One of the world’s more unusual aircraft returns to Seattle’s Boeing Field this week carrying another section of the Museum of Flight’s newest acquisition, the Space Shuttle Trainer.
The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy, an outsized version of Boeing’s last propeller driven airliner, the 377 Stratocruiser, will land at Boeing Field at 10 a.m. Thursday. On board the is the cargo bay section of NASA’s Space Shuttle training mock-up.
The Super Guppy, whose fuselage was greatly enlarged to carry extra-sized cargo, is bring the Shuttle Trainer section from Houston where astronauts used it to train for space missions.
That plane brought the crew compartment of the trainer to the museum at Boeing Field late last month. The aircraft will fly the final section of the trainer to Seattle Aug. 9. The three sections will be rejoined in a new exhibition hall at the museum.
The Museum of Flight was awarded the trainer in a contest that attracted dozens of museums from around the country. The Museum of Flight had sought an actual flying Space Shuttle, but those were awarded to museums in larger cities.
The training module resembles the Shuttle but without wings. One advantage of the trainer over the Shuttles themselves is that museum visitors will be able to enter the trainer’s interior and view the control, living and working area. Visitors to the Shuttles themselves will only be allowed to view the exteriors.