Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility Dedication
April 9, 2009

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NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale was dedicated on April 9, 2009.

Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA NASA's Boeing 747SP N747NA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infra-red Astronomy (SOFIA) is housed in the newly dedicated Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility. The 747SP will carry a 2.5 meter diameter telescope above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere to provide a clear view of space.

This 747SP-21 carries Boeing construction number 21441. It made its first flight on Apriul 25, 1977. It was delivered to Pan Am as N536PA on May 6, 1977. Pan Am named it Clipper Lindbergh. United Airlines bought it on February 13, 1986. United changed its registration to N145UA on November 1, 1986. It made its last revenue flight, and the last scheduled revenue flight of a 747SP in the United States, on October 17, 1994. It was withdrawn from use and parked at Oakland on October 18, 1994. It was ferried to Las Vegas on or before November 1, 1995. NASA bought it on January 1, 1997. It was ferried to San Francisco on February 17, 1997 and repainted with new titles identifying it as SOFIA on February 20. It entered a hangar at Waco, Texas for paint stripping and maintenance on May 1, 1999. The registration N747NA was reserved for it on December 17, 2004. It made its first flight after modification on April 26, 2007.

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Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA

Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA A 2.5-meter diameter infra-red telescope will look out through the large opening of the fuselage.

Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA

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Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA

Art Prints You can buy framed prints of this photograph.

NASA's Boeing 747SP N747NA SOFIA arrived at Edwards Air Force Base early in the afternoon on May 31, 2007.

The Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale houses a fleet of NASA airplanes: Gulfstream III N803NA, Beechcraft Super King Air N7NA, Boeing 747SP N747NA Stratospheric Observatory For Infra-red Astronomy (SOFIA), Dpig;as DC-8-72 N817NA, Lockheed ER-2 N809NA, and Boeing 747-SCA N911NA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

View this Gigapan in Google Earth.

Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility

Photography Prints You can buy framed prints of this photograph.

NASA's McDonnell-Douglas DC-8-72, N817NA was delivered to Alitalia as DC-8-62H, I-DIWK, Giacomo Puccini in May 1969. Its McDonnell-Douglas constructoin number is 46082. Braniff airways bought it in January 1979 and registered it as N801BN. International Air Leases bought it in November 1983 and leased it to Nacelle Corporation in September 1984. Cammacorp bought it in December 1985 and sold it to NASA in February 1986. NASA had it converted to a DC-8-72 in April 1986 and registered it as N717NA in August 1986. N817NA was nce the registration of NASA's DC-3.

Beechcraft Siuper King Air N7NA Beechcraft Siuper King Air N7NA.

Gulfstream III N803NA was built in 1980. Its construction number is 309. It has been registered to NASA since October 24, 1989. N803NA was once the registration of the Northrop M2-F2/F3 lifting body.

Lockheed ER-2 N809NA Lockheed ER-2 N809NA of the High Altitude Airborne Science Program was originally assigned Air Force serial 80-1097.

Boeing 747-Shuttle Carrier Aircraft N911NA Boeing 747-Shuttle Carrier Aircraft N911NA was delivered to Japan Airlines as 747-SR46, JA8117 on September 26, 1973. NASA acquired it on October 27, 1988.


Palmdale Displays

Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale
International Airport, California displays Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale International Airport, California displays.



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