The Mini Guppy is a large, wide-bodied US cargo aircraft used for aerial transport of outsized cargo components. The Mini Guppy is only one of the Guppy line of aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines, Inc..
Both Mini Guppies were built from scratch using parts salvaged from surplus Boeing 377/C-97Js. This enabled Aero Spacelines to widen the Mini Guppy cargo bay floor to 13 ft (4 m), as opposed to the 8 ft (2.4 m) restriction imposed when building directly onto a B-377 fuselage. Borrowed parts included the cockpit, wings, and tail.
The Mini Guppy first flew on May 24, 1967, and Aero Spacelines operated it for several years, ferrying such contract cargo as NASA's infamous Pioneer 10 Spacecraft, until 1974 when it was sold to American Jet Industries. American Jet Industries sold it to Aero Union in 1980, who sold it to Erickson Air Crane eight years later. Erickson Air Crane used the Mini Guppy to haul heavy equipment until 1995, when it was retired to the Tillamook Air Museum in Tillamook, Oregon, where it resides today. As of 1 August 2008, visitors to the Tillamook Air Museum may tour the Mini-Guppy for an additional fee.
The MGT first took to the air on March 13, 1970, but was tragically short-lived. On May 12, 1970 the Mini Guppy Turbine was lost, along with the entire crew, in an accident during flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.