From RiverGhost's above link.
Officials: NASA test plane circling city is safe
by khou.com staff
Posted on September 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM
Updated today at 7:53 PM
HOUSTON—Many citizens were concerned Saturday after seeing a large plane circling the city, but officials said there is no cause for concern.
Officials at Ellington Field and Bush Intercontinental Airport confirmed it is a NASA test plane. Texas City Emergency Management said the plane is flying at 50,000 feet as a test maneuver.
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spaceman74 said on September 11, 2010 at 8:51 PM
Yes, it is the Guppy making flights around the Houston area. They have been doing training flights for over a week. These test flights have been planned for several months and appropriate flight plans filed. Aircraft with multiple turboprops (T-56 engines) are capable (and do) fly sustained 50k flights including the Guppy, P-3, and C-130. If anyone is still concerned or skeptical, simply Google Ellington Field Flight Schedule and check out Flight Aware dot com. All local EFD planned flights are kept up to date on that site. Rest assured, not all the engineers at NASA with brains have been let go. The force is strong.... SpaceMan74
51732363 Flag this commentlsc2010 said on September 11, 2010 at 8:40 PM
How incredibly insensitive and irresponsible of NASA to test an aircraft, which was making irregular patterns over the city today, the anniversary of 9/11. Perhaps a heads up to the general public would have been nice...
51731974 Flag this commentlld2282 said on September 11, 2010 at 8:30 PM
Guppy serivce ceiling is only 32000 feet...therefore, doubt it was that transport aircraft used by NASA...gosh, don't believe you're going to see any turbo-props bouncing around 50,000 feet....only jets...settle down people.
51731619 Flag this commentelectronicseng2 said on September 11, 2010 at 8:21 PM
Thank you, petalpusher. I did a search for photos of the Guppy and this is, indeed, what I saw. Wow, what a cool looking aircraft. Thanks again for setting me straight.
51731336 Flag this commenttmvirginiaj said on September 11, 2010 at 8:12 PM
Maybe if NASA had not had the budget cuts, they could have retained the "employee with a brain" that was laid-off.
51731082 Flag this commentsunnysidesst said on September 11, 2010 at 8:11 PM
didn't e[spy] tha bugger, yet what else is new? drones...helicopters.... Hubble... and moreso .... Our 'Heavenly Father' what? me worry? nuff sed!!!
51731049 Flag this commentetxquilter said on September 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM
Thanks KHOU for keeping us informed. However I do wish NASA would have picked another day besides 9 11 to do this. Surely they could have foreseen that it would make a lot of people uneasy.
51731024 Flag this commentpetalpusher said on September 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM
The plane out of Ellington is the guppie and it's there all the time. Really a cool airplane. Has it's own hangar.
51731019 Flag this commentalankey said on September 11, 2010 at 8:07 PM
Superb bit of timing NASA. Who was the brainiac who came up with the idea of flying unusual air traffic patterns on Sept 11th? Was that insensitive or just a bit of bad planning? Who signed off on that little stunt?
51730933 Flag this commentelectronicseng2 said on September 11, 2010 at 8:05 PM
I saw a huge plane last week flying at about 1,500 feet above Ellington Field that I couldn't identify. It was shaped like a large whale and I've never seen anything like it in my life. Wondering if this is the same one that was seen at 50,000 feet today.
51730872 Flag this commenttwiddler said on September 11, 2010 at 8:01 PM
Good idea NASA...circle a large plane above a city on 911...way to go!
51730762 Flag this commentmrtommynazi said on September 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM
Yeah.it's flying really high and practicing turns or something while leaving a very sharp contrail. I was wondering what was up with that,thanks KHOU