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In 1962, a unique transport aircraft was built from the parts of 27 Boeing B-377 airliners to provide NASA with a means of transporting rocket boosters. With an interior the size of a gymnasium, ""The Guppy"" was the first of eight wide-body cargo planes built by Aero Spacelines. More than half a century later, the last Super Guppy is still in active service and the design concept is used on next-generation transports.This comprehensive history of expanded fuselage aircraft begins in the 1940s with the military's need for a long-range transport. The author covers the development of competing designs by Boeing, Convair and Douglas, and their many technical challenges and catastrophic failures. Behind-the-scenes maneuvers of financiers, corporate raiders, mobsters and other nefarious characters provide an inside look at aviation development from the drawing board to the scrap yard.
William Patrick Dean served in the U.S. Air Force and spent three decades with United Airlines. He has published numerous articles and photographed more than 10,000 aircraft. He lives in Henderson, Nevada.