Unless the weather changes drastically, Space Shuttle Enterprise will depart Dulles International Airport and the D.C. area on her final ferry flight for her history making Big Arrival at the Big Apple on Friday morning, April 27 and a spectacular fly around of the New York City Metro area and towering Skyscrapers.
NASA managers have given the “GO” for takeoff of Enterprise early Friday morning. Enterprise is primed and mounted atop NASA 905 – the specially modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carriar Aircraft (SCA) that transports all the orbiters on cross country ferry trips; see my photo above.
In less than 24 hours, New York City will be the permanent new home to the Enterprise, NASA’s first shuttle vehicle.
From around 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Enterprise atop the SCA will fly at quite low altitudes over various landmarks and historic locations in the New York City metropolitan area, putting on a dramatic sky show for millions of residents and visitors in the local New York and New Jersey region.
The mated duo is expected to make one or more mind bending, not-to-be-missed low passes over the iconic Statue of Liberty, her new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Museum and other breathtaking locales throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New York’s waterways, before landing at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.
The public is invited to view the momentous Enterprise fly over atop the 747 from the flight deck of the Intrepid at Pier 86. The museum plans to open early.
Viewers can expect magnificent viewing opportunities inside New York City, from the ground level and up to the top of skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, as well as unparalleled Manhattan skyline views across the river from the New Jersey shoreline, stretching north and south along the Hudson River.
Depending on how far north the SCA flies, Enterprise might also be visible from nearby areas of Westchester and Rockland Counties and Connecticut.
The exact flyover route depends on weather and operational constraints and has not been released for security reasons.
The weather forecast is favorable with sunny and breezy conditions expected with temperatures around 50 degrees F. Winds gusts are the only potential hang up at this time. Dress warmly.
1500 VIP’s from New York will greet Enterprise after landing at JFK.
Enterprise will depart directly from Dulles for New York. Unlike the two hour long flyaround arrival of Space Shuttle Discovery to the D.C. area and Dulles on April 17, there will be no fly around of the DC area for this ferry flight of Enterprise.
Barely a week ago, Enterprise and Discovery swapped places at the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington, D.C. following a nose to nose shuffle and meet up attended by a crowd of about 10,000 visitors.
Space Shuttle Enterprise and the SCA flew very briefly over New York City just once before in 1983 on a return trip from display at the Paris Air Show in France and an international tour of Germany, Italy, the UK and Canada.
You can catch beautiful view and photos of the takeoff of Enterprise from Dulles very easily from the upper levels of the Daily Parking garages. See my photo of Enterprise strapped to the SCA Jumbo Jet at Dulles herein and in this preview story.
Ken will be on hand for the history making Grand Entrance of the Enterprise over Manhattan’s skyline. Feel free to send me your Enterprise photos to post here at Universe Today.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see space history as a path finding NASA Space Shuttle – named after Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise – fly’s over the greatest city on Earth !
Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (KSC area,FL) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, FOX, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now, Science and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, NASA Wallops, NASA Michoud/Stennis/Langley and on over 80 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight – www.kenkremer.com. Follow Ken on Facebook and Twitter