NASA will continue to use N905NA to research reducing turbulence produced by larger aircraft.
BONUS: Video of both 747 shuttle carriers flying in formation
N905NA doing its job, carrying the shuttle Discovery in April 2012. Photo by jsmjr / Flickr.
This 747-100 was originally delivered to American Airlines in 1970 as N9668. In 1974, NASA took ownership and was converted to a Shuttle Carrier.
From NASA’s website, the features that distinguish the two SCAs from standard 747 jetliners are:
- ith associated interior structural strengthening protrude from the top of the fuselage (two aft, one forward) on which the orbiter is attached.
Two additional vertical stabilizers, one on each end of the standard horizontal stabilizer, to enhance directional stability.
Removal of all interior furnishings and equipment aft of the forward No. 1 doors.
Instrumentation used by SCA flight crews and engineers to monitor orbiter electrical loads during the ferry flights and also during pre- and post-ferry flight operations.
Thanks to SpeedBirdHD for taking and sharing this video.