All About Guppys

9/25/08: The Scrapping Continues...Maybe

Our friend at Bournemouth, Barry Quince, sent us these photos of the status of the Skymonster's scrapping. The turboprops are out and there appears to be some type of fencing that's ready to be installed.

Barry writes:

Hi Daren,

Just to keep you up to date, the Guppy is still at Bournemouth for how long who can tell. I do have permision to go on the aircraft from time to time, the last time was on Monday. I will try to keep you informed of how things are going more often. As for a museum, maybe.


Thanks for the update, Barry! Actually, we have heard from another source that the Skymonster may not be scrapped afterall. The Skymonster could be heading for a museum in Germany.

We're hoping that Jack Conroy's last and possibly his best oversized cargo airplane will see life beyond the smelter's pot!

9/25/08: Super Guppy Carries Pioneer 10 (too!)

Christian Gurling, the curator at the Tillamook Air Museum shares some new photos of the Super Guppy being loaded with the Pioneer F/G (also known as the Pioneer 10).

Hi Daren.

I hope they will make a great and wonderful addition to the history of the Guppy family.



These are a great find, Christian! Thank you for sharing them with us and our readers. I love the guy kneeling next to the radioactive warning sign in his civies! ;^)

More history on the Mini Guppy.

We received an information request from Christian Gurling, the Curator at the Tillamook Air Museum. Christian asked us if we had any information on the Mini Guppy carrying the Pioneer 10 (Pioneer-F).

The Pioneer 10 was the first man-made object designed to leave our solar system. Pioneer 10's main objectives were to study the interplanetary and planetary magnetic fields; atmosphere of Jupiter and some of its satellites, particularly Io; and to photograph Jupiter and its satellites.

We searched our archives and were not able to find any information on the Mini Guppy carrying the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. We then received this information from Christian:

Christian writes:

Hi Daren,

Here’s something I received today from NASA in regards to the Mini-Guppy and the Pioneer 10. It seems that the Guppy did indeed carry the Pioneer 10, judging by the photo. Quite a history!

Christian Gurling

Museum Curator
Tillamook Air Musem

Thanks for the information! There seems to be no end to the historical significance of Aero Spacelines' aircraft.

Aviation Visionary, Smilin' Jack Conroy Available at Amazon!

Bob Kirby and George Warner's new book about Jack Conroy is available at They're temporarily out of stock, but it looks to be a great read.

Click here to place your order for "Aviation Visionary, Smilin' Jack Conroy.

Thanks for the head's up, Dan!

Some good news and some bad news. First the good news.

We have been in contact with Chrisian Gurling, the Curator at the Tillamook Air Museum. Christian sent us some exciting news about the Mini-Guppy.

Christian writes:

The Tillamook Air Museum is pleased to announce the grand opening of its most unusual and uniquely bizarre aircraft, the Mini-Guppy, on 1 August 2008. For the very first time, visitors to the Museum will have the rare opportunity to tour this historic aircraft and in the process learn what made this such an outstanding and ubiquitous aircraft.

Visitors to the Guppy will experience a photo exhibit in the heart of the aircraft that documents the Mini-Guppy's early life as a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in service with Pan Am Airlines, to its rebirth as an oversized cargo aircraft that carried a variety of goods including school busses, boats, helicopters and blimps.

A separate fee will apply to tour the Mini-Guppy and can readily be purchased at the Museum Admissions desk. The Tillamook Air Museum welcomes you to our newest exhibit and hopes to see you soon.

Christian Gurling
Museum Curator

That's fantastic! We're sure the Mini-Guppy Tours will become very popular.

New book about Jack Conroy and his Conroy Aircraft Corporation!

We received this message from former Conroy Aircraft employee, George Warner.

George writes:


Bob Kirby (once Conroy's Director of Research & Development) and I (once Conroy's Purchasing Manager) have just published a book detailing the 4 year experience of Jack's Conroy Aircraft Corporation.

The Book is titled: "AVIATION VISIONARY--Smilin' Jack Conroy and his Conroy Aircraft Corporation" and sells for $19.95.

The book has pictures of the Turbo-3, the Turbo Albatross, the CL-44 we called the Conroy Airlift, the STOLifter, and various other things.

Cheers Geo Warner

Thanks for the head's up, George! We'll update our readers on where the book can be purchased once we find out.

NASA's Super Guppy and crew (and us!) featured in Air & Space article.

We were interviewed by Kara Platoni for an article she wrote for the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine. It will be appearing in the September, 2008 issue.

Kara's article is titled "BIG IDEA: Megalifters prove you're never too fat to fly." and is available online.

Click Here
to read Kara's article.

And finally we close with some bad news.

We heard from our friend, Barry Quince with news about the CL-44-O, Skymonster. The Skymonster had been stored at Bournemouth Airport until recently.

Barry writes:

Hi Daren.

Just to keep you up to date, the Guppy is now being scrapped at Bournemouth airport. I did hope the old girl would fly again. [I] wish I could have sent you better news.

Barry Quince

Thanks for the news, Barry. It's sad to think that the certification flights flown in 2004 would ultimately be the last time the old bird would take to the skies.

After leaving the company he helped build, Jack Conroy did not retire from building revolutionary aircraft, he instead resumed the "seat of your pants" style of bulding airplanes that had brought him success in the past, forming the Conroy Aircraft Corporation to modify existing aircraft.

In addition to the CL-44, Conroy modified a DC-3 (above) to accept Rolls-Royce Dart 510 turbo-props, replacing the DC-3's original pair of radial engines.

A Grumman Albatross (above, right) was modified to accept a pair of turbo-props to become the Turbo-Albatross, and a Cessna Skymaster (right) fuselage was reworked to become the turbo-prop powered STOLifter.

The CL-44-O Airlift, or Skymonster as it became later known, was Conroy Aircraft's most successful and long-lived design.With the Skymonster's demise, it takes the number of surviving CL-44s from four to three.

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