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Old 09-25-2003, 12:11 PM   #1
Undertoad
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:22 PM   #2
Senor Oso
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 01:36 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 03:32 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:22 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:34 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 07:36 PM   #7
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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."
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Old 09-25-2003, 07:40 PM   #8
lhand
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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.
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:23 PM   #9
Nothing But Net
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Guppy sounds wimpy.

Looks more like a porpoise, anyway.
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:40 PM   #10
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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?
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Old 09-25-2003, 10:16 PM   #11
xoxoxoBruce
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They were emailed to my by an old boss that's retired.
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Old 09-26-2003, 03:17 AM   #12
Jaxxon
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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)
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Old 09-26-2003, 12:20 PM   #13
andcal
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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!
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Old 09-27-2003, 02:04 PM   #14
xoxoxoBruce
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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.
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Old 09-27-2003, 04:43 PM   #15
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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"?
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