The famed B-377-SGT “Super Guppy Turbine,” operated by NASA, will fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB) on Monday, December 8 from its home base in El Paso, Texas. One of five Super Guppies ever made, this massive aircraft is the only one still in use today. The arrival is even bringing out the Discovery Channel to shoot footage of the Super Guppy for an upcoming TV episode.
The special guest is a welcome arrival at Long Beach Airport, and any plane-spotters present for the arrival are encouraged to use the hashtag #SuperGuppyLGB on Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
|Super Guppy Turbine, pictured in Hunstville, AL; Marshall Space Flight Center|
When it lands at Long Beach Airport, the Super Guppy will make its triumphant return as one of the largest planes to ever use our runways. In fact, a Super Guppy hasn’t landed at Long Beach since one came here to deliver parts for the Apollo moon missions. Codenamed N941NA, this Super Guppy will stay at LGB for only one day before heading off on Tuesday, December 9.
The enormous Super Guppy is famous for its massive cargo area with a diameter of 25 feet, an overall cargo volume of 49,750 cubic feet and a whopping total height of 48 ft. and 6 inches – over ten feet taller than the Boeing 377 on which the Super Guppy is based.
That height has led some to describe the Super Guppy as having an “E.T. head.” Even stranger, the nose opens on hinges that can swing at angles as wide as 110 degrees. In the past, this unique feature has been utilized to transport smaller aircraft, or components eventually destined for the International Space Station.
The combination of the turbine engine, mated to an old-school propeller, will create a strong but smooth rumble as the Super Guppy cruises through Long Beach airspace.