May 012016

A photo of a NASA wind tunnel model of a hypersonic aircraft configuration. The circa 1960 NASA brochure (promoting the organization to college students) that included this provided no further information, but I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen the wind tunnel test report on this, calling it a reusable booster or reusable launch vehicle. If that’s the case, the upper stages and payload were *probably* going to be carried on the things back.


 Posted by at 8:00 pm
May 012016

I admit that the USBP series looks kinda… bland. It’s text and line drawings; not a whole lot can be done to jazz that up. Especially since I have no head for graphics design whatsoever apart from layout diagrams.

Still, one reader sent me a mockup of a revised cover of USBP #18:


Things are moved around a little bit, but the obvious change is the addition of color. The suggestion was also made to consider color-coding each title in the USXP series. Just off the top of my head, I came up with:

Bombers: Olive Drab

Spacecraft: Black

Launch Vehicles: Blue on bottom, transitioning to black at the top

Fighters: slightly bluish gray (like the F-15 or F-22)

Transports: ??

VTOL: ??

The USBP#18 cover was re-done to reflect this, thusly:


Thoughts? Is this more appealing?How about color-coding… good idea or not? And if so, what colors?

I tried something vaguely like this once before, with USBP#05.

 Posted by at 10:41 am
Apr 172016

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects titles.

US Bomber Projects #18

US Bomber Projects #18 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #18 includes:

  • Boeing Model 726-13: A nuclear pwoered bomber with the cockpit in the tail
  • Martin Model 164: A pre-war high altitude twin-tailed bomber
  • North American WS-110A: An early concept for what became the B-70, with “floating wingtips”
  • Convair MX-1593: An Early, large five-engined Atlas ICBM concept
  • Boeing Model 701-299-1: The final XB-59 supersonic bomber design
  • Boeing Model 464-72: A B-52 with pusher turboprops
  • Boeing F-15GSE Global Strike Eagle: An unmanned F-15 with a giant missile on its back General Dynamics – Light Weight Attack Configuration 29: An advanced ground attacker with vectored thrust

usbp18ad2 usbp18ad1

USBP #18 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



US Transport Projects #6

US Transport Projects #06 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #06 includes:

  • Lockheed CL-408-15: An early Mach 3 SST
  • Lockheed L-155-4: A very early 8-engine jetliner
  • Boeing Model 754-4V: A very-wide-bodied cargo hauler for Husky
  • Gates Learjet PD1502A: A four-seater with a turbofan
  • Convair Comet Seaplane: An American idea for turning a British jetliner into Flying Boat
  • Lockheed Twin C-5 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft: Two C-5’s mated together to carry a Shuttle between them
  • Boeing Model 765-096 Rev A “SUGAR Volt”: A hybrid jetliner
  • CRC HOT EAGLE – Super Global Troop Transport: Finally, hard data on a rocket transport for Special Forces and Marines

ustp06ad2 ustp06ad1

USTP #06 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



And don’t forget…

US Fighter Projects #1 and US VTOL Projects #1 are still new and still available!

 Posted by at 10:42 pm
Apr 162016

A sadly tiny illustration of a “Saturn Space Laboratory” from a circa 1960 NASA brochure (promoting the organization to college students). This looks like something halfway between MOL and Skylab; three pressurized modules in a “wet lab” space station. Diameter looks to be 10 feet, same as the Titan booster; early concepts for the Saturn called for the use of the Titan first stage to be the second stage of the Saturn I, with the second stage of the Titan being the third stage of the Saturn. This may well represent a Titan I or II first stage/Saturn I second stage as a space lab.

Given the entertainingly toxic nature of the Titan II propellants, I’d guess this was an earlier Titan I-based concept.

satur space lab

 Posted by at 11:49 am
Apr 012016

This image was passed along to me; it came from an ebay auction from some time in the past. No further info than this illustration, but it is clearly a Boeing “control configured vehicle” bomber concept.


I know it’s a Boeing design because a year and a half ago I lost out on an ebay auction for another piece of concept art showing the same aircraft, this time with “Boeing” clearly visible on the engine nacelle:

2014-08-03 ebay 1

And I know it’s a Controlled Configured Vehicle because in the early 1970’s, Boeing studied a bomber that was very similar in configuration to this, known as the “CCV-100-2.” There are some obvious differences, such as the cockpit canopies and the engine inlets, but the overall configurations are very similar. The CCV-100-2 received a tiny bit of press in Aviation Week, and was granted a design patent for the overall shape. Sadly, I do not have anything on performance or dimensions; if anyone *does* know more about this, please let me know.


USD231094_Page_2 USD231094_Page_1

 Posted by at 1:11 pm
Mar 292016

Some photos (from ebay) of a NASA PR glossy from December, 1961, showing the then-current Saturn C-5 configuration. Note the fairly obvious signs of some retouching of the engines on the first stage… either the engines were originally larger, or they were larger in number. Note the lack of the small but distinctive stabilizing fins on the first stage.

saturn c5 3 stages 2 saturn c5 3 stages

 Posted by at 8:44 am
Mar 242016

A mid-1960’s German (VFW/Heinkel) concept for a VTOL passenger transport, a quad-tilt-wing design, with capacity for 40 passengers or 13,200 lbs of cargo.

VC-400 Interavia 10-1966 1

I’ve uploaded a two-page article from the era on the VC400. It is in the 2016-03 APR Extras Dropbox folder, available to all $4+ APR Patreon patrons. If interested, check out the APR Patreon.

 Posted by at 4:21 pm
Mar 172016

Seems I’ve sorta fallen off the PDF Review Wagon. So here’s a hastily slapped-together review of a great report (the scans, sadly, aren’t so great, but whatreyagonnado…

V/STOL Concepts and Developed Aircraft. Volume 1. A Historical Report (1940-1986)

Report Number: AFWAL TR 86-3071 Volume 1
Author(s): B. Lindenbaum
Corporate Author: Universal Energy Systems
Laboratory: Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Publication Date: 11/1/1986
Pages: 458
Contract: F33615-83-C-3000
Project: 3038
Task: 303800
AD Number: ADA175379
Photo Enhancement: Complete

Abstract Text:

The purpose of this document is to present a comprehensive, in-depth review of the serious efforts made in the development of VTOL and V/STOL concepts and aircraft other than the helicopter. The time period covered is from the beginning of organized government-sponsored activity in the late 1940’s through the present, during which a very large study and development activity has taken place. Conventional helicopters are not included because their development history is a sizeable subject in itself and one which is already well-documented. Included are V/STOL aircraft which do use rotors but are aimed at providing cruise speeds and aerodynamic efficiencies similar to those of conventional airplanes. Although not aircraft in the conventional sense, wingless VTOL vehicles which use direct thrust (rocket or turbojet/turbofan) for lift in all flight modes also are included since such machines do have a close relationship to some of the more commonly accepted forms of VTOL aircraft. This volume contains an introductory review of V/STOL aircraft concepts and the rationale behind them. The concepts are categorized by propulsion system. This volume contains definitive information and technical reviews of the rocket belt, turbojet/turbofan platform type (wingless) vehicles, and turbojet/turbofan vertical attitude takeoff and landing aircraft.


Two scans of this are available online.

Direct link to PDF copy 1.

Direct link to PDF copy 2.

 Posted by at 5:24 pm
Mar 172016

An ok-quality inboard view of the slick S-67 from 40+ years ago. This represents an armed, operational vehicle.

av week 1974-07-29-22

Nice, eh?

 Posted by at 5:19 pm