Reclaimed metal keytag of the Super Guppy Turbine. (serial number 0001) It was the first of only four Super Guppy Turbines built and originally held the registration N211AS
The Super Guppy Turbine and its predecessors, the Pregnant Guppy/Super Guppy, were large, wide-bodied aircraft, designed specifically to transport outsize cargo for NASA’s Apollo and Gemini missions. Its unique size, shape and hinged opening allowed it to transport machinery that no other aircraft could carry - making it possible for the United States to pull ahead in the Space Race.
Designed by Aero Spacelines, the Guppies did what no other aircraft could do - transport NASA’s Saturn rockets from other parts of the country to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Before their introduction, rockets and outsized cargo were transported by sea through the Panama Canal, taking nearly three weeks and often resulting in damaged components. The Guppies could carry these supersized loads in a matter of hours.
Our plane (serial number 0001) was the first of only four Super Guppy Turbines built and originally held the registration N211AS. In 1971, after being sold to Airbus Industrie, she was registered as F-BTGV. Airbus then used her to transport aircraft parts from different parts of Europe to the Airbus assembly plant in Toulouse, France. F-BTGV was retired in June 1996 after being replaced by the Airbus Beluga and stored at Bruntingthorpe Airfield & Proving Ground in the UK. MotoArt was able to preserve the colorful skin of this historic aircraft, with the assistance of South Wales Aviation Museum, who will be restoring and displaying the cockpit.
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