The last section of the Space Shuttle Trainer will arrive at the Museum of Flight Thursday morning, the museum said today.
The forward portion of the trainer’s payload bay will arrive aboard NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft. The Super Guppy is a rarity itself.
NASA Super Guppy
The plane is a greatly enlarged version of Boeing’s Stratocruiser designed to carry outsized loads. The Super Guppy is bringing the Shuttle Trainer section from Houston, where the trainer was used to educate Shuttle pilots and astronauts how to operate the the reusable spacecraft.
The Super Guppy has made two previous flights to Boeing Field to bring other sections of the trainer to Seattle this summer. The trainer will be reassembled in a new gallery at the museum.
The Museum of Flight had sought one of the four remaining Space Shuttles, but other museums in larger cities or with closer ties to the Shuttle program were selected to receive those spacecraft. The Space Shuttle Trainer, which duplicates the Shuttles except for their wings, was the museum’s consolation prize.
In some ways, it will offer museum visitors a better experience because museum patrons will be allowed inside the trainer to see the payload bay, the living quarters and cockpit. On the real Shuttles, visitors will only be able to view the outside of the spacecraft.
The museum said the unloading process will be visible to visitors at 10 a.m. in the museum’s east parking lot.