Matt Hartman visited Palmdale recently to see the arrival of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s C-23B.

The C-23B Sherpa is the military varient of the SD330 built by Short Brothers of Belfast. The visiting aircraft N430NA was built in 1990 and delivered to the United States Navy. The aircraft was transfered to NASA IN 2011. The original serial was 88-1864 which is still carried on the tail.

This NASA Short C-23B is based at Wallops Island in Virginia and is operated by the GSFC Wallop’s Flight Facility. The C-23B twin engined turbo prop is used to support airbourne science research and as technical test beds for new airbourne and satellite instrumentation. The aircraft are also used to support surveillance and recovery operations.

The C-23B has an aft cargo ramp and four side fuselage cargo doors and offers a 7000lb payload. The range is 600 nautical miles but these aircraft are fitted with an auzillary fuel tank which extends the range to 1000 nautical miles.

Gross take of weight for the C-23B aircraft is 27,100 lbs and can accomodate up to 10 operators on board. The C-23B has a maximum altitude of 20,000ft and a max speed of 190 knots