Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Watching the Super Guppy land at the USAF Museum

Today was a rather interesting day for those of us in the Dayton, Ohio area. Although the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force was not selected to receive an actual Space Shuttle - still a rather sore subject around here - we were selected to receive another piece of Shuttle history, the Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT). For most of the life of the Shuttle program, the CCT was housed at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Once the trainer was ready for transport it was time to move it to Ohio. It's not a tiny piece of equipment, weighing in at around 11 tons. So that meant it would have to make the trip on a rather unique aircraft - NASA's B-377-SGT Super Guppy.

It's not every day that you get to see airplanes land at the USAF Museum. The museum sits on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base's Area B. A closed runway is adjacent to the museum's hangars; it was a hotbed for military flying for years but today is only used for special events and deliveries to the museum. I took a half-day vacation and headed over this afternoon in time to grab a spot as close to the runway as I could.

I caught the very end of the Super Guppy's approach and landing on video

The airplane made one pass overhead and then set up a wide pattern for landing. It crossed low over Harshman Road, located at the end of the runway, and touched town less then 1,000 feet down the 7,000 foot runway. Quite an impressive short-field approach! It was a very cool sight to see and I'm glad I had the chance to witness it in person. Hope you enjoy some of the photos I was able to capture below...









  

Be sure to check out the CCT the next time you visit the museum. It's already on display and the full, permanent display is scheduled for completion later next year! As always, just a reminder that you can access any of my posts about the museum by clicking on the USAF Museum tag in the navigation bar to the right or at the bottom of the posts.

4 comments:

  1. Nice shots of the flying beluga!

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    1. Thanks! She's a weird bird, that's for sure.

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  2. That thing is crazy looking!
    Did you happen to catch the B2 flyover at the Air Force Marathon over the weekend?!

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    1. I didn't; we flew up to MI yesterday. Did have a KC-10 flying 1,000 feet underneath us practicing approaches, though!

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