Beginning in April 2012, NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) will be embarking on its final space shuttle ferry flights, delivering orbiters Discovery (OV-103), Enterprise (OV-101) and Endeavour (OV-105) to Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles for public display.
To mark this milestone, the SCA pilots had designed flight patches. According to the emblem's artist Tony Landis, "they wanted to have something special just for them, which is why each design has the 747 SCA included."
Only 300 sets of the three patches were produced for the pilots, to be distributed as they fly the space shuttles to their museum displays.
Discovery's patch features the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, as well as the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Donald D. Engen Tower at its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
, where the shuttle will go on display.
Weather permitting, the SCA will fly Discovery
to Washington Dulles International Airport on April 17, 2012.
Enterprise's patch adapts the same design and colors as the 1977 Approach and Landing Test program logo, which first paired a shuttle with the SCA.
Enterprise will be flown
to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on April 23, 2012, to await being barged this summer to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Endeavour's patch features an overhead view of the shuttle riding piggyback on the 747 as they fly into the sunset, completing more than 800 flights for NASA 905, the original shuttle carrier aircraft.
Endeavour is targeted to depart for Los Angeles International Airport and the California Science Center
in September 2012.