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  SCA 747 ferry flights orbiter tailcones

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Author Topic:   SCA 747 ferry flights orbiter tailcones
Flying Dutchman

Posts: 138
From: Nieuw Vennep
Registered: Jan 2007

posted 03-22-2008 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flying Dutchman   Click Here to Email Flying Dutchman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was viewing a number of photos and I was wondering if the tailcones used during the shuttle ferry flights are the same ones as they were used during the ALT flights in 1977.

And the second thing I saw was that Columbia had more far more black tiles at the top on its tail compared to other shuttles. It's tail differs.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-22-2008 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Flying Dutchman:
It's tail differs.
Columbia's vertical stabilizer was modified in 1984 to install the Shuttle Infrared Leeside Temperature Sensing (SILTS) package.


Posts: 589
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 03-22-2008 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are two tailcones. The one that they used from the ALT's to now. When Endeavour was rolled out they got the second tailcone. It is a little different because of the drag chute. Modifications were then done to the first tailcone once all of the orbiters had the drag chute.

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 03-23-2008 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Columbia always had a few more black tiles then the rest of the orbiter fleet. Robert pretty much covered the reason why it got even more on the stabilizer from its 1985 refit.

In addition to the tail cones used for the ferry flights, the foreward RCS and OMS pods can be replaced with dummy units for the shuttle ferry flights to and from Palmdale, CA for ODMP refits. You can usually spot them as they are cleaner then the flight articles and the OMS pods don't have the black tile patches at the front. The dummy RCS piece also has grayish/white "covers" on the RCS ports.

All times are CT (US)

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