open by manual operation of a worm-and-gear mechanism. The center-of-gravity location of the wheel ensures that only minimal empennage loads are transmitted to the two vertical fuselage attachment hinges during this operation.
The Mini Guppy does not include any structural fail-safe provisions. However, its designers point out that the Boeing Model 377 airframes used in the Guppy aircraft series have an average of only about 30,000 hr. each, with no history of structural-fatigue failures, and that Douglas Aircraft designs of comparable vintage have accumulated up to 75,000 hr. of service.
The latest Guppy version, like the others, is the brainchild of John M. Conroy, company president. The decision to proceed with its construction was preceded by a market servey which, the company claims, established a firm need for an outsized air-transport capability in commercial applications. Open letters of support and interest for these possibilities from NASA, Boeing, Fairchild Hiller, Northrop and two separate divisions of Martin Co., have been enclosed by Aero Spacelines with its application to the Civil Aeronautics Board for supplemental carrier certification.
The Mini Guppy is the first of a planned commercial fleet to be
used for airlifting aircraft sections, helicopters, oil drilling equipment and other cargo too large for existing transport designs, and is a backup for the present NASA and DOD operations.
Soon after its completion, the Mini Guppy flew from Santa Barbara to Philadelphia. Then hauled a Budd Co. Skylounge from Philadelphia to Paris. After exhibition at the recent air show, the Mini Guppy was flown to Toulouse for a demonstration for Sud Aviation and British Aircraft Corp. officials of its ability to carry Concorde supersonic transport assemblies.

The aircraft returned to Paris before flying back to Santa Barbara. Aero Spacelines future plans include:
*Replacement of the center wing section in the Pregnant Guppy with a new beefed-up version, developed for the Mini Guppy, during the next major overhaul.
*A turbine-powered version of the Mini Guppy equipped with four 4,680 hp. Allisons, to increase payload to 60,000 Ib. and cruising speed to 300 mph. The wing center section in the present Mini Guppy

Mini Guppy construction includes jigging nose and tail section of Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in place. then building a new fuselage between them. The transformation increases fuselage length 200 in. aft of the wing and 70 in. ahead of it.

Reprinted From AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY July 3, 1967
Copyright 1967 McGraw-Hill, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.

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