Below are a few photos from the flyby of the Shuttle carrier aircraft with Space Shuttle Endeavour in transport to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in FL from Edwards Air Force Base in CA. Photos by Craig Benjamin, video by Ben Longmier
Ben Longmier on the flight line of Ellington Field, just short of taxiway Hotel, about halfway between 35L and 17R
Supporting F16...notice the very real looking weapons on the ends of the wings
SSupport C17 Boeing Globemaster III, flies several tens miles ahead to test wind conditions
First pass of Ellington field runway 35L. You can see some astronaut training aircraft, T-38, in the forground
"Get off my back"
They were cleared for the approach at 300 ft
A T-38 support aircraft in the background
Fortunate vantage point...the T-38 is several hundred feet behind the 747 Shuttle carrier aircraft
747 Shuttle carrier aircraft carrying Endeavour
Notice the white tail assembly used to protect Shuttle main engines and reduce drag during transport
T-38 astronaut training aircraft coming back to hangers after a nice landing. I've been told it is the only supersonic training aircraft
Shuttle training aircraft (STA), used to simulate the landing portion for Shuttle pilots. Engine reversers, full flaps, and fully down landing gear are used when simulating the Shuttle approaches in order to reduce the lift from the STA and more closely approximate the glideslope of the Shuttle on final approach.
Second pass over runway 35L
Second pass over runway 35L...really close this time!
Second pass over runway 35L...really close this time! Back of Ben's head.
~150-200 ft above runway 35 at Ellington Field, Houston, TX
The pilots did a fantastic job at keeping this aircraft stable in slow flight with a few gusts up to 15 kts.
See ya Endeavour...hope the weather is nice in Florida!
Copyright © 2009 Ben Longmier