hawker
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Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:30 pm

Just noticed in the picture of the NASA 747 with the shuttle, it still seems to have all it's windows. So just wondering does it carry NASA personnel around and if not fitted with seats, how is the interior configured?
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:55 pm

I am pretty sure that they are only used for flying the shuttle around (and the occasional airshow appearance). As for the interior, it would appear to be empty other than seating in Zone A, and presumably on the upper deck:


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NZ107
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:29 pm

How heavy is the space shuttle? Is it restricted or modified especially for taking the shuttle?
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contrails
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:22 pm

The first NASA 747 shuttle-carrier was purchased from AA and was modified at their maintenance center at TUL. I watched it do some touch and go's one day, just before AA turned it over to NASA. I also saw it one day a few years later when it stopped off at TUL. I don't remember why anymore, but I'll always remember watching it climb out with a fighter escort.

As beautiful as this bird is, it used over 100,000 pounds of jet fuel to get the shuttle back to Cape Cananeral the other day; and that doesn't include the fuel the fighter and KC-135 escort used. I enjoyed watching the plane at TUL, but watching it the other day made me sick when I thought about how much the fuel cost.
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SATL382G
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:31 pm

Quoting Contrails (Reply 3):
The first NASA 747 shuttle-carrier was purchased from AA and was modified at their maintenance center at TUL.

Boeing did the mod not AA....
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spacecadet
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:15 am

There are two NASA shuttle carriers - 905 and 911. 905 was purchased in 1974 from AA and is a 747-100. 911 was purchased in the 1980's from JAL and is a 747SR.

I actually don't know which one ferried the Discovery back on the latest mission. (Edit: Just found a high-res image on NASA's site - it was 905.)

The interiors of these planes were gutted to save weight. I would think even covering the windows would just add a bit of unnecessary weight. There are already some pretty severe restrictions on flying these things with the shuttle attached - 250 knots max speed (or Mach 0.6), 13,000-15,000 ft. cruising altitude. And it always has to fly with about a 2 or 3 degree nose-up attitude when level. The shuttle itself does provide a little bit of extra lift with its wings so it's not like these planes need to lift the entire weight of the shuttle, but it's still quite a bit of extra bulk. (I don't know the exact number with the lift from the wings factored in.)

I remember watching the early shuttle carrier tests in the 1970's - back then they showed absolutely everything shuttle-related on live TV. I remember 905 was still painted in the AA livery for a while (just with the logos covered up, or sandblasted off). I've never seen 911 painted in JAL's livery - does anyone know what the original reg of this plane was?

Here's a pic of 905 still in AA's livery: http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/gal...light/graphics/shuttle_carrier.jpg

[Edited 2005-09-02 17:26:38]

[Edited 2005-09-02 17:31:11]
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contrails
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:33 am

Quoting SATL382G "Boeing did the mod not AA...".

I was under the impression that AA did the work, but there was a Boeing plant at TUL back then, so it makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
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FlagshipAZ
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:56 am

To SpaceCadet...
The original registrations of both of NASA's 747 shuttle carriers are...
N9668, the 747-123 now known as N905NA. Line #86, first flight 1970.
JA8117, the 747SR-81 now known as N911NA. Line #221, first flight 1973.
Regards.
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BA747400
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:00 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 5):
Here's a pic of 905 still in AA's livery: http://observe.arc.nasa.gov/nasa/gal...r.jpg

Wow, what is going on in this pic?! The space shuttle has dismounted from the 741! Do they land separately? (Forgive me if this is an obvious answer...)

Also, what does NASA use the Ex. JAL 747SR for?

Thanks!
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TomFoolery
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:51 am

The original space shuttle, The Enterprise, was used for test purposes, ,but was never used in space. Some of the landing and flight tests involved hauling it up to (i think) 10,000 ft on the back of the 747, and letting it glide (keep in mind this is similiar to letting a slightly aerodynamic brick glide off of the plane). The enterprise is or will be displayed at the Smithsonian A&S museum Udvar Hazy Ctr at IAD.
I could only imagine that such a flight would take a great deal of cajones on the part of both flight crews.

Tom
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Thorny
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:40 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
How heavy is the space shuttle? Is it restricted or modified especially for taking the shuttle?

OV-101 Enterprise: 149,600 lbs. (ALT-1, 1977)
OV-102 Columbia: 185,363 lbs. (STS-32, 1990)
OV-099 Challenger: 178,415 lbs. (STS-51l, 1986)
OV-103 Discovery: 172,651 lbs. (STS-48, 1991)
OV-104 Atlantis: 172,293 lbs. (STS-45, 1992)
OV-105 Endeavour: 173,014 lbs. (STS-61, 1993)

The weight has changed some since then, with some weight reduced inside but gained back in equipment needed to dock at the Space Station. Discovery was probably well over 200,000 lbs. during her recent return to Kennedy Space Center.

The Boeing 747s are heavily modified to carry the Space Shuttles.

Quoting BA747400 (Reply 8):

Wow, what is going on in this pic?! The space shuttle has dismounted from the 741! Do they land separately? (Forgive me if this is an obvious answer...)

NASA conducted a series of Approach and Landing Tests (ALT) at Edwards Air Force Base, California in 1977. The program culminated in five free flights, with Enterprise released off the back of the 747.
 
SATL382G
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:49 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
Discovery was probably well over 200,000 lbs. during her recent return to Kennedy Space Center.

On Letterman a few nights ago Collins said Discovery weighed 227000lbs at landing. Ferry weight was that less propellants offloaded & crew cabin items removed.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
Thorny
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 12:31 pm

Quoting SATL382G (Reply 11):

On Letterman a few nights ago Collins said Discovery weighed 227000lbs at landing. Ferry weight was that less propellants offloaded & crew cabin items removed.

Yep. Checking back, most of the Station resupply mission landing weights are in the neighborhood of 225,000 lbs. Those "empty weights" I gave must be about 10,000 lbs. higher now, because that from 227,000 lbs. would give a payload weight of 55,000 lbs. but the Shuttle is only capable of around 45,000 lbs. to the Space Station.
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Nasa 747, What Else Used For?

Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:42 pm

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 9):
Some of the landing and flight tests involved hauling it up to (i think) 10,000 ft on the back of the 747,

The release height was actually a bit higher...more in the neighborhood of 24,000 ft. or so...

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