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  Final Flights: NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Final Flights: NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905
Lee Brandon Cremer
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posted 04-08-2012 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Brandon Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Brandon Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
NASA 905 space shuttle ferry flights: by the numbers

NASA's original modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), NASA 905, has been amended with mission markings noting its history ferrying space shuttles. (Photo courtesy Tony Landis)

I have looked at the numbers and I cannot make sense of where those numbers came from.

  • OV-102 Columbia
    60 Ferry Flights (my count 23 flights/55 hops)

  • OV-099 Challenger
    20 Ferry Flights (my count 8 flights/18 hops)

  • OV-103 Discovery
    38 Ferry Flights (my count 18 flights/54 hops)

  • OV-104 Atlantis
    35 Ferry Flights (my count 18 flights/54 hops)

  • OV-105 Endeavour
    12 Ferry Flights (my count 11 flights/30+ hops)
Can anyone shed light on this? How do they count a flight? Does it include hops? Overnight stays?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-08-2012 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per Tony (and perhaps he'll comment here too), the tallies include the museum ferry flights, and were derived from NASA 905's flight log. Each time NASA 905 took to the air, it counted as a flight, so hops are individuals flights.

Lee Brandon Cremer
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posted 04-08-2012 09:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Brandon Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Brandon Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well if that's true... Endeavour had 30+ hops. Also this list includes all SCA flights 905 and 911. I have a list (PDF) I have maintained for 30 years, and the numbers don't add up.

Anyone else have an official list?

On edit: Check that. This is only 905... can we get a 911 count? Or a complete list anywhere?

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-08-2012 10:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert is correct on this, the numbers are for Ferry Flights and not Ferry 'missions'. Each time 905 took off and landed that is counted as a flight as compared to one entire trek across the country which was counted as a mission. The numbers were derived from the actual flight logs and double-checked by JSC Aircraft Ops. I have the logs for 911 as well, but it will take some time to put those numbers together.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-09-2012 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to the mission markings, the crew names for the final missions were also added to both sides of 905 last Friday afternoon.

garymilgrom
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posted 04-09-2012 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What are Phantom Rays and how do they relate to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft or the space shuttles themselves?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-09-2012 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
See: Boeing Phantom Ray rides Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-09-2012 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
747 SCA #911 Ferry flight numbers are:
  • OV-101- 0
  • OV-102- 7 flights
  • OV-099- 0
  • OV-103- 14 flights
  • OV-104- 22 flights
  • OV-105- 25 flights

bisiauxt
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posted 04-13-2012 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bisiauxt   Click Here to Email bisiauxt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Following the free-flight tests of the ALT program, Enterprise was prepared for ferry flight tests. It flew four ferry flights on November 15, 16, 17, 18, 1977. I am looking for the complete 747 crew for these flights.

I have found some names on event cover, but I am sure that it is not complete:

  • Ferry Flight 1: Fulton, McMurtry
  • FF 2 : Fulton, Algrandi
  • FF 3 : Fulton, Roy, Haugen
  • FF 4 : Fulton, Algrandi, Roy
As always, thank you for your help.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-13-2012 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
  • 11/15/77 - Flt. 86 - Fulton, McMurtry, Horton, Guidry
  • 11/16/77 - Flt. 87 - Fulton, McMurtry, Horton, Algranti, Alvarez
  • 11/17.77 - Flt. 88 - Fulton, Roy, Horton, Alvarez, Haugen, Olsen, LaBash, Gravance
  • 11/18/77 - Flt. 89 - Fulton, Algranti, Roy, Guidry, Alavarez, Olsen, LaBash, Gravance
(Note: L. Olsen, R. LaBash and J. Gravance were passengers and not flight crew members.)

Hope that helps.

bisiauxt
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posted 04-13-2012 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bisiauxt   Click Here to Email bisiauxt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks a lot for this precise answer.

astro-nut
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posted 04-14-2012 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Lee Brandon Cremer and X Plane Fan for the great information on the Shuttle Aircraft Carriers.

X Plane Fan do you have a complete list of pilots for each SCA flights? If you do would it be possible to list them?

Thanks again.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-14-2012 07:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I only have scanned copies of all the flight logs for both SCAs. I look up data for each flight one page at a time. With nearly 1,100 flights (and nearly 300 ferry flights) between the two SCA's that would be a lot of data to type up. If you have a specific flight or two you would like me to look up, I'm glad to do it, but I have no plans to retype the entire flight logs.

Dennis Jenkins next shuttle book will include a spreadsheet with all of the ferry flights including the crews.

APG85
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posted 04-14-2012 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dennis Jenkins next Shuttle book? Details please...

Lee Brandon Cremer
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posted 04-14-2012 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Brandon Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Brandon Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is my complete list (PDF) updated with the missing seven SCAs not identified previously. I hope it's of use to readers. I wouldn't want the task of naming every SCA crew... too daunting. This is a page from my book, which over time will be updated free.

I took the time to add full dates of ferry flights, not just start dates. That info was already in the book in each mission report, just not on this list.

Also for the early Enterprise dates, the book lists those separately from this list.

Lee Brandon Cremer
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posted 04-15-2012 01:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Brandon Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Brandon Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Note the colour codes on the SCA Flight history refer to paint schemes for SCAs. 905 had three colour schemes, 911 had two. See this chart that I created to help identify SCA/Orbiter paint variations. Some combinations never occurred.

If you have questions, feel free.

astro-nut
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posted 04-15-2012 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have listed the flights that I would like the crew information on.
  • Who were the SCA pilots that flew OV-101 to the Paris Air Show?
  • Who were the SCA pilots that flew OV-099 on July 4th, 1982 from Edwards to KSC?
  • Could you please list the flights of the SCA that Dick Scobee and Gordon Fullerton flew?
Also, has Kelly Latimer ever flown the SCA with a Space Shuttle aboard?

Final question, I read long time ago that Stephanie Stilson (Discovery flow manager) flew aboard the SCA with Discovery aboard as a passenger. Which flight did this occur?

Thank you, very much and is Dennis Jenkins book available?

Lee Brandon Cremer
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posted 04-16-2012 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Brandon Cremer   Click Here to Email Lee Brandon Cremer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by X-Plane Fan:
I have no plans to retype the entire flight logs.
With a PDF copy of that scanned list, you could use OCR Optical Character Recognition software to grab the data for sorting... I could help if you are interested in sharing. I have no use for the data personally, my SCA interests lay in the lists I provided here.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-16-2012 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by astro-nut:
I have listed the flights that I would like the crew information on.
Let's see about those crew questions:

Paris crews were —
  • Pilots: Scobee, McMurtry, Algranti, Roy, Fulton, Haugen
  • F/E's: Guidry, Young, Pingry
OV-099 Delivery — 
  • First leg: Fulton, Haugen, Alvarez and Horton
  • Second Leg: Algranti, Scobee, Guidry and Young
Scobee flew the SCA from Nov. 14, 1978 to Nov. 11, 1985. He had 29 orbiter ferry flights.

Fullerton flew the SCA from Nov. 8, 1983 to Nov. 29, 2007 and had 98 orbiter ferry flights.

Kelly Latimer only flew the SCA as training for flying SOFIA and never made an orbiter ferry flight.

Unfortunately the flight logs stopped listing passengers around 1990, and I didn't see Stilson listed anywhere.

Jenkins' book is still in the works. It will be a complete history beginning to end. More than likely it'll end up being a 3-volume set. No publishing date set as of yet.

astro-nut
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posted 04-16-2012 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, very much for the information. It is very helpful. I like to keep notes on who flew the SCA just for my personal space collection.

I have another question for you — are there any books available on just the SCA and ferry flights?

On another note, I am very unhappy that the NASA TV channel did not show any coverage of Discovery's mating to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. I have DISH Network and they provide NASA TV but NASA showed Education Events all weekend.
Thank you.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2012 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by astro-nut:
I am very unhappy that the NASA TV channel did not show any coverage of Discovery's mating to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

astro-nut
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posted 04-16-2012 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would it be possible to have a list posted on collectSPACE of all the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft pilots that have flown the SCA on ferry flights? I recognize about six names from the above posts and it would be neat to have a complete list of all SCA pilots. Thank you.

Also, thank you Robert for the reply!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-16-2012 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Time lapse of Discovery's mating to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft:

dabolton
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posted 04-16-2012 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How do the shuttle wings affect the flying characteristics of the 747? is the lift noticeable or negligible.

astro-nut
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posted 04-17-2012 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would like some more information on the SCA crews/Pilots. I have listed the questions below:
  • Was Fitz Fulton, Jr. the first pilot of the SCA/905?
  • When NASA took delivery of the SCA/905 was Fitz Fulton at the controls?
  • When did Fitz Fulton retire from flying the SCA?
Also, after the ALT free flights, the SCA and OV-101 performed some ferry flights — where did the ferry flights occur?
Last question, how many pilots have flown the SCA 905/911?
Thank you to X Plane Fan and other Collectspace members who are and have been supplying the answers. I appreciate it!!!
Thank you.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 04-17-2012 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There was a different forward strut for the ALT tests, correct? What happened to that?

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-17-2012 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Early flights of 905 were covered by a non-NASA civilian crew. 905 was delivered July 18, 1974 flown by M. Burton, P. Trott and J. Garrett. Burton was replaced by Speckels after the delivery flight and this crew flew all of 905's flights for the rest of 1974. The first NASA pilot to fly 905 was Joe Algranti in Jan. 1975. The first all-NASA crew flight occurred on June 17, 1975 with Fulton, Algranti, Guidry & Horton. 905 was delivered to Boeing on 3/30/76 for modification work to carry the shuttle. The first SCA check flight occurred on Dec. 16, 1976 with a Boeing crew on board (I don't have their names yet). 905 was redelivered to NASA as an SCA on Jan. 14, 1977 and the crew was Fulton, McMurtry, Horton, Roy, Guidry, Young and Browne.

Fulton flew the SCA from 6/17/75 to 3/20/86.

After ALT, OV-101 was ferried from Edwards to KSC, Vandenberg and Marshall as well as New Orleans for the 1984 World's Fair, the Paris trek and eventually Washington DC.

At last count there have been 19 pilots and 18 F/E's assigned to fly the SCA. This number does not include a number of guest crew members that have flown the SCA on local prof flights or the Boeing crew members that did the test flights after the SCA conversion.

The original 747 SCA ALT forward strut has been stored at DFRC since the end of the program. Last I heard it was to be donated to the Intrepid for their display.

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-17-2012 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by astro-nut:
I read long time ago that Stephanie Stilson (Discovery flow manager) flew aboard the SCA with Discovery aboard as a passenger. Which flight did this occur?
Stephanie Stilson has never flown on the SCA, only the pathfinder. I had a friend ask her about it this morning.

astro-nut
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posted 04-19-2012 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tony, many thanks for all the great information on the 747/SCA.

Would it be possible for you to list the 19 pilots that have flown the SCA? Also, how many crew members are usually on a SCA when it flies a space shuttle? Is there a specific number or does it vary with each flight?

Finally, would it be possible to post a photo of the 747 when it was an American Airlines jet? Many thanks again for all your assistance.

astro-nut
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posted 04-20-2012 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some more questions regarding the SCA.

Who were the pilots of the SCA when it experienced and engine failure on April 6, 1996 while transporting Atlantis following the STS-76 mission?

Also, I remember reading in USA Today (I think) an article about a ferry flight when one of the back bolts on the support struts on the SCA/Shuttle came loose and when they landed they had to re-tighten the bolts? This article was over 15 years ago (I think)?

Tony, any chance of getting a list of the 19 pilots that have flown the SCA (905/911)?

Thank you, very much!

SpaceAngel
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posted 04-20-2012 01:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know what will become of NASA Carrier 905 after it delivers Endeavour to LA in the fall time?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-20-2012 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Dryden Flight Research Center, NASA 905 will join 911 as a parts donor for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).

(Though I have also heard increasing talk of once all its useful contributions to SOFIA are made, a museum home for the aircraft might be sought.)

SpaceAngel
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posted 04-20-2012 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Again, it was a privilege yesterday to meet with you even though we didn't had the chance to talk...

astro-nut
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posted 04-29-2012 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tony, is there any chance that you could list the 19 pilots that have flown the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA)? It would be neat to know who has flown them (905/911) with the shuttles aboard. Thank you, very much!!!

X-Plane Fan
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posted 04-29-2012 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for X-Plane Fan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
747 SCA pilots, in no particular order:
  • Joseph A. Algranti
  • Arthur C. Beall
  • William F. Brockett
  • David H. Finney
  • Fitzhugh L. "Fitz" Fulton, Jr.
  • C. Gordon Fullerton
  • Kenneth R. Haugen
  • Charles J. Justiz
  • Frank J. Marlow
  • Thomas C. McMurtry
  • Jeffrey L. Moultrie
  • David L. Mumme
  • Robert J. Naughton
  • Jack A. Nickel
  • Arda J. "AJ" Roy
  • Francis R. "Dick" Scobee
  • William E. Rieke
  • Robert H. Zimmermann
  • Frank W. Batteas*
* Batteas is assigned to fly the SCA but has not yet ferried an orbiter. He is scheduled to fly one leg of the Endeavour delivery this fall.

astro-nut
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posted 05-13-2012 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tony, could you please list who the pilots were on April 6, 1996 SCA flight when they had an engine #3 failure while ferrying Atlantis following the STS-76 mission? Also, how long of a duration did they have? I noticed that they took off from EAFB and then returned to EAFB. Any information would be helpful. Once again, many thanks!

Philip
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posted 05-16-2012 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great posts but I always wondered where the shuttle orbiters' pitot tubes were located. Must be a special place as these would melt during re-entry...

GACspaceguy
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posted 05-16-2012 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure where they are located but I understand the the pitot probes are stowed during reentry and deployed at the lower altitude.

OV-105
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posted 05-16-2012 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you look at this photo you can see them to the front and below the nose RCS. You can see the where the tiles are not black.

Henry Heatherbank
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posted 05-17-2012 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is one cool photo, considering you can see the commander's helmeted head through the window in the high res version.


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