Aero Spacelines 377MG "Mini Guppy"
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Tom Smothermon, e-mail, 04.04.2014 18:52

I stumbled on this site and would like to hear from many of you. I started a blog site with many photos of which I now own the negatives of. I have several hundred more that will be posted as time permits. Stories, dates and names of people that worked on the aircraft are what I'm looking for.

Please feel free to make comments of any photo that you can add pertinent to. This site is for information gathering and to add to the historic data not only of the aircraft but the people that made it possible.

Photos for individuals that may want one for their personal use will be considered. They are not for sale or for commercial use however.


Patrick Maginnis, e-mail, 18.01.2014 04:25

Which one crashed next to the Goleta Pier?


Patrick Dean, e-mail, 08.12.2013 05:52

I am seeking construction, operation, break-up and crash photos of all Guppy Types for a book that will be published by McFarland and Company. It is a sequel to my book "The ATL-98 Carvair". The working title is "Volumetric Heavy Lift, Hybrid and Guppy Aircraft." This is a comprehensive review and comparison of Guppy and heavy lift aircraft and includes a section on external cargo transport. A large portion of the manuscript has been completed.
Any photos or anecdotal accounts anyone can offer will be appreciated.
Thanks,WPD


Nigel Mahood, e-mail, 05.07.2013 06:49

When I attended Isla Vista School I remembered seeing the Guppy fly overhead, I couldn't wait till after school so I can run all the way to Disco fair department store where my mother was a manager. Later on Two Guys bought that store, then FedMart, now Kmart.


france frederick, e-mail, 24.06.2013 05:47

I was about 14 when the Mini Guppy was built . My father worked for tha Santa Barbara airport . So we got to watch it being built. Now that my Father is gone i have the tray that Areo Spacelines gave my father for helping,also 2 decks of cards with the Guppy on them . I enjoy rwlling people about the Guppies and the first time i watched the Mini Guppy Fly . It was the Greatest thing to know my father helped with it . i have a picture of me standing on a ladder next to the Mini Guppy .


Mark Traylor, e-mail, 15.06.2013 06:12

My dad Wilfred (Bill or William) Traylor flew with the following crew on the Guppy's around the world trip in 1967, HJope you recognize some of the names: from around the world new papers the journey was August 24, 1967 - September 26, 1967. Here are some names for you: A picture in the cockpit of Hipley- Ostrander-Hodges and Engel. Dick Gadfield Navigator, Howard Chalupsky Flight Engineer, Roland Hipley and Gerorge Conway - Loadmasters and Mechanics, Articles when they arrived home 8 Man crew they flew the "Spirit of Santa Barbara" The Mini Guppy, the crew was: Travis Hodges - Chief Flight engineer, Richard Gadfield - Navigator, Howard Chalupsky- assistant flight officer, William Traylor (Dad) - Reserve Captain, Larry Engel - Captain, William Ostrander - CO-Pilot, and two mechanics


Mark Traylor, e-mail, 09.06.2013 20:51

Brendt, Wilfred (Bill) Lowell Traylor was my father unfortunately he died in 2007 shortly after my mother Jackie, we grew up in Santa Barbara (Goleta) with very fond memories of the Aerospace Guppy Program. I would love to hear your stories please e-mail me to contact me, Mark


Kassi, e-mail, 25.10.2012 00:35

My grandpa was the flight engineer on the Mini Gup. I love all his stories.


Barbara Conroy Farish, e-mail, 14.11.2011 23:55

I christened the Mini-Guppy the "Spirit of Santa Barbara"in 1967, then joined my father "Jack" Conroy at Paris Air show where the Mini-Guppy won the prestigious medal of the city of Paris. I have many wonderful memories from the Guppy years.


Bob Hartunian, e-mail, 27.08.2011 07:49

When I worked at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, one of the Guppy versions flew fuselage sections of DC-10s from Convair in San Diego to Long Beach, twice a day. I used to watch them land and off-load during lunch. Saved the Company money and time by flying these 22' dia sections rather than moving by rail. Thought it was a great plane with practical, useful capabilities.


Fred Weir, e-mail, 03.04.2011 10:22

As a "Wireman Apprentice" working for Bill Hickey, I installed all
of the wiring in the wings of the Mini. Did the same on the next project
which was the overhaul of the original Pregnant Guppy.

"Jim" who owned the P51 was Jimmie Ventura whose construction
company had built many of the student apartments in Isla Vista.
As I recall he was competing in a trans-continental race when he
crashed, possibly after running out of oxygen and then fuel.


Brendt Weibel, e-mail, 25.03.2011 05:44

I was a student at Santa Barbara Aviation from Dec. '65, and eventually became a flight instructor there until I joined Quantas. So I was there during the first 3 years of Guppy Evolution. I recall agentleman by the name of Bill Traylor, whom I liked and had some rapport with. He left SBA to fly with Aero Spacelines in January of 1966, after a falling-out with Bill Jenkins, who was SBA's Chief Pilot. Hastings Harcourt owned the school at that time. If you have any info on Bill Traylor, I would appreciate a head's up. I also recall "Jim" who flew the white P-51 with the Playboy bunny on the vertical stab. He was later killed in that aircraft. I suppose this is all relevant to Guppy history in some way...

Would love to hear back from you. Send me a telephone number and I will give you a call.

Thanks. Brendt Weibel


Brendt Weibel, e-mail, 25.03.2011 05:41

I was a student at Santa Barbara Aviation from Dec. '65, and eventually became a flight instructor there until I joined Quantas. So I was there during the first 3 years of Guppy Evolution. I recall agentleman by the name of Bill Traylor, whom I liked and had some rapport with. He left SBA to fly with Aero Spacelines in January of 1966, after a falling-out with Bill Jenkins, who was SBA's Chief Pilot. Hastings Harcourt owned the school at that time. If you have any info on Bill Traylor, I would appreciate a head's up. I also recall "Jim" who flew the white P-51 with the Playboy bunny on the vertical stab. He was later killed in that aircraft. I suppose this is all relevant to Guppy history in some way...

Would love to hear back from you. Send me a telephone number and I will give you a call.

Thanks. Brendt Weibel


Alan, e-mail, 05.10.2010 03:29

It is sad to see such a great aircraft slide down hill. Here is a piece of American aviation space history that is in a location not conducive to outside storage. The Mini Guppy is just SEVEN miles from the Pacific Ocean and all the salt air and rain that the Pacific Northwest brings with it. This year the Pacific Northwest is going to see increased storms and a wetter winter. For 15 years the Mini Guppy has been stored outside at Tillamook Oregon, year in year out this aircraft has been left to the harsh elements of the Pacific Ocean. The owner Jack Erickson who's last name is blazoned down the fuselage side of the Mini Guppy has given next to no care of this great aircraft. Its massive 4360 engines where never placed into any form of long term storage just think of the cost today to get those four engine and props into flight status let alone the rest of the aircraft. Jack Erickson is a multi, multi-millionaire who has retired to a home in Arizona (one of many) but spends less that a grand a year to maintain this great aircraft. This aircraft needs a new home in a much drier climate but does Jack Erickson give a damm, well if he did he would have built a hanger for it to protect it from the weather of the Pacific Ocean and the salt air that permeates this location. Lets hope before it is to late the Jack Erickson will save this aircraft and fly it inland but I don't think that he gives a damm the prof is where it now is parked. Shame on this very rich man, he thinks he is an aviator and historian this aircraft is now his Albatross and a stark reminder how this man takes care of his aircraft.


Shirley Black, e-mail, 26.12.2009 22:48

Ooops...I should have read about the Pregant Guppy and the Super Guppy airplanes that preceded the Mini-Guppy. I mis-remembered (I do that!) that the first two were built at Van Nuys Airport, not Burbank Airport. Just excuse it with passage of years and old age!


Shirley Black, e-mail, 26.12.2009 22:43

I worked for the small company, Aero Spacelines, Inc. when this plane was built at Santa Barbara Airport. I did office work for Bob Lillibridge, who was the director of engineering and manufacturing and for Harvey Saline (not sure not of spelling for his last name) who was the purchasing agent. I watched the construction from just a few feet away and listened to rivets being driven etc. I was at the company party to celebrate when the plane was completed and sent off to the Paris Air Show. It was a big celebration for the little company! The Super Guppy and the Pregnant Guppy of course had been constructed previously at Burbank Airport. Jack Conroy had decided he wanted to live in Santa Barbara, so he moved Aero Spacelines to Santa Barbara Airport, into old WWII Marine Corp. buildings. Working for that little aircraft company was an interesting experience in my life. After all these years there are many things and details I do not remember,but I remember how interesting the experience was working at ASL and watching an airplane growing just a few feet from my office window.


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