Dummy Space Shuttle Gliding Past Manchester Airport (1983?)

DrPaulLee

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I've met a few people who say they watched the launch at school!
 

Mythopoeika

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plastic wiganer

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I remember watching the shuttle on the 747 with my mate, it did a pass over British Aerospace (originally Avro) on Greengate, Chadderton near Oldham about 20 miles or so from Manchester airport, but i definately do not remember them separating? it was quite a sight for a couple of 14 yr old kids!
 

Eponastill

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This Gloucestershire Live article clearly states the 20 May 1983 visit was the only time Enterprise (or any shuttle) visited RAF Fairford or anywhere else in the UK (on-ground).

FULL STORY (With Photo): https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/history/day-space-shuttle-landed-gloucestershire-4116312
I'm not sure that's right you know (and I hate to argue with you EG but I don't see where it states that at all). As a kid we went down to Stanstead Airport and watched it come in piggyback on a jumbo jet and I swear it landed. Because we were standing on a bridge over the motorway and it went out of sight down onto the ground. This is my recollection anyway. There were a lot of people came to see it!
(I only recently found out that it wasn't a "real" shuttle. Which has disappointed me rather).

edit: here we are, and yes it did land https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/local-news/stansted-airport-space-shuttle-history-17646303
Apparently 200,000 people came to see... no wonder we weren't up there pressing our noses against the fence.
 

EnolaGaia

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You're right - it doesn't say that ... I was rummaging through multiple UK news stories about the 1983 RAF Fairford, some archived at the Wayback Machine, and I must have mis-attributed the claim to the Gloucestershire Live article. There was a UK news article (perhaps something relating to the Fairford air tattoo) that stated the Fairford landing was the only time the shuttle was on-ground in the UK. Sorry ...

In any case, that's incorrect. One reason I think I must have been relying on an archived UK contemporary news item relates to why it was also on-ground at Stansted.

Look at the dates. The Fairford landing occurred in May, while the SCA / shuttle were on their way to the Paris Air Show. The Stansted landing occurred in June, when the SCA was hauling the shuttle around Europe and then heading back west across the Atlantic.

The itinerary apparently changed while the shuttle was in Europe, because no UK stop was listed for the return flight prior to the tour. Deputy NASA administrator Hans Mark (who rode along to and from the Paris Air Show) wrote in his 1987 book The Space Station: A Personal Journey that the UK weather was overcast and required a flight plan adjustment and ATC clearance change for the London area flyover the day they landed at Stansted. The original plan was for the SCA to make a simple (non-exhibition) flight to Canada for a stop at Ottawa.

My guess is that the itinerary was changed while the SCA was in France and the second UK stop was inserted, probably because of weather forecasts. I must have been relying on an early UK news item describing the Fairford stop at a time when it was still believed to be the only UK stop on the tour.
 

No Highway

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I saw it after rushing out of an "O" level exam at Stockport School (June 7th 1983). Aircraft on the Manchester airport flight path were easily seen from the school with the centre of Stockport being about 4 miles from the runway 24 threshold. The shuttle remained bolted to the 747!

It was a "real" Space Shuttle used for atmospheric testing .... although not capable of spaceflight at the time (no engines/heatshield) they did plan to fit it out for spaceflight. However, in the event, this never happened.

Video Here
 

DrPaulLee

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Refitting the Enterprise for space flight was impractical for weight reasons. She was still used by NASA, such as testing the configuration of the Vandenberg Air Force shuttle launch facility, which wasn't used in the end she to the Challenger disaster.
 

Gloucestrian

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EnolaGaia, I wouldn't trust anything written by Gloucestershire Live since about 2010, or I would certainly suggest taking their articles with a large dose of salt. Gloucestershire Live is nothing more than the ghost of some very old and prestigious publications, the Gloucester Journal (1722 to c1991) and the Gloucester Citizen, but those papers are long gone and what's left is a staff of interns seemingly without an editor. They frequently get basic details about Gloucester wrong. They can't be trusted about really, well, anything.

As a proud Gloucestrian (hence the username) it causes me pain to have to discommend my local newspaper, or what is left of it, but there we are. I know many other newspapers both local and national have experienced massive declines too but I believe what has been done to the Citizen and its website Gloucestershire Live eclipses the decline of nearly all other publications by some margin.
 
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