NASA's 747 SCAs--Birds of a Feather Flock Together
NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft 905 (front) and 911 (rear) were captured by photographer Carla Thomas as they flew in formation over the Rio Tinto Borax mine west of Boron, Calif. (NASA / Carla Thomas) › View Larger Image
For the first time ever, NASA's two highly modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft briefly flew in formation over the Edwards Air Force Base test range Aug. 2. Both aircraft were scheduled to be in the air on the same day, NASA 911 (foreground) on a flight crew proficiency flight, NASA 905 (rear) on a functional check flight following maintenance operations. Since both aircraft were scheduled to be in the air at the same time, SCA pilot Jeff Moultrie of Johnson Space Center's Aircraft Operations Directorate took the opportunity to have both SCA's fly in formation for about 20 minutes while NASA photographer Carla Thomas captured still and video imagery from a NASA Dryden F/A-18. In addition to Moultrie, NASA 905's check flight crew included pilot Arthur "Ace" Beall and flight engineer Henry Taylor while NASA 911 was flown by Larry LaRose, Steve Malarchick and Bob Zimmerman from NASA Johnson and Frank Batteas and Bill Brockett from NASA Dryden.
NASA's two modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft were captured by photographer Carla Thomas as they flew in formation over Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's complex of buildings can be seen on the edge of the lakebed immediately below NASA 911. (NASA / Carla Thomas) › View Larger Image