posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 06:28 PM
I wanted to start a thread about possibley the least glamorous aircraft to ever take to the skies. The various outsize transporters also known as
"Guppies". I have no doubt that most will find this a boring subject, indeed as I type this I think it is a boring subject but i got the inspration
to start a thread, and so I did:
The first aircraft of this type was back int he hazy crazy days of the early sixties when the abundance of used Stratocrusiers allowed for one to be
extended with parts taken from another. The eventual result was an aircraft lacking any aesthetic skills but highly useful for transporting large
equipment for NASA, with a fusalage width of 6 metres.
This aircraft was followed by equally hideous Super Guppy which had a massive 7.6m fusalage. weirdly enough this aircraft was used heavily by airbus,
leading to the industry joke that "every airbus is delivered on the wings of a boeing".
This may in part have lead Airbus to look to create their own outsize transport. Evetually they built the jet powered A300-600ST. Proving that just
because you are ugly doesnt mean you cant go fast. This aircraft was desperately needed for a company such as airbus with multiple production
facilities spread across the
continent. The A300-600ST or Beluga as it is more widely known first fle in 1995 and since has been ferrying parts around Europe. With a cargo bay
7.4m wide and 37.7m long there is very little which cannot be transported by one which needs to be.
Now as boeing is desperately searching for an aircraft to fulfil their need for transporting sections of the 787 a new aircraft in this tradition has
been built. The 747-400LCF (large cargo freighter) has been built to save beoing the cost of shipping parts by sea.
This aircraft is covered in greater in this thread here:
Boeing LCF thread
Mod Edit: Image Size – Please Review This Link.
[edit on 12/9/2006 by Mirthful Me]