The museum’s Mini-Guppy was originally delivered to Pan American Airways in 1949 as a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (prior to its conversion), which it flew until 1960 when it was returned to Boeing and sold to Santa Barbara based Aero-Spacelines in 1963. Converted to a Mini-Guppy, it first flew in 1967. After years of commercial use and ferrying such interesting items as NASA's Pioneer 10 Spacecraft (used to explore Jupiter and the Asteroid Belt) and Goodyear's Europa Airship, it was purchased by Erickson Air Crane in 1988 and used for the transport of large Air Crane helicopters until 1994 when it was acquired by the museum and retired.
The Mini-Guppy was the first of the new generation of Guppy's that was built using an entirely new fuselage to connect the existing Stratocruiser sections. By designing a new fuselage, the aircraft was fitted with the first “wide-body” Guppy, with a 13 ft. wide cargo floor and a maximum inside diameter of 18 ft. with the constant section measuring just 73 ft. long.
Three different variations of the Guppy were manufactured. The Pregnant Guppy, Super Guppy and the Mini-Guppy.