All About Guppys

Enjoy the latest videos from our YouTube page, courtesy of Bill Traylor's son Mark.

Thanks, Mark!

This footage comes courtesy of Bill Traylor taken during the around the world flight of the Mini Guppy, the "Spirit of Santa Barbara".

Mostly this film has footage of the places the crew visited while flying around the world. Look for Texas, Munich, Cairo, Jakarta, Sidney, and Hawaii. and finally the sunrise over California.





Bill Traylor flew the Guppys during his time with ASI. Bill was also a home movie buff who brought his camera with him to film his flights.

In this movie you'll see the loading procedures including opening the nose of the original Super Guppy and loading a lunar test vehicle.

We also get to see the takeoff from inside the cockpit and flight to the Cape, including footage taken while flying down the coast of Florida.

This footage appears to be taken with a wind-up 8mm camera, hence the short takes.



Here is a photo of the crew when they arrived home. The Mini Guppy crew was: Travis Hodges - Chief Flight engineer, Richard Gadfield - Navigator, Howard Chalupsky- assistant flight officer, William Traylor (Dad) - Reserve Captain, Larry Engel - Captain, William Ostrander - CO-Pilot, Dick Gadfield Navigator, Howard Chalupsky Flight Engineer, Roland Hipley and Gerorge Conway - Loadmasters andMechanics and two mechanics not named.





Tex Johnston announced as the Chairman of the Board of ASI and TJI, and more photos from Tony!

Thanks, Tony!

This letter from "Tex" Johnston to Jack (Tony's dad) of the changes in management structuring at ASI.








SGT #1 in the classic Guppy takeoff photograph taken at what appears to be Santa Barbara Airport. (center).

Tony shared some of his vintage ASI memorabilia, starting from left, unopened Guppy paperweight, group photo if French folks [from Airbus], and a Guppy tie-tack (right).


We can't think of a nicer birthday present!

Fellow Guppy Fan, Tony P. writes,

"I have the original engineering on the SG201....its about 8 feet long blueprint. My father was VP, Engineering in the late 60's early 70's, ASI."

Tony shared photos of his plans with us. All 10' by 4' feet of them!

Thanks, Tony!

What a great lead-in for a shout-out to Terry Dunn from!

Super Guppy Fan Terry writes,

"Terry Dunn here. I’ve been working on an article about the NASA’s Super Guppy and your site has been a huge resource for me. Thanks for pulling it together and maintaining it.

A few years back, when I was working at JSC, I was friends with one of the NASA pilots. He invited me out to Ellington to crawl around the Guppy one day."

You're welcome Terry! We're glad to help out and share your article with our readers. Here's a link to his article on It's a great read and he has more photos of N941.

NASA’s Super Guppy–Awkward, Old, and Irreplaceable
by Terry Dunn

Visit our YouTube Channel to view our videos!

We have decided to move all of our videos to our new YouTube Channel for easier viewing. You can still find the video thunbnails in their existing locatins (at the bottom of each airplane's page), but the links will now open up a YouTube page. We feel this will be easier for our visitors to enjoy the various videos in one location, rather than have to go from page to page. We have loaded some of our favorites, as well as some new ones you haven't seen before.

Our YouTube Channel is

September 19, 2012: 50th Anniversary of the Pregnant Guppy's Test Flight!

With the help of some very dedicated friends and colleagues at Aero Spacelines and On Mark Engineering, Jack Conroy helped a nation realize its dream of going to the moon within a decade. Conroy's vision, realized through the Pregnant Guppy, lives on in NASA's N941, Airbus' Belugas and Boeing's 747 LCF.

Fifty years later and beyond, history will surely remember Jack Conroy as the father of over-sized aircraft.

Here are some interesting Pregnant Guppy related links:

We searched our archives and came out with these photos taken on September 19, 1962.

Left photo: This UPI photo was taken during the preparations for the initial start up prior to taxiing down for the offiicial unveiling.
Right photo:
Seen here is Jack with the test a flight crew. We apologize for any confusion.

Two stories; one is about the first Guppy, and the other is about the last Guppy. Both are great stories that we hope you will really enjoy. Happy Independence Day!

First the Pregnant Guppy story-

We received these emails from Suzanne S.


David Elliott from NASA suggested I write you. I have footage from the inaugural flight of the Pregant Guppy. It is about 4-1/2 minutes long and is great, close-up footage. My Uncle Bill (William Lowther) used to work for Hughes Aircraft and he worked on this project and was there at the inaugural flight.

I met up with David as he was passing through Tucson with the Super Guppy on his way to Seattle with the mock space shuttle and I gave him a copy of the footage for the events this weekend (Clay Lacy, among many other VIPs, is going to be at the events.)


Later Suzanne wrote us:

fyi -I gave the footage to David Elliott and he took it with him to Seattle and inserted it into a presentation given today by Greg Johnson. He also showed it to Clay Lacy last night. They were very excited to see it and it's actually incredible and close-up footage.

David and Clay said it is the only known video of the inaugural flight, and given that it's the 50th anniversary of the flight, timing was definitely on my side to find this footage last week.

I personally don't need the credit but you can list the credit like this: "Donated In Memory of William Lowther".


Suzanne, we should be thanking you, David Elliott and most of all, Uncle Bill for sharing this incredible video and story with us and our readers!

This historic video contains the inital start-up and taxi down to the PR area for the Pregnant Guppy's official unveiling. Jack Conroy is briefly seen accepting good wishes and good luck handshakes from friends and collegues before rushing past the camera.

The Pregnant Guppy is then started and taxied down to the end of the runway for the test flight with his airport security escort doing their best to keep ahead of Jack and the Pregnant Guppy. The chase plane, a single-seat experimental home-built, follows at a safe distance.

Jack shows his long familiarity with the Boeing 377s as he performs a high speed taxi that turns into a short hop in ground effect and then a perfect landing. A hasty taxi back on the runway means Jack is anxious to get this bird in the air. In the next scene, he does just that as the Pregnant Guppy takes off and flies away, leaving onlookers scratching their heads.

Look for the nice close-ups of the Pregnant Guppy on the ground and in the air. The cameo by Jack was great!

Donated In Memory of William Lowther
(click on any of the thumbnails to watch the video - No sound)

Thanks for the 4-1-1 on the 9-4-1!

We received this email from our friend, Angelee with this video of the NASA Super Guppy flying over Seattle.

Angelee writes:

Good morning Daren, I know you will enjoy this!!!

Angelee Conroy





Thanks for this very cool video, Angelee. Watch for the 747 LCF to make a cameo appearance. Watch on our YouTube Channel.

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