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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Did you know?

Vought built the aft fuselage of the B-1B Lancer? The aft intermediate and aft sections were produced in Texas and shipped to Palmdale, California for assembly on the B-1Bs. Basically aft of the wing box with the exception of the tail cone, vertical and horizontal stabilizers were constructed by Vought.

Here are some images of an aft intermediate section being unloaded from Super Guppy N940NS at Palmdale. This is the first delivery to support the B-1B program. Notice the gathering in the hangar including a film crew that are visible in some of the photos.

Super Guppy in position

Cargo section open on the Super Guppy and the loading platform moved into position

 The aft intermediate section of the B-1 is moving forward onto the platform

The aft intermediate section is completely on the platform.

 Nice side view of the after intermediate section on the platform

 Final view with the aft intermediate section preparing to be towed away from the Super Guppy.

It is not clear how many sections were transported by air. Rail was the economic, preferred method of transportation. There were specially designed rail cars for transporting the B-1 sections. I will gather some up for a later post. Vought's other subcontract work like S-3 Viking sections and 747/757/767 tail assemblies all ride the rail.

This was yet another example of an interesting payload carried by Super Guppy aircraft.
Photos from the VAHF Archives.


  1. Hi Bill, thanks for this article and the pictures...

    According to the flight log of the NASA 940 Super Guppy, three B-1 section were transported, each time from Dallas to Palmdale :
    Nov 2nd 1983 (B-1 AIF, weight 36082lbs)
    May 22nd 1985 (B-1B AIF, weight 36082lbs)
    Apr 1st, 1986 (B-1B AIF, weight 37725lbs)

    They were among the heaviest part ever transported by the NASA Super-Guppy !

    1. Thank you for the information, much appreciated.

      I am really surprised at the weights of those sections!
      The NASA Super Guppy also flew some of the damaged A-7Ds back to the plant in Grand Prairie from Puerto Rico. Do you happen to have any dates on those flights?

    2. According to my intel, 6 A-7 were transported by the Guppy during the NASA period (1979 - 1991)...I know that others A-7 were transported by the Guppy before 1979 when it was operated by Aero Spacelines, but I have no info regarding those flights...

      1 flight was definitely made to vought :
      May 15th 1989 from TUCSON to LTV DALLAS TX (weight 22644lbs)

      4 flights were made to Dallas, so I assume it is Vought
      Aug 19th 1980 from SAN JUAN to DALLAS (weight 22016lbs)
      Feb 27th 1981 from SAN JUAN to DALLAS (weight 22730lbs)
      Feb 27th 1981 from SAN JUAN to DALLAS (weight 22325lbs)
      Feb 11th 1986 from HOWARD AFB PANAMA to DALLAS (weight 19587lbs)

      1 flight was to Tinker AFB :
      Aug 18th 1981 from COLD LAKE CANADA to TINKER AFB (weight 27930lbs)


    3. Thank you Pierre!. I will use what you shared in an upcoming post about the Puerto Rican A-7s that were brought back to Grand Prairie for repairs after the Ejército Popular Boricua terrorist attack January 12, 1981.