Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Field Trip to the Airport

We went to Ellington Field this morning, for our first official field trip of the school year.

Standing by the nose gear
My husband has been working out there, making some changes to the interiors of some of NASA's planes (like the Super Guppy), and so he was able to bring us out there to see the 747 that was used to ferry the Space Shuttles from coast to coast. If you're not too familiar with it, the shuttle sometimes had to land in California due to weather concerns in Florida. When that happened, NASA had to somehow get it back to Florida and the shuttle processing facilities there. So they modified a 747 to carry the shuttle, "piggy-back" style, and fly it across the country. Now that the shuttles are retired, this 747 will be retired too (to become a display at Space Center Houston), so this was about our last chance to go out and see it at Ellington.

Little boy - huge engine
Three in a row

Future pilot

Future co-pilot

Future clown

Figuring out the controls...

Halfway down
The interior of the 747 was completely gutted - no seats, no carpet, very little insulation - in order to lighten the plane. With a space shuttle mounted on the roof, they needed to save all the weight they could!

Down at the tail end

A long walk back to the front

A very long walk... Plenty of leg room compared to most commercial jets though!

Don't jump out!

Sitting in first class

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