One of the strangest aircrafts ever built – the Super Guppy outsize cargo freight airplane – made its first flight on this day in 1965. It was primarily built for NASA, and one of the aircrafts is still in use by that agency (it carries components for the International Space Station and Project Orion).
The Super Guppy was based on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, but its fuselage was greatly expanded both in length and width. The fuselage ended up so wide that it made the plane look “bloated”. The advantage was that it gained a much larger cargo space, 33.8 m × 7.62 m × 7.62 m.
An interesting feature of the Super Guppy is that its nose could be opened like a hatch and turned up to 110 degrees, which allowed large and heavy cargoes to be loaded or unloaded more efficiently. Only five such aircraft were produced, and only one remains in use.