Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
M2

NASA911

Recommended Posts

Just watched the Shuttle Shuttle (NASA911) take off from KSKF on its way to KCBM. This is the first time I've seen it, quite impressive.

Here's a pic (not mine) of its approach earlier this morning...

shuttle_2009March002.jpg

And more pics from its blog...

1002914main_texasII_1.jpg

It was in El Paso earlier today...

1002913main_leaving_elpaso2.jpg

Cheers! M2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't know it was in town! I was actually at Lackland this morning, but wasn't near the flightline, so I didn't notice. Now I'm bummed I didn't check it out. I suppose that's what I get for not paying attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted a few pics in the gallery, I probably took about 100. This truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this thing land and takeoff at CBM.

Gallery

med_gallery_1860_47_257929.jpg

med_gallery_1860_47_242722.jpg

med_gallery_1860_47_140647.jpg

Edited by c17wannabe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm assuming it stops so much for fuel, but a 747 with some (Ok a lot) extra drag can't make it from SKF to FL?

(Unless the extra weight greatly restricts the fuel load)

Maybe a dumb question...maybe someone has some insight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shuttle adds a shitload of drag to the 747, along with all its weight too.

I wonder though how much additional lift gets generated thought - it's a massive lifting body attached to the back...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm assuming it stops so much for fuel, but a 747 with some (Ok a lot) extra drag can't make it from SKF to FL?

(Unless the extra weight greatly restricts the fuel load)

Maybe a dumb question...maybe someone has some insight

Not sure of the weather that day, but the 747/shuttle combo has to have clear air to fly. The shuttle tiles can be damaged if they fly through rain. So, they may do a zig-zag across the country trying to get to KSC while avoiding/waiting out cloud cover and rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the shuttle falls like a brick, so I wouldn't exactly call it a lifting body...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the shuttle falls like a brick, so I wouldn't exactly call it a lifting body...

Yeah, it drops out of the sky about as fast as the credibility of Major Jill Metzgar..... :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, it drops out of the sky about as fast as the credibility of Major Jill Metzgar..... :thumbsup::thumbsup:

ZING!

From: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Sh...arrier_Aircraft

Flying with the additional drag and weight of the Orbiter imposes fuel and altitude penalties. The range is reduced to 1,000 nautical miles (1,850 km), compared to an unladen range of 5500 nautical miles (10,100 km), requiring an SCA to stop several times to refuel on a transcontinental flight. The SCA has an altitude ceiling of 15,000 feet and a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.6 with the orbiter attached. It takes a crew of about 170 a week to prepare the shuttle and SCA for flight.

Edited by Spoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the shuttle falls like a brick, so I wouldn't exactly call it a lifting body...

Not true. While the shuttle is obviously not a long-range glider, its winged design is all about lift generation. I'm not saying it provides positive lift excess to its weight atop the 747, but it's not just dead weight/drag, either. I had the chance to talk to a couple of the NASA pilots when I was stationed at Edwards, they said they hate flying the SCA w/o the orbiter attached: "It flies like crap."

All the issues others have cited (weight, drag, clear wx requirements) notwithstanding, there's also the PR aspect to the multiple-hop model. NASA normally always announces where/when the SCA will be landing, and there are frequently fly-bys, etc., w/ any given leg of the trip.

Edited by Jughead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some of my pics...

IMG_0968.jpg

IMG_0984.jpg

IMG_0989.jpg

IMG_0993.jpg

IMG_0996.jpg

IMG_1008.jpg

IMG_1009.jpg

IMG_1014.jpg

IMG_1018.jpg

IMG_1019.jpg

That last pics is all the people who lined Military Drive to watch the takeofff.

And here are two videos, my camera doesn't do that will with long distances...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder how they get that shuttle tail fairing pod back to Edwards? It looks too big to stuff back in the 747...Super Guppy, perhaps?

NASA still uses a Super Guppy, but I believe it's used to move the external fuel tank components around. It came through Altus quite a bit while I was there, during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest spuds

I was at El Paso stopping for some fuel a while back when we looked up and saw it coming in on final to Fort Bliss. It was quite the sight and quite the surprise. By the time we got some food and took off, we could hear their call sign over departure. We only took off a few minutes after it and decided to change our VFR leg a bit to get close enough to check out NASA911 in flight without raising a few alert flags. We were heading east and it seemed they were going pretty slow and didn't really go over 11000'-13500' while they were cruising (at least the 30 min we saw them). This might add another reason they have to stop so much with their fuel burning and altitude limits. It was defin awesome to see!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be a dumb question, but who gets to fly the SCA? Is it a process like AF One or is it as simple as putting it on your ADP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had the chance to talk to a couple of the NASA pilots when I was stationed at Edwards, they said they hate flying the SCA w/o the orbiter attached: "It flies like crap."

Interesting. Every pilot with 747 time that I've ever talked to has said what a great-flying aircraft the 747 is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting. Every pilot with 747 time that I've ever talked to has said what a great-flying aircraft the 747 is.

And I'm sure an unmodified 747 is a great-flying airplane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And I'm sure an unmodified 747 is a great-flying airplane.

Ya think???

Serious question:

In your opinion, what causes the modified 747 SCA to fly "like crap"?

The mount brackets (for lack of a better term) the Orbiter sits on aren't all that big. Sure they're gonna cause some drag, but enough to cause crappy handling? It's not like they're asymmetrical.

The added vertical stab area causes some drag too, but should give increased yaw stability, yes? Probably adds more weathervaning effect (I can't think of the proper pilot-term right now) in a crosswind situation.

Looking at the pics in this thread, pics in other places, and some Googling, those 2 things appear to be the only major external changes to the SCA from a "stock" 747.

** OK, a little more Googling resulted in this. One of the pilots is quoted as saying the SCA flies similarly to a stock 747... which flies in the face of what Jughead heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest boredwith9to5

I was gonna say that it's modified inside and out in order to be able to handle that huge external load. There's only a few rows of seats still in it on the top section behind the cockpit, the rest is bare. I don't know how much that would change the way a 747 flew.. Who knows...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was gonna say that it's modified inside and out in order to be able to handle that huge external load.

Kinda' like your mom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×