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After 4 Months In Maintenance NASA’s SOFIA 747 Returns To The Sky

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NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has been notably absent from US skies for several months now. The Boeing 747SP-based flying telescope has been in maintenance in Hamburg, Germany, since last September. However, she is now almost ready to fly once more but plans to stay in Europe for a little while longer. (simpleflying.com) More...

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djjamar
Jamar Jackson 4
I live in Palmdale and love seeing this stubby old jet take off in the evenings with that old thunderous 747 sound,
ADXbear
ADXbear 2
I used to live in Lancaster, now back at the Cape. I'm wondering why NASA didn't spend our money at am American facility? Like Delta tech ops in ATL?
SmokedChops
SmokedChops 2
There are a few things that were most likely considered for HMX (c Check). The SOFIA project is a joint venture between the US and Germany. DLH Technik has the most experience on this very unique derivative of the 747 (only 45 built - majority were VVIP 'head of state' in the Middle East by the end of their usage, DLH has maintained most of them) The only American carrier to order the type was PanAm, so the local knowledge base on these has a fair amount of gray hair, if not retired completely. There may also be an issue of certification to perform the work, DLH may be the only holder of of a cert to perform this work on this particular type. As a taxpayer, I would rather see the money spent on the experts for a particular task to maintain a taxpayer asset. If they are here in the States. fantastic. In this case, they are in Hamburg.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Yes, I think it would be a Heavy Check... C-Check could be done in the US, however, I think it would be closer to a D-Check which is much much heavier work load and I believe actually involves removing the wings for inspection.... No need to say, it takes quite a facility to be able to remove the wings from a 747.... Even the smaller ones. Very Very expensive, which is why most US Airlines chose to park them before that time.
xtopgunner
Zack Trego 0
I like cheese

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