On August 31, 1965, NASA’s Super Guppy cargo plane took its first test flight. This oversized aircraft looks a bit like a giant flying whale.
The Super Guppy was built by a company called Aero Spacelines and based on the Boeing B-377 Stratocruiser.
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NASA uses these funny-looking planes to transport large cargo, like spacecraft parts and other smaller aircraft. At the time, they needed the planes to transport Apollo rocket stages from California to Florida.
The Super Guppy has a huge cargo compartment that measures 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide and 111 feet long (7.6 x 7.6 x 33.8 meters). It can carry payloads weighing more than 26 tons. To load cargo into the plane, its entire nose hinges wide open so the oversize load can slide right in. The original Super Guppy retired in 1991 and is currently on display at Pima Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona. NASA still flies newer models of the Super Guppy.
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