Seattle's Museum of Flight, which is across the street from Boeing Field, is awaiting the arrival on Saturday of N941NA, the last flying Super Guppy, with the Space Shuttle Trainer in its big belly.
The arrival is timed for a welcoming ceremony at 11 a.m. with Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and others on hand. The simulator will be on display Sunday and depart Monday.
The Super Guppy was acquired from the European Space Agency in 1997 by NASA to support the International Space Station program. It was one of four adapted from a Boeing Stratocruiser by Aero Spacelines Inc. in 1962 to carry outsized loads. The others have been retired.
A Super Guppy's cargo compartment is 25 ft. tall, 25 ft. wide and 111 ft. long and can carry 26 tons. It has an internal volume of 39,000 cu. ft.
In an earlier era, the Super Guppies ferried airframe assemblies for Airbus.
The big airplane left Ellington Field in Houston today and will make stops in Arizona and California before reaching Seattle.
The shuttle trainer is a full-sized mockup of the space shuttle orbiter without the wings and was used as a test bed for fleet upgrades and astronaut training. It includes flight quality systems, including a payload bay.