15 July 2013

Stellar visitors

The arrival of NASA's airborne observatory, Boeing 747SP-21, N747NA named Sofia caused me to look out a photo of an earlier aircraft modified to gaze at the stars from high altitude...

NASA's Lockheed L300-50A Starlifter N714NA, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory at Christchurch on 9 March 1986. This was used as a high-altitude airborne observatory, with an infrared telescope being operated in an open cavity. 
It's replacement was Boeing 747SP-21 N747NA, Sofia, seen here on its tech stop into Auckland on Sunday 14 July 2013.

Thanks to Andrew Crang for these photos of the 747SP. For more on its visit to New Zealand see http://www.mrcaviation.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/sofia-arrives.html

1 comment:

  1. Sitting on the Apron by Deep freeze hangers this afternoon in NZCH