Tag Archives: Washington Dulles International Airport

The Space Shuttle Enterprise flying over New York City

On Apr. 27, Space Shuttle Enteprise, atop a NASA  B747 SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) N905NA, from Washington Dulles airport, using radio callsign “Bovic 15 Heavy”, flew over New York City as done on Apr. 17 when Discovery performed a fly over on Washington DC.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Smithsonian Institution/Mark Avino)

Since the modified Boeing 747 is not equipped with ADS-B, the flight could not be tracked on either Flight Radar 24, Flight Aware or Plane Finder. However, radio comms were broadcast on the Internet thanks to Live ATC, whose feed let the world hear the “mothership” as it overflew the Hudson River at altitudes between 1,500 and 3,000 ft, chased by a NASA T-38 (radio callsign “Bovic 18″), before performing a flyover LGA airport and landing at JFK.

As the SCA flew over NYC, other traffic was slightly delayed as shown in this Plane Finder screen capture:

Enterprise was the first Shuttle orbiter ever built for NASA and it was the only one that has never been in space: it was used to perform test flights in the atmosphere and was incapable of spaceflight.

Originally housed at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Enterprise will be demated from the SCA and placed on a barge that will eventually be moved by tugboat up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in June.

Here are some of the most interesting pictures posted so far on Flickr, Twitpic, Twitter etc.

Image credit: @chenrisius

Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Space Shuttle Discovery flying over the Washington skyline as seen from a NASA T-38 (very low on gas…)

On Apr. 17, Space shuttle Discovery, mounted atop a NASA  B747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) (NASA 905 – radio callsign “Pluto 95 Heavy”) flew  over the Washington skyline.

Chased by a NASA T-38 (radio callsign “Pluto 98”), the SCA, that had taken off from Kennedy Space Center, circled four times over the Capitol area, before landing on runway 1R at Washington Dulles airport at 11.05 LT. Civil arrivals at Dulles were temporarily placed into holdings by the ATC controllers, while the “Plutos” performed their flyover.

As the SCA moved to land, the T-38 chase was so low on gas it requested an expedited landing on runway 1C due to fuel state.

Someone noted the T-38 pilot had a frog in his mouth. Not for watching the last landing of OV103, but for his own fuel status?

Photo Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Discovery, the first orbiter retired from NASA’s shuttle fleet, completed 39 missions, spent 365 days in space, orbited the Earth 5,830 times, and traveled 148,221,675 miles.

NASA will transfer Discovery to the National Air and Space Museum.

On Apr. 23, NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) with Enterprise will fly at a relatively low altitude over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. EDT.