The Space Shuttle Enterprise is due to make low-altitude fly-overs around New York City this morning, including a couple of passes over the Verrazano Bridge.
Flying from Dulles Airport to JFK, the Enterprise will be mated to the top of a specially-outfitted Boeing 747. The Enterprise should be overhead between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m, according to NYC.gov. NASA amazed crowds in Washington, D.C. last week when the Discovery made similar low-altitude fly-bys over landmarks such as the Capitol building. A map of the projected flight plan is available at NYC Aviation.
The Enterprise was a non-spacefaring prototype for the shuttle program. It flew in several Approach and Landing tests in 1977, but never went into space. The first spaceflight mission by a shuttle was flown by Columbia in 1981, and was followed by Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. While the other orbiters were flying missions for NASA, Enterprise resided at the Dulles Airport annex facilities of the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, unretiring briefly following the Challenger disaster to test the shuttle’s new drag parachute braking system. When Discovery was given to the Smithsonian following the 30-year-old shuttle program’s retirement, the Enterprise was given to New York’s Interpid Sea-Air-Space Museum.