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31st of August 1965

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

It was on this day in 1965 that the Aero Spacelines Super Guppy (B-377-SG/SGT Super Guppy) made its first flight.

The Super Guppy is the successor of the lesser-known Pregnant Guppy, it was built in two variants with a production of 5 aircraft only. The first Supper Guppy, the prototype, was a (massive) modification of the military version of the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, the C-97J Turbo Stratocruiser. The fuselage was extended to 141' (28.8 meters). the fuselage diameter was increased to 25'(7.6 meters), with the cargo floor being 8'9"wide. The useful length o the cargo bay was 94'6"(28.8 meters). Besides the obvious fuselage modifications also the sewing and tail were changed and P&W T-34-P-7WA turboprop engines were fitted. The maximum payload was 54.000 lbs (24.000 kg) with a cruise speed of 260 knots (300 mph / 480 kph). This was the Aero Spacelines B-377-SG Super Guppy


The second version was the Super Guppy Turbine. Were "Turbine" indicates that it had different turboprops than the prototypes. It was fitted with Allison 501-D22C turboprop engines.

Compared to the prototype this version, for the most part, was constructed from the scratch. This let to a wider floor of the cargo compartment, which was 13; (4.0 meters). Also the cargo compartment length increase to 111'11"(34.0 meters). With the design improvements from the prototype (new engines, fuselage improvements and pressure cabin the Super Guppy Turbine could carry 52.500 lbs (23.800 kg) of cargo,

Not everything was build from the scratch, some parts of the original aircraft (Boeing 377 Stratocruiser) were retained;

  • Cockpit

  • Wing

  • Tail

  • Main Landing Gear

As nose gear, the nose gear of a Boeing 707 was used. Worth mentioning is that the gear was installed backwards compared to the Boeing707 installation. This resulted in a level cargo bay floor, making loading and unloading easier. This was the Aero Spacelines B-377-SGT Super Guppy Turbine (Guppy 201),


Out one the 5 Super Guppy aircraft being built only one is still operational


  • The prototype is on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, USA

  • Serial number 001 has been scrapped

  • Serial number 002 is on display at the Musée Aeronautique Aeroscopia in Toulouse, France

  • Serial number 003 is on display at the Airbus factory, Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, Germany

  • Serial number 004 is this active for NASA, based at El Paso International airport, Texas, USA.

Two retired NASA T-38 trainers atop a mobile transporter

are loaded aboard NASA's Super Guppy


Specification for the Aero Spacelines B-377-SGT Super Guppy Turbine;

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4

  • Length: 143 ft 10 in (43.84 m)

  • Wingspan: 156 ft 3 in (47.63 m)

  • Height: 48 ft 6 in (14.78 m)

  • Empty weight: 101,500 lb (46,040 kg)

  • Gross weight: 54,500 lb (24,721 kg) (payload)

  • Max takeoff weight: 170,000 lb (77,111 kg)

  • Powerplant: 4 × Allison 501-D22C turboprop engines, 4,680 shp (3,490 kW) each

  • Propellers: 4-bladed constant-speed fully-feathering propellers

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 250 kn (290 mph, 460 km/h)

  • Cruise speed: 220 kn (250 mph, 410 km/h) economical cruise at 20,000 ft (6,096 m)

  • Range: 1,734 nmi (1,995 mi, 3,211 km)

  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m) certified


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