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The NASA Dryden 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew poses in an engine inlet; Standing L to R - aircraft mechanic John Goleno and SCA Team Leader Pete Seidl; Kneeling L to R - aircraft mechanics Todd Weston and Arvid Knutson, and avionics technician Jim Bedard NASA uses two modified Boeing 747 jetliners, originally manufactured for commercial use, as Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). One is a 747-100 model, while the other is designated a 747-100SR (short range). The two aircraft are identical in appearance and in their performance as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The 747 series of aircraft are four-engine intercontinental-range swept-wing "jumbo jets" that entered commercial service in 1969. The SCAs are used to ferry space shuttle orbiters from landing sites back to the launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center, and also to and from other locations too distant for the orbiters to be delivered by ground transportation. The orbiters are placed atop the SCAs by Mate-Demate Devices, large gantry-like structures which hoist the orbiters off the ground for post-flight servicing, and then mate them with the SCAs for ferry flights.
The NASA Dryden 747 Shu...
February 3, 2000
 
Description The NASA Dryden 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew poses in an engine inlet; Standing L to R - aircraft mechanic John Goleno and SCA Team Leader Pete Seidl; Kneeling L to R - aircraft mechanics Todd Weston and Arvid Knutson, and avionics technician Jim Bedard NASA uses two modified Boeing 747 jetliners, originally manufactured for commercial use, as Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA). One is a 747-100 model, while the other is designated a 747-100SR (short range). The two aircraft are identical in appearance and in their performance as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The 747 series of aircraft are four-engine intercontinental-range swept-wing "jumbo jets" that entered commercial service in 1969. The SCAs are used to ferry space shuttle orbiters from landing sites back to the launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center, and also to and from other locations too distant for the orbiters to be delivered by ground transportation. The orbiters are placed atop the SCAs by Mate-Demate Devices, large gantry-like structures which hoist the orbiters off the ground for post-flight servicing, and then mate them with the SCAs for ferry flights.
NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
NASA space shuttle Colu...
March 1, 2001
 
Description NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
NASA space shuttle Colu...
March 1, 2001
 
Description NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
NASA space shuttle Colu...
March 1, 2001
 
Description NASA space shuttle Columbia hitched a ride on a special 747 carrier aircraft for the flight from Palmdale, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on March 1, 2001. A half hour behind Columbia's takeoff, the shuttle Atlantis departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, also bound for Kennedy Space Center.
Aerial photo of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center with the Endeavour Space Shuttle and 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft taxiing on ramp.
Aerial photo of NASA Dr...
May 1, 2001
 
Description Aerial photo of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center with the Endeavour Space Shuttle and 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft taxiing on ramp.
Thomas C. McMurtry in front of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. He graduated in June 1957 from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. McMurtry had been part of the university's Navy ROTC program, and after graduation he joined the Navy as a pilot. Before retiring from the Navy in 1964 as a Lieutenant, he graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, and had flown such aircraft as the F9F, A3D, A4D, F3D, F-8, A-6, and S-2. McMurtry was then a consultant for the Lockheed Corporation until joining NASA as a research pilot in 1967. While at the Dryden Flight Research Center, he was co-project pilot on the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire program, and the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, as well as project pilot on the F-15 Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) project, the KC-135 Winglets, the F-8 Supercritical Wing project, and the AD-1 Oblique Wing Project. He also made research flights in NASA's YF-12C aircraft (actually a modified SR-71). McMurtry made the last glide flight of the X-24B lifting body on November 26, 1975, and was co-pilot of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft on the first free flight of the space shuttle Enterprise on August 12, 1977. He was involved in several remotely piloted research vehicle programs, including the FAA/NASA 720 Controlled Impact Demonstration and the 3/8 F-15 Spin Research Vehicle. During McMurtry's 32 years as a pilot and manager at Dryden, he received numerous awards. These include the NASA Exceptional Service Award for his work on the F-8 Supercritical Wing, and the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots for his role as chief pilot on the AD-1 project, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the 1999 Milton O. Thomson Lifetime Achievement Award. McMurtry also held a number of management positions at Dryden, including Chief Pilot, Director of Flight Operations, Associate Director of Flight Operations, and was the acting Chief Engineer at the time of his retirement on June 3, 1999. Since becoming a pilot in 1958, he logged more than 11,000 hours of flight time, in aircraft ranging from a WACO open cockpit biplane to a Mach 3 YF-12C, as well as navy trainers, fighters and attack airplanes, the U-2, F-104 and FA-18 chase planes, and diverse research aircraft. McMurtry's fondest memories are of early morning take-offs from Edwards AFB.
Tom McMurtry - chief of...
1991
 
Description Thomas C. McMurtry in front of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. He graduated in June 1957 from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. McMurtry had been part of the university's Navy ROTC program, and after graduation he joined the Navy as a pilot. Before retiring from the Navy in 1964 as a Lieutenant, he graduated from the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, and had flown such aircraft as the F9F, A3D, A4D, F3D, F-8, A-6, and S-2. McMurtry was then a consultant for the Lockheed Corporation until joining NASA as a research pilot in 1967. While at the Dryden Flight Research Center, he was co-project pilot on the F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire program, and the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, as well as project pilot on the F-15 Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) project, the KC-135 Winglets, the F-8 Supercritical Wing project, and the AD-1 Oblique Wing Project. He also made research flights in NASA's YF-12C aircraft (actually a modified SR-71). McMurtry made the last glide flight of the X-24B lifting body on November 26, 1975, and was co-pilot of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft on the first free flight of the space shuttle Enterprise on August 12, 1977. He was involved in several remotely piloted research vehicle programs, including the FAA/NASA 720 Controlled Impact Demonstration and the 3/8 F-15 Spin Research Vehicle. During McMurtry's 32 years as a pilot and manager at Dryden, he received numerous awards. These include the NASA Exceptional Service Award for his work on the F-8 Supercritical Wing, and the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots for his role as chief pilot on the AD-1 project, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the 1999 Milton O. Thomson Lifetime Achievement Award. McMurtry also held a number of management positions at Dryden, including Chief Pilot, Director of Flight Operations, Associate Director of Flight Operations, and was the acting Chief Engineer at the time of his retirement on June 3, 1999. Since becoming a pilot in 1958, he logged more than 11,000 hours of flight time, in aircraft ranging from a WACO open cockpit biplane to a Mach 3 YF-12C, as well as navy trainers, fighters and attack airplanes, the U-2, F-104 and FA-18 chase planes, and diverse research aircraft. McMurtry's fondest memories are of early morning take-offs from Edwards AFB.
The DC-8 aircraft is seen making a banking turn high above the NASA Dryden ramp. This view of the DC-8's left side reveals some of the modifications necessary for particular on-board experiments. To the right of the DC-8 is the edge of Rogers Dry Lake. Above the aircraft's forward fuselage is the Dryden Flight Research Center headquarters building, while other NASA facilities extend down the flightline to the right. Below the DC-8 is the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), on which are visible attachment points for the Shuttle Orbiter.
DC-8 Airborne Laborator...
February 25, 1998
 
Description The DC-8 aircraft is seen making a banking turn high above the NASA Dryden ramp. This view of the DC-8's left side reveals some of the modifications necessary for particular on-board experiments. To the right of the DC-8 is the edge of Rogers Dry Lake. Above the aircraft's forward fuselage is the Dryden Flight Research Center headquarters building, while other NASA facilities extend down the flightline to the right. Below the DC-8 is the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), on which are visible attachment points for the Shuttle Orbiter.
NASA's 747 with Columbi...
NASA's specially modifi...
April 28, 1981
 
STS Challenger Mated to...
The Space Shuttle orbit...
July 4, 1982
 
Shuttle Enterprise Mate...
The Space Shuttle Enter...
1983
 
Shuttle Discovery Mated...
The Space Shuttle Disco...
1983
 
STS-35 Leaves Dryden on...
The first rays of the m...
December 1990
 
STS-68 on Runway with 7...
The space shuttle Endea...
October 1994
 
STS-68 on Runway with 7...
The space shuttle Endea...
October 1994
 
STS-68 747 SCA Ferry Fl...
The Space Shuttle Endea...
October 1994
 
Shuttle Columbia Mated ...
The crew of NASA's 747 ...
1981
 
Shuttle Enterprise Mate...
The Space Shuttle Enter...
1982
 
B-747 in Flight during ...
Two chase aircraft, a L...
September 20, 1974
 
Shuttle Enterprise Mate...
The Space Shuttle Enter...
1983
 
B-747 in Flight during ...
In this 1974 NASA Fligh...
September 20, 1974
 
B-747 in Flight during ...
In this 1974 NASA Fligh...
September 20, 1974
 
Shuttle Endeavour Mated...
NASA's 747 Shuttle Carr...
1991
 
Shuttle Endeavour Mated...
NASA's 747 Shuttle Carr...
1991
 
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