After VW has put a Touareg SUV to tow a Boeing 747, Toyota plans to do something similar, only that this time we are talking about a space shuttle.
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. announced last week that a standard Tundra full-size pickup, with a maximum rated towing capacity of 10,000 lbs (4,500 kg) is slated to tow Endeavour space shuttle during its delivery to the California Science Center (CSC).
The Endeavour will travel a total of 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on city streets to the Science Center, with the Tundra towing the last (400m) quarter mile.
Beginning Friday NASA will prepare Endeavour to fly atop its modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to LAX. The three-day ferry flight is scheduled to arrive in L.A. on Sept. 20, weather permitting.
To prepare for such a project, the Japanese automaker worked with The Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and transport company, to develop a custom heavy-duty dolly to haul the 292,500-pound shuttle.
Keep in mind that the 200,000-pound space shuttle is 190,000 over the Tundra’s 10,000-pound towing limit for the Crew Cab pickup with a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood.
The event is part of a still-growing partnership between Toyota and the Science Center; Toyota currently has a Tundra on display at the centre as part of an exhibit on the physics of leverage.