Nov 7, 2007- What’s happening on contingency landing support

Flew to California on Monday early in the morning. Landed in the only place in the country where it wasn’t sunny– L.A.

Hey you people, get off my driveway!

Checked into the Comfort Inn in Lancaster and showed up to work at 0630 in the morning today. Two Shuttle Carrier Aircraft– a rare sight. Both are kept here at Edwards AFB.

Even when you are in the parking lot, you can see the history of this place all around. The X-15 is displayed,

along with the X-29,

the SR-71,

and Steve Austin will never be the same after wrecking this lifting body- the HL-10. Testing on this aircraft developed the lifting body data used to engineer the space shuttle orbiter’s design.

Later on, got a tour inside one of the SCAs.

The inside is mostly gutted to save weight and re-enforced at the attach point struts,

but there are a couple of rows of seats left where first class used to be.

The interior isn’t in that great of shape, but not many people get to ride in it when it is carrying an orbiter. These are two of four seats left on the upper deck behind the cockpit area.

Got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat. Notice the lack of modern glass cockpit instrumentation. This plane was the first of two 747s obtained by NASA in 1974 and modified to carry the orbiter.

It burns 10,000 lbs. of fuel an hour unloaded and 40,000 lbs when carrying the orbiter. Trivia answer: the Wright brothers could have completed their flight at Kitty Hawk within the plane’s interior. When loaded, it can only fly up to 15,000 ft and has a range of 1000 miles. That is why it must stop to refuel several times when crossing the country.

Guess what was flying around all day– a B-2 with an f-16 escort. Caught him landing here as it flew over us driving past the approach end of the runway.


About John Sep

Former Space Shuttle aerospace technician and private pilot now looking towards the next great adventure. Soon to be heading home from my overseas assignment! Transfered my blog from MySpace to here so check my older stuff for info and pictures from my days in space shuttle processing- lots of behind the scenes stuff! He drew pics, flew planes, fought fires and helped launch people into space - what will he do next?
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3 Responses to Nov 7, 2007- What’s happening on contingency landing support

  1. Heard the winds a howling early this am! I was enjoying the brief return to summer like temps! It sure was nice to have those warmer days.
    Good Bye Summer, see you next year.

  2. I admire the valuable data you provide in your posts. I’ll bookmark your weblog and have my youngsters examine up here typically. I am fairly certain they’ll learn lots of new things here than anyone else!

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