Have you Met the “Super Guppy” and “SEV”?

Yes, an alien looking airplane that “eats” other airplanes. In this case two NASA T-38 Talons! We’re very proud to host NASA’s “Super Guppy” at the 2021 CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow. The aircraft’s original form was that of a KC-97 Stratofreighter and transformed through feats of engineering ingenuity into NASA’s “Super Guppy.” Check out the pics below!

T-38s being "eaten"

“Aside from the Super Guppy’s size – it measures more than 48 feet to the top of its tail and has a wingspan of more than 156 feet with a huge upper cargo bay – the aircraft features a hinged nose that opens 110 degrees. Once open, an aircraft cargo loader was used to load the two trainer aircraft. The Guppy’s 25-foot diameter cargo bay permitted the two T-38 aircraft to be moved with only the wingtips needing to be removed, said Johnson flight engineer David Elliott, the Guppy’s project manager.”

Chomp on T-38s

“After opening the nose section of the Guppy, hoisting the T-38s onto a specially designed pallet atop a mobile transporter, loading the pallet and T-38s onto the Guppy and then reclosing the Guppy’s nose section – about a 2.5-hour process – the Guppy departed for El Paso.”

Super Guppy
SEV = NASA’s Space Exploration Vehicle

“If you want to do productive exploration anywhere in space, you’ll need a suitable vehicle. NASA is now testing concepts for a new generation of vehicles, building on lessons learned from the Apollo missions as well as the unmanned rovers on Mars. The Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) concept is designed to be flexible depending on the destination; the pressurized cabin can be used both for in-space missions and for surface exploration of planetary bodies, including near-Earth asteroids and Mars.”

NASA Moon Buggy

“The surface exploration version of the SEV has the cabin mounted on a chassis, with wheels that can pivot 360 degrees and drive about 10 kilometers per hour in any direction. It’s about the size of a pickup truck (with 12 wheels) and can house two astronauts for up to 14 days with sleeping and sanitary facilities. Likewise, the in-space version of the SEV would have the same pressurized cabin on a flying platform; it too would allow two astronauts to stay on-site for 14 days.”

There’s Only One Place to See Both of These Marvels of Engineering … at the Airshow!

Even better, come out to the show and talk to the men and women who work with these amazing machines.

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Info & image Sources:

  • https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/technology/space_exploration_vehicle/index.html
  • https://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/Features/super_guppy.html

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