The transportation of oversized cargo has always been a tremendous problem for logistics planners in government and private industry. The physical limitations of railroad tunnels, narrow roads, low bridges, and power lines make overland shipment of such cargo extremely problematic, if not impossible. NASA's Super Guppy offers a practical and economical solution to these problems.
Although there are other aircraft capable of carrying more weight than the Super Guppy, very few come close to its internal dimensions. Boasting an immense cargo area that is 25 feet in diameter and 111 feet long, the Super Guppy can carry items that are virtually impossible to fit inside other cargo aircraft.
The Super Guppy has a unique hinged nose that opens 110 degrees, permitting full frontal cargo loading. A control lock and disconnect system at the fuselage break allows the nose to be opened and closed without disrupting the flight or engine control rigging.
Cargo loading is simple and efficient. There are fewer handling and shipping fixtures with a minimum of ground support equipment. A system of rails in the cargo compartment is used with either Super Guppy pallets or fixtures designed for specific cargo. Rollers mounted in the rail allow pallets or fixtures to be moved by an electric winch mounted beneath the cargo floor. Automatic hydraulic lock pins in the rail secure the pallet for flight.