Posts: 5568
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

747SP Telescope Platform

Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:17 am

Check out this fascinating re-use of a 747SP:

Any of you list junkies out there know the provenance of this particular aircraft? Also, any links to more detailed information on the 'Net?

Thought y'all'd like to see this one.


...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
Posts: 7571
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: 747SP Telescope Platform

Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:23 am

Sofia is the next major airborne observatory. It is a former Pan Am/United 747SP. I believe it is in storage right now at Marana... though it could have been moved.

My boss, was in charge of the old Kupier Airborne Observatory, a joint venture between NASA and the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab. They fitted a small, 2-meter (?), telescope with a spectrometer and all the related gadgetry into the prototype Lockheed C-141. This was all based from Moffet. Before they had the C-141 they used two CV-990s (one crashed) and several LearJets. The C-141 was decommissioned in 1990 I believe and nothing has been doing that sort of work since then.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: 747SP Telescope Platform

Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:32 pm

There´s an excellent site on the fate of every single SP,


RE: 747SP Telescope Platform

Sat Oct 21, 2000 12:00 pm



Sat Oct 21, 2000 8:49 pm

The 747SP being used for the SOFIA program is N145UA (ex-N536PA).

The fuselage of sister N141UA (ex-N531PA), scrapped at Ardmore OK, was used for testing/modelling how the telescope would be fitted.

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