New Year, New Look for 941!
A Photo Essay by Dave Shank
In early December 1998, the crew of NASA Super Guppy left N941NA in the
capable hands of Leading Edge, a commercial aircraft painter operating out of
the old Eaker Air Force Base at Blytheville, Arkansas. Dave Shank was there
to record the whole event in photographs which he has graciously shared with
us. Thanks Dave!
In this series of pictures workers at Leading Edge prep the the Super Guppy for
it's new finish. This included cleaning the entire airframe for the planned polishing
and painting. At this stage, the original stripes can still be seen under the
plastic masking. In the last photo, a workman is beginning what might seem a daunting
task; polishing the Super Guppy to a mirror shine while Dave, the gentleman in
the red baseball cap, is giving his family the nickel tour of the "work in
There's quite a difference from before. The finishing touches have been applied.
The entire process took about 4 weeks to complete by the time the Guppy
and crew flew home.
In the first three photos the Guppy is seen being pushed back out of the hanger for
the first time since receiving it's new paint job. Seen in the last photo, is the
engine starting procedures.
Beginning the taxi out for take-off back to Houston, Texas. Crewmember David
Wyckoff is seen in front of the taxiing Guppy. The last photo shows the Guppy
just at the moment of rotation just prior to breaking ground at about 12:30
local time on January 6, 1999.
The first photo was shot just after take-off. If you look closely you can see the
contrails coming off the propeller tips. The main gear doors are almost completely
closed. The crew them brought 941 back around after take-off for a fine photo pass
right down the centerline of the runway resulting in the three excellent flying
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