3.0 years ago. 17.8k SemedianIndustries. Although NASA was lukewarm on the concept, Conroy mortgaged his house and founded Aero Spacelines International to build and operate the concept aircraft.[1]. @twv23 thx. Here are some of the strangest and/or ugliest looking aircrafts from around the … He would have to borrow fuel for the cross country flight.  Conroy had over $1 million invested in the project — he was flat broke and had a long line of creditors hounding him. I was 19 years old the first time I saw it land and takeoff and I thought it was amazing something that big could actually fly! Specially designed to be able to carry components for the Gemini Space Program, the aircraft then called the Pregnant Guppy had the largest cargo compartment of any plane that had ever been built.. I’d like to talk to you sometime if you did any work on the Stinson project for Wardlow. The aircraft was named for its striking resemblance to a pregnant guppy … Conroy presented his plan for the modified plane to NASA, where an official said it looked like a pregnant guppy. The various Guppy aircraft served throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond, initially transporting space components, and later, as NASA scaled down its operations after the success of the Apollo program, transporting airliner sections.[1]. Retrieved October 5, 2006. 2.9 years ago. On September 19, 1962, they logged the first test flight. What cargo aircraft can lift the greatest load (in weight, not cube) in the world today? ... Guppy prop plane download for FSX. The Pregnant Guppy loads a Saturn booster. Conversion work was undertaken by On Mark Engineering. [1] The Pregnant Guppy was the first of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines. The design also inspired similar … The Pregnant Guppy on the ramp in preparation for NASA test flights and pilot evaluation in October 1962. Flying is one thing and flying with grace like the Concorde is another. L'Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy era un quadrimotore da trasporto a fusoliera allargata sviluppato dall'azienda statunitense Aero Spacelines nei primi anni sessanta. Once on the ground, the engineers lightened the aircraft by 8,000 pounds before the next test flight.  After a demonstration flight for NASA with a mock-up of the rocket booster on board, the airline signed a contract to fly on revenue runs — Conroy and Aero Spacelines were in business. London. Sadly, Gene is no longer with us, but the success of the Guppy project he and so many of you participated in lives on. Photo Credit: NASA. Thus, in the Spring of 1963 the plane was readied for its heavy lift test flight at Mojave, California.  Sandbags and a full fuel load pegged the plane at its projected maximum gross weight.  The pilot that day was Jacky Pedesky.  As the plane lumbered down the runway, everything was within operating limits.  When the pilot pulled back on the control yokes, the plane rotated and slowly rose into the air — too slowly, in fact.  It seemed only barely able to climb.  Without sufficient runway ahead to land, they had no choice but to press on.  The airspeed was pegged at 128 kts — the plane was lumbering along just above the ground.  Gingerly, they inched upward into slowly rising terrain ahead.  For every foot they climbed, the terrain rose underneath the plane equally. Not your average flying fish. In the summer of 1963, the Pregnant Guppy began flying NASA cargo. However, the NASA management doubted that it could work.  Several professional aeronautical engineers reviewed the concept and declared it unworkable.  One NASA official quipped that the contraption looked like a “pregnant guppy”.  The trip wasn’t entirely a loss, however, as he found some interested and supportive parties — if he could make it work, they told him, a contract would likely follow….  But of course, no guarantees.  One of those who expressed support was the famous Wernher von Braun, who liked Conroy’s swashbuckling, can-do attitude. Pregnant Guppy The Aero Spacelines B-377PG Pregnant Guppy, seen here, was flown to Dryden for tests and evaluation by pilots … With the beginning of the 1960s, Kennedy had declared that America was on the way to the Moon.  NASA found it had a problem shipping newly constructed rockets from its west coast contractors to Cape Canaveral in Florida.  The original plan, putting them on ocean-going barges through the Panama Canal, proved unworkable.  The trip took two to three week and, on arrival, the fragile rocket boosters were dented, dinged and corroded from the salt spray.  On hearing of NASA’s quandary, John Conroy had looked across the field at Van Nuys where his friend, aircraft broker Leo Mansdorf, had been storing B377 Stratocruisers that he had acquired, uncertain if they had any resale value.  Surely, the big planes could be used, he thought, and it just might solve two problems — NASA’s and Mansdorf’s. Air shipment seemed reasonable enough.  The rocket components were extremely lightweight, though the problem was that they were simply huge.  No aircraft had a cargo hold large enough as just one stage of the rocket was 40 feet long and 18 feet in diameter.  Conroy started working the problem, literally on the back of a napkin with Mansdorf.  Together, they thought that it might be possible to modify a B377 by adding a larger cargo bay atop the fuselage.  He prepared a rough design series with some drawings and presented the idea to NASA in person, hoping for funding. Photo Credit: NASA. The idea for this ridiculous looking plane was originally NASA’s, for carrying bits of … In the end, John Conroy’s Super Guppy was the key aircraft that got America to the Moon.  Wernher von Braun gave Conroy and his company the ultimate compliment when he summed it up succinctly, “The Guppy was the single most important piece of equipment to put a man on the moon in the decade of the 1960s.”  Against all odds and based on just his own faith in his idea, his own funds and his hopes, John Conroy had made history.
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