Transporting the wings for an Airbus by Super Guppy cargo plane, 1974.
© Manchester Daily Express / Science & Society Picture Library
The aero Spacelines Super Guppy was originally built to carry large components for NASA's Apollo programme. The huge cargo compartment is 25 feet wide, 25 feet tall and 111 feet long, and can carry payloads of up to 26 tons. The aircraft was designed with a hinged nose section, allowing cargo to be loaded from the front. The European Airbus consortium was created in 1970 when European governments and commercial aircraft manufacturers realised that they would only be able to compete with the giants of the American aviation industry by collaborating. Their first airliner, the A300 made its first flight in 1972, entering commercial service two years later. Today Airbus are one of the world's most succesful manufacturers of large pasenger jets.