't know they call flying craft ships too?


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Sep 28 11:08 AM

Quote:
I didn't know they call flying craft ships too?
Absolutely. All our engineering drawings are dimentioned from the "butt line" which is the longitudinal center looking down from the top and the "water line" which just below the windows looking at the side. The detailed views are also labeled "looking inboard" or looking "outboard". The nose is forward and the tail is aft. The first aircraft production was the crafting of wood and linen which drew on people from the shipbuilding trades.


LUVBUGZ  Sunday Sep 28 11:15 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce

Absolutely. All our engineering drawings are dimentioned from the "butt line" which is the longitudinal center looking down from the top and the "water line" which just below the windows looking at the side. The detailed views are also labeled "looking inboard" or looking "outboard". The nose is forward and the tail is aft. The first aircraft production was the crafting of wood and linen which drew on people from the shipbuilding trades.
That's very interesting. Thanks Bruce. I thought they were just called aircraft.


gossard187  Monday Sep 29 03:42 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce

Absolutely. All our engineering drawings are dimentioned from the "butt line" which is the longitudinal center looking down from the top and the "water line" which just below the windows looking at the side. The detailed views are also labeled "looking inboard" or looking "outboard". The nose is forward and the tail is aft. The first aircraft production was the crafting of wood and linen which drew on people from the shipbuilding trades.
But do you still have to make sure your ducks are in a row?


CharlieG  Monday Sep 29 08:58 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
...snip...I still don't know why the one that crashed in the Carolinas had so many people on board while training the pilots in group flight.
...snip...
2 Things - I heard that the 3rd crash was a case of the pilot "Hot dogging" it a bit, and was outside the approved flight envelope - ooops

2)Hook at the early flight record of the CH46, and you won't think the V-22 is so bad. There were more than a few "ooops" events there, that killed quite a few folks until they worked out the kinks


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Sep 29 08:14 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by gossard187


But do you still have to make sure your ducks are in a row?
Not if you use an 8 gauge "goose gun"


darclauz  Monday Sep 29 08:34 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Not if you use an 8 gauge "goose gun"
you nature-loving greenpeacers are all alike, bruce.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Sep 30 12:23 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by darclauz


you nature-loving greenpeacers are all alike, bruce.
For the record I don't own a "goose gun" and I don't hunt.....animals.:p


Your reply here?

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