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Long Beach (LGB) airport - Virgin Atlantic 747?

Long Beach (LGB) airport - Virgin Atlantic 747?

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Old Jan 26, 19, 8:18 am
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Long Beach (LGB) airport - Virgin Atlantic 747?

I'm at LGB and I see a Virgin (Atlantic) 747 parked somewhere far out, on a taxi way.....

Digging around, I can't find much info. Looked up their fleet (https://www.planespotters.net/production-list/search?fleet=Virgin-Atlantic&manufacturer=Boeing&subtype=747-400&fleetStatus=current) and none of the aircraft are positioned here.

I can't make out the tail number, but with no CBP facility at LGB, I was curious to know why it was here.
Anyone know?

EDIT: it might be Virgin Orbit (N744VG)
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Old Jan 26, 19, 9:32 am
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N744VG, formerly G-VWOW, is currently registered to Virgin Galactic, Branson's space flight company, not Virgin Atlantic, his airline. The 747 is used to launch the LauncherOne rockets into space (source).

FlightAware, however, shows N744VG's most recent flight taking place over a month ago from LGB to VCV.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 8:11 pm
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Thanks for solving the mystery, TWA884. I too was wondering what that VS-painted 747 was doing at LGB.

I'm a little surprised the runways are long enough for a 747. Maybe that stems from how there was a McDonnell-Douglas production plant there decades ago.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:18 pm
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Longest runway at LGB is 10,000'
Considering it was McDonnell-Douglas and then most recently, the Boeing plant. I used to regularly see C-17s taking off and landing from LGB so no problems with the runway here.
When Obama visited Southern California, Air Force One used LGB once.
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Old Jan 27, 19, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Thanks for solving the mystery, TWA884. I too was wondering what that VS-painted 747 was doing at LGB.

I'm a little surprised the runways are long enough for a 747. Maybe that stems from how there was a McDonnell-Douglas production plant there decades ago.
The last C-17 was built there in 2015. Previously, the MD-11's and DC-10's were built there and before that the DC-8's and DC-9's.

The main runway at LGB, 12/30, is 10,000' feet long.


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Old Jan 28, 19, 12:34 pm
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A bit off-topic, but we've been really happy to switch from LAX to LGB for our trips to/from OAK. LAX has gotten to be a gridlocked mess. We've spent more time getting from Terminal 1 to Avis than we spent in the air from OAK. Our destination is Manhattan Beach, which is much closer to LAX, but LGB ends up being significantly faster due to the rental cars being a short walk from the small terminal.
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