March 27, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (Boeing 377 Stratocruiser)

This week's serving of cheesecake features a bizarre-looking civilian transport/cargo aircraft the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, which was derived from a military transport, which itself was derived from the B-29 bomber of WWII:


In the 1960s, some of the 377s were modified to carry the third stage of the Saturn V moon rockets (the Saturn IVB) from its assembly plant in California to Florida. These variants were dubbed the Pregnant Guppy and the Super Guppy:



(Much information on these bizarre planes can be found at this great page. And according to this NASA page, Airbus manufactured a Super Guppy recently and traded it to NASA for transport of space station components!)

Posted by JohnL at March 27, 2005 10:54 PM

I remember seeing one of these "guppies" in Alaska when I was a teenager (flying from the US to Japan). I commented to my Father it was the oddest looking airplane I had ever seen (Dad was a pilot). Dad told me it was for transporting large structures.....neat!

Posted by: Timothy at March 28, 2005 08:42 AM

Glad you liked it. I'm amazed that one was recently used to ferry some parts for the International Space Station. The Airbus "Beluga" is a modern variation on the same theme (and has itself carried some ISS parts).

Posted by: JohnL at March 28, 2005 12:41 PM

I've been inside a Supre Guppy. It *IS* nice & roomy. They had pictures of when they carried a C-130, sans wings & vertical stabilizer (the tall tail thingy at the back). Most impressive!

Posted by: Ranten N. Raven at March 28, 2005 04:44 PM
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