Specialized Shuttle TransportJet engine aircraft, four engineHandcrafted, hand-painted wooden constructionScale: 1/144thOperators: NASATime in operation: 1978-presentPost-World War II eraManufacturers: NASALength: 16.25 inchesWingspan: 19.25 inches. The U.S. Space Shuttle Orbiter is incapable of in-atmosphere flight on its own, and is simply too large to transport on land, so a pair of Boeing 747s have been extensively reworked and modified to carry Shuttles from their landing site back to the Kennedy Space Center. The 747s were chosen for modification for a number of reasons, including the fact that a civilian model aircraft would allow NASA to own the transports rather than lease them from the U.S. Air Force. In the initial years of operation, during the Space Shuttle's testing, the first shuttle ferry still bore the American Airlines paint scheme that the aircraft was originally intended to operate with. NASA eventually replaced the coloration in the 1980s, and this is how the aircraft is modeled here, in a precisely detailed reproduction of NASA's own paint-scheme. This high-quality model of a very unique aircraft will make a prized part of any collection.