Muncie, IN (PRWEB) September 18, 2012
When the Space Shuttle Endeavor, carried by NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, takes off tomorrow from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on a several-stop journey across the country en route to its new home in Los Angeles, it will carry two historic models from the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ National Model Aviation Museum.
The 1/40-scale Radio-Controlled Boeing 747 and Space Shuttle combination, built in 1975 and 1976, were instrumental in the design and development of the Space Shuttle program. Built by John Kiker and Owen Morris, the models proved that a Shuttle could be carried on top of a 747. According to Gary Ash, chief of Aircraft Maintenance and Quality Assurance Branch, Aircraft Operations Division of Johnson Space Center, carrying the models on the flight will be “both a tribute to him [John Kiker] as well as an educational tool to illustrate the value that models have in demonstrating innovative concepts.”
The models will be transported in the cabin of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) where they will be visible to the VIPs and media who tour the SCA at each stop along the route.
The SCA and Endeavour will depart Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility and conduct fly-overs along the Space Coast, followed by low fly-overs of NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the agency’s Michaoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Following these maneuvers, the SCA will fly over Houston before landing at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
“Models have helped drive aeronautic innovation since the advent of manned flight, and even before,” said Michael Smith, director of the National Model Aviation Museum. “What starts out as merely fun for youth often develops into serious technical endeavors on a grand scale.”
Thursday, the aircraft will depart Houston, make a refueling stop at El Paso TX and conduct low fly-overs of White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces NM and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California before landing mid-day at Dryden.
On September 21, the SCA, Endeavour and its model payload will leave Dryden and pass over Sacramento and San Francisco before landing at LAX about 11 a.m. PDT.
Social media users are encouraged to share their Shuttle sightings using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105.
The AMA’s National Model Aviation Museum expects the return of its models mid-October, with a reception to be planned.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, is the collective voice for 143,000 aeromodelers nationwide in 2,400 clubs dedicated to fun, education, competition and model aviation in a variety of disciplines.