cancidas
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Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:13 am

are the lift-dump spoilers on the 747 that nasa uses to transport the shuttle enough to dump the lift that is generated by the shuttle sitting on the back?



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just curious....
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SlamClick
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 7:26 am

No.

In fact, there are several of them up there still trying to land.

(smartass mode off)

Apparently.

Considering the usual landing speed of the space shuttle I doubt that, at 747 landing speeds it could generate enough to carry itself and a 747 with ground spoilers deployed. Still, I'll bet that much weight and surface area way up on top like that has to do something with the handling characteristics.

Just got thinking about that tailcone that covers the shuttle rocket nozzles. I suppose that can be carried inside the 747?

I saw this thing (NASA 905) getting washed in SAN one time, back when it still had a sanitized AA paint scheme.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:32 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1):

Just got thinking about that tailcone that covers the shuttle rocket nozzles. I suppose that can be carried inside the 747?

Not if the usual NASA engineers are involved. NASA is good at many things. economics is not one of them. I saw this interview with some Russian rocket scientists. The interviewer told them that the US had spent $10bn (or something) on Freedom without lofting an ounce of tin into orbit. They were practically in tears when they went on about how much they could have done with that kind of money.


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Note that the Myasischev Atlant carried Buran before the An-225 entered service.
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thetuna
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:08 am

Off topic, but is there some sort of emergency release system in place if there were a fire onboard, engine failure, etc?

Am I correct in saying they used the 747 to tow it up to altitude and release it so the pilots could practice landing?
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joness0154
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:24 am

Quoting Thetuna (Reply 3):
Off topic, but is there some sort of emergency release system in place if there were a fire onboard, engine failure, etc?

Nope

Am I correct in saying they used the 747 to tow it up to altitude and release it so the pilots could practice landing?

Nope. The astronauts practice the shuttle approaches/landings in modified Gulfstream II's fitted with thrust reversers that can be activated in flight, along with a ton of other shuttle related electronics.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:32 am

Quoting Thetuna (Reply 3):

Am I correct in saying they used the 747 to tow it up to altitude and release it so the pilots could practice landing?

Not anymore, but this was done during flight testing with the Enterprise testbed. The purpose was not to practice landings so much as to test the aerodynamics of glide and landing.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
57AZ
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:53 am

Also, during the glide tests the aircraft was not towed. It was actually carried to test altitude atop the 747 in it's normal position. The initiation of the test required the orbiter to separate using explosive bolts and the 747 dropped away from it.
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dw747400
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:04 pm

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 6):
It was actually carried to test altitude atop the 747 in it's normal position

Almost normal position. The shuttle was mounted with a much higher AoA during the drop tests.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
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litz
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:37 am

Quoting Cancidas (Thread starter):
are the lift-dump spoilers on the 747 that nasa uses to transport the shuttle enough to dump the lift that is generated by the shuttle sitting on the back?

I don't know that at 747 cruising speeds a shuttle will generate much, if any, lift ... heck, considering how fast the thing lands, it's probably well below stall speed.

The spoilers were added because the airflow over the shuttle was badly affecting the stabilizers on the 747, introducing HUGE amounts of flutter. They break up the airflow and add additional stabilization.

(All in my armchair aviation engineer opinion, of course - if you know better, please post a correction)

- litz
 
avioniker
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:25 am

Quoting Cancidas (Thread starter):
are the lift-dump spoilers on the 747 that nasa uses to transport the shuttle enough to dump the lift that is generated by the shuttle sitting on the back?

The short answer is yes.
The shuttle is mounted with an angle of attack that provides virtually no aerodynamic lift at landing speed. The idea was for the shuttle to provide as little aerodynamic effect beyond drag as possible.
The outboard verticals are needed due to the masking effect and turbulence on the 747 vertical caused by the shuttle fuselage and the low allowable cruise speed.
The weight is less than a passenger load (close to that of a DC-9-15) easily carried by the ex-AA (905) or the ex-JAL SR (911)
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Boeing Nut
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Sun Dec 18, 2005 12:49 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1):
Just got thinking about that tailcone that covers the shuttle rocket nozzles. I suppose that can be carried inside the 747?

I learned that in a similar post that I started asking if the shuttle produced it's own lift during flight, that the shuttles tail cone is actually collapseable and shipped by ground when not in use.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Sun Dec 18, 2005 7:59 am

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 10):
Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1):
Just got thinking about that tailcone that covers the shuttle rocket nozzles. I suppose that can be carried inside the 747?

I learned that in a similar post that I started asking if the shuttle produced it's own lift during flight, that the shuttles tail cone is actually collapseable and shipped by ground when not in use.

See!!! No logic Big grin
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bohica
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 11):
Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 10):
Quoting SlamClick (Reply 1):
Just got thinking about that tailcone that covers the shuttle rocket nozzles. I suppose that can be carried inside the 747?

I learned that in a similar post that I started asking if the shuttle produced it's own lift during flight, that the shuttles tail cone is actually collapseable and shipped by ground when not in use.

See!!! No logic

They might save money by shipping it UPS ground.  Big grin

NAH... Smile
 
57AZ
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:45 pm

Quoting Litz (Reply 8):
I don't know that at 747 cruising speeds a shuttle will generate much, if any, lift ... heck, considering how fast the thing lands, it's probably well below stall speed.

Probably not since the NASA birds are speed and altitude restricted when transporting the orbiter. If I remember correctly, the limitations are 250 KIAS and 10,000 feet altitude.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
RC135U
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Mon Dec 19, 2005 3:06 am

What does NASA use these two 747s for (if anything) when not lugging a
Shuttle around?
 
cancidas
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:11 am

they're house on the ramp at PMD i think... if not there then it's MHV. yes, they are speed and altitude restricted to 250K but i think it's higher than 10000ft.
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eksath
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:47 am

Here is a better view of the rear of the SCA. This is timely as the picture was just added with the last 24 hours.  Smile


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IAHFLYR
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Sat Dec 24, 2005 1:01 am

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 13):
Probably not since the NASA birds are speed and altitude restricted when transporting the orbiter. If I remember correctly, the limitations are 250 KIAS and 10,000 feet altitude.

I believe they are able to cruise at 15,000' and below with the orbiter on top.
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Buzz
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RE: Nasa Shuttle Carrier 747

Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:04 am

Hi Cancidas, Buzz here. I recall going to a NASA presentation about moving the Shuttles back to Kennedy Space Center after they land at Edwards AFB.
The SCA 747 has little problem carrying the weight, but the drag is considerable. So they cruise low, in the FL150 to FL180 range. The fuel burn is a lot higher than a normal 747 at this altitude... as well as the drag. So it's a 2 day trip to get across the country, they often stop in Houston for fuel.
And there's a pathfinder aircraft, i forget what kind they used. The pathfinder makes sure that there's no significant weather or turbulence for the SCA 747 to plow through.
I don't recall what the internal structural mods were to handle the external load on the fuselage, i bet that fuselage ripples a bit when they touch down. I was intrigued to read of the mods that were done during the Enterprise drop tests so the SCA 74 crew could parachute out of the 747 if they had to, it was similar to what the KC-135's have.
g'day

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