1977: First unmanned test flight of space shuttle Enterprise mounted on another aircraft
Although the space shuttle Enterprise never left the atmosphere, it was used for all kinds of tests over the years.
It was hauled over the road to Edwards Air Force Base to begin operational testing in January 1977.
The initial nine-month “Approach and Landing Test” period included Enterprise’s maiden “flight” on February 18, 1977, atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to measure ground handling and braking characteristics of the mated system.
No crew flew aboard the Enterprise for any of the first five Captive-Inactive Flights conducted between February 18 and March 2, 1977.