N997GH
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NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:48 pm

Watching at FR24 a few minutes ago I just witnessed what seems to be a very odd flight : flight NASA747 from Palmdale (PDM) to Stuttgart (STR), Germany using a 747SP equipment.
I first thought this was a tracking mistake from the website, however the 747 shows to be heading northeast at FL370 and seems to follow what looks like a regular corridor for a TATL flight. As I looked through the flight's history it appeared that this flight number had been used in the past presumably for test flights with both departure and arrival airport being PDM.

What is the reason for this flight ?

I didn't even know a 747SP was capable of operating a +10hr TATL flight.

here's a link to the tracking : https://www.flightradar24.com/NASA747/221c9ee1
Hey Southwest, where are my peanuts? :duck:
 
eamondzhang
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:05 pm

FYI 747SP is capable of doing LAX-SYD/JFK-NRT non-stop.

Michael
 
sw733
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:18 pm

SOFIA is a joint project between NASA and German Aerospace Center. It’s an airborne telescope/observatory. It’s based at Dryden/Edwards AFB (just north of Palmdale) usually.
Last edited by sw733 on Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:19 pm

It is the SOFIA airborne telescope. A partnership between NASA and Germany’s DLR. See https://www.sofia.usra.edu/ for more information.

V/F
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
 
26point2
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:58 am

N997GH wrote:
Watching at FR24 a few minutes ago I just witnessed what seems to be a very odd flight : flight NASA747 from Palmdale (PDM) to Stuttgart (STR), Germany using a 747SP equipment.
I first thought this was a tracking mistake from the website, however the 747 shows to be heading northeast at FL370 and seems to follow what looks like a regular corridor for a TATL flight. As I looked through the flight's history it appeared that this flight number had been used in the past presumably for test flights with both departure and arrival airport being PDM.

What is the reason for this flight ?

I didn't even know a 747SP was capable of operating a +10hr TATL flight.

here's a link to the tracking : https://www.flightradar24.com/NASA747/221c9ee1


Seriously? The 747SP was developed to do just that...fly for 10+ hours. Have you not been paying attention?
 
timpdx
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:26 am

While waiting for family to arrive at LAX this morning I noticed the same NASA flight on FR24. Also noted an 330 tanker inbound over Canada, an AN 124 was Tulsa bound, too. Forgot how entertaining poking around on FR24 can be, as well as sitting at In-n-out and watching traffic.
Last edited by timpdx on Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Flown 2018: LAX, ARN, DXB, ALA, TAS, UCG, ASB, MYP, GYD, TBS, KUT, BER, TLS, SVO, CCF, DUB, LGW, MEX, BUR, PDX, ORD, SLC, SNA
Upcoming 2018: STL, MIA, BZE, IAH, BHM, LHR, DFW, PHX
 
jetwet1
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:17 pm

If I am remembering correctly, the SP gets heavy MX and/or tech upgrades in Germany.

There is a good documentary on it.
 
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United_fan
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:29 pm

It will be doing night work around Europe.
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:50 pm

26point2 wrote:
N997GH wrote:
Watching at FR24 a few minutes ago I just witnessed what seems to be a very odd flight : flight NASA747 from Palmdale (PDM) to Stuttgart (STR), Germany using a 747SP equipment.
I first thought this was a tracking mistake from the website, however the 747 shows to be heading northeast at FL370 and seems to follow what looks like a regular corridor for a TATL flight. As I looked through the flight's history it appeared that this flight number had been used in the past presumably for test flights with both departure and arrival airport being PDM.

What is the reason for this flight ?

I didn't even know a 747SP was capable of operating a +10hr TATL flight.

here's a link to the tracking : https://www.flightradar24.com/NASA747/221c9ee1


Seriously? The 747SP was developed to do just that...fly for 10+ hours. Have you not been paying attention?


No need for the condescending tone, not everyone here is an expert.
@DadCelo
 
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Tugger
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:27 pm

fcogafa wrote:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-keeps-747sp-fit-for-life-beyond-2030-444284/

Thanks for the link!

It's such a wonderful niche aircraft, both a bit ungainly and yet quite enjoyable to look at:
Image
.
Image

Tugg
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ssteve
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:51 pm

Nice design on the tail there. Ad astra!
 
WIederling
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:43 am

Tugger wrote:
fcogafa wrote:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-keeps-747sp-fit-for-life-beyond-2030-444284/

Thanks for the link!

Interesting report around on SOFIA D Check:
https://www.dglr.de/publikationen/2015/370363.pdf
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:50 am

Tugger wrote:
It's such a wonderful niche aircraft, both a bit ungainly and yet quite enjoyable to look at: <img>


compared to its predecessor the Cuiper Airborne Observatory it is quite the step forward.
NASA dragging their feet was a bit of a downside though.
We went through 2..3 generations of instrumentation "to be flown right next year" till effective observation flights commenced.
Project people dispersed again all the time.
Murphy is an optimist
 
mxaxai
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:09 am

jetwet1 wrote:
If I am remembering correctly, the SP gets heavy MX and/or tech upgrades in Germany.

There is a good documentary on it.

It does. However, that work is done in Hamburg, not Stuttgart.

This visit is for an observation flight over Europe, as well as a demonstration tour for the German SOFIA Institute (DSI). The DSI is located at the University of Stuttgart, and is currently hosting the annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society. The aircraft is open to the public.

SOFIA is a cooperation between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The investment is divided 80 : 20; the German part is the telescope itself, some instruments and the heavy mx. NASA provides the aircraft, operations, and some other instruments.
 
jetwet1
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:00 am

mxaxai wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
If I am remembering correctly, the SP gets heavy MX and/or tech upgrades in Germany.

There is a good documentary on it.

It does. However, that work is done in Hamburg, not Stuttgart.

This visit is for an observation flight over Europe, as well as a demonstration tour for the German SOFIA Institute (DSI). The DSI is located at the University of Stuttgart, and is currently hosting the annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society. The aircraft is open to the public.

SOFIA is a cooperation between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The investment is divided 80 : 20; the German part is the telescope itself, some instruments and the heavy mx. NASA provides the aircraft, operations, and some other instruments.


Thank you for the correction, I remembered from the documentary that it was Germany, but didn't realize that it was done at HAM.
 
Noshow
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:36 am

This is where they went arount europe:

https://www.flughafen-stuttgart.de/news ... ng-im-all/
 
surfpunk
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:29 pm

This bird stopped in MSP yesterday on its way back to Palmdale from Stuttgart. Fuel stop and customs clearing. Had to work, so was unable to get out to the airfield to see it.
 
Max Q
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Re: NASA flight Palmdale - Stuttgart, Germany?

Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:59 pm

Beautiful aircraft, great to see it still flying
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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