A couple of good surface grinding manufacturer photos I found:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Space Shuttle Enterprise (starboard full view, aft)
Image by Chris Devers
Rockwell International Corporation
Nation of Origin:
United States of America
Overall: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. extended x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass characteristics payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.
The very first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a full-scale test car utilised for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Though the airframe and flight handle components are like these of the Shuttles flown in space, this car has no propulsion technique and only simulated thermal tiles since these functions were not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-lengthy strategy-and-landing test flight system. Thereafter it was utilised for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration
• • •
Quoting from Wikipedia | Space Shuttle Enterprise:
The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Automobile Designation: OV-101) was the initial Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as component of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere. It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight.
Originally, Enterprise had been intended to be refitted for orbital flight, which would have created it the second space shuttle to fly right after Columbia. However, for the duration of the construction of Columbia, details of the final style changed, particularly with regard to the weight of the fuselage and wings. Refitting Enterprise for spaceflight would have involved dismantling the orbiter and returning the sections to subcontractors across the nation. As this was an pricey proposition, it was determined to be significantly less costly to create Challenger around a body frame (STA-099) that had been developed as a test report. Similarly, Enterprise was considered for refit to replace Challenger after the latter was destroyed, but Endeavour was built from structural spares alternatively.
Building started on the 1st orbiter on June four, 1974. Designated OV-101, it was initially planned to be named Constitution and unveiled on Constitution Day, September 17, 1976. A create-in campaign by Trekkies to President Gerald Ford asked that the orbiter be named after the Starship Enterprise, featured on the tv show Star Trek. Despite the fact that Ford did not mention the campaign, the president—who for the duration of Globe War II had served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) that served with USS Enterprise (CV-six)—said that he was "partial to the name" and overrode NASA officials.
The style of OV-101 was not the same as that planned for OV-102, the very first flight model the tail was constructed differently, and it did not have the interfaces to mount OMS pods. A large quantity of subsystems—ranging from primary engines to radar equipment—were not installed on this car, but the capacity to add them in the future was retained. Rather of a thermal protection technique, its surface was mostly fiberglass.
On September 17, 1976, Enterprise was rolled out of Rockwell’s plant at Palmdale, California. In recognition of its fictional namesake, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and most of the principal cast of the original series of Star Trek had been on hand at the dedication ceremony.
Strategy and landing tests (ALT)
Primary article: Method and Landing Tests
Although at NASA Dryden, Enterprise was employed by NASA for a variety of ground and flight tests intended to validate elements of the shuttle plan. The initial nine-month testing period was referred to by the acronym ALT, for "Approach and Landing Test". These tests integrated a maiden "flight" on February 18, 1977 atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) to measure structural loads and ground handling and braking qualities of the mated technique. Ground tests of all orbiter subsystems were carried out to confirm functionality prior to atmospheric flight.
The mated Enterprise/SCA mixture was then subjected to 5 test flights with Enterprise unmanned and unactivated. The goal of these test flights was to measure the flight traits of the mated mixture. These tests have been followed with 3 test flights with Enterprise manned to test the shuttle flight control systems.
Enterprise underwent 5 free flights where the craft separated from the SCA and was landed below astronaut control. These tests verified the flight characteristics of the orbiter design and have been carried out beneath numerous aerodynamic and weight configurations. On the fifth and final glider flight, pilot-induced oscillation difficulties had been revealed, which had to be addressed before the first orbital launch occurred.
Preparation for STS-1
Following the ALT system, Enterprise was ferried amongst many NASA facilities to configure the craft for vibration testing. In June 1979, it was mated with an external tank and strong rocket boosters (known as a boilerplate configuration) and tested in a launch configuration at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.
With the completion of critical testing, Enterprise was partially disassembled to enable particular elements to be reused in other shuttles, then underwent an international tour going to France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Alabama, and Louisiana (during the 1984 Louisiana Globe Exposition). It was also used to match-verify the by no means-employed shuttle launch pad at Vandenberg AFB, California. Ultimately, on November 18, 1985, Enterprise was ferried to Washington, D.C., where it became property of the Smithsonian Institution.
Following the Challenger disaster, NASA considered employing Enterprise as a replacement. Nonetheless refitting the shuttle with all of the essential gear necessary for it to be utilised in space was considered, but instead it was decided to use spares constructed at the same time as Discovery and Atlantis to create Endeavour.
In 2003, right after the breakup of Columbia throughout re-entry, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board performed tests at Southwest Investigation Institute, which utilized an air gun to shoot foam blocks of related size, mass and speed to that which struck Columbia at a test structure which mechanically replicated the orbiter wing top edge. They removed a fiberglass panel from Enterprise’s wing to carry out analysis of the material and attached it to the test structure, then shot a foam block at it. While the panel was not broken as a result of the test, the effect was adequate to permanently deform a seal. As the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia was two.five instances weaker, this recommended that the RCC major edge would have been shattered. Further tests on the fiberglass were canceled in order not to danger damaging the test apparatus, and a panel from Discovery was tested to figure out the effects of the foam on a similarly-aged RCC leading edge. On July 7, 2003, a foam impact test created a hole 41 cm by 42.five cm (16.1 inches by 16.7 inches) in the protective RCC panel. The tests clearly demonstrated that a foam effect of the type Columbia sustained could seriously breach the protective RCC panels on the wing major edge.
The board determined that the probable trigger of the accident was that the foam influence caused a breach of a reinforced carbon-carbon panel along the leading edge of Columbia’s left wing, enabling hot gases generated in the course of re-entry to enter the wing and trigger structural collapse. This triggered Columbia to spin out of control, breaking up with the loss of the whole crew.
Enterprise was stored at the Smithsonian’s hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport before it was restored and moved to the newly constructed Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum‘s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, exactly where it has been the centerpiece of the space collection. On April 12, 2011, NASA announced that Space Shuttle Discovery, the most traveled orbiter in the fleet, will be added to the collection once the Shuttle fleet is retired. When that happens, Enterprise will be moved to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City, to a newly constructed hangar adjacent to the museum. In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was secure to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once once again.