PDF Review: Space Settlements, A Design Study

NASA SP-413, “Space Settlements, A Design Study,” was published in 1977 and brought together the results of a 1975 NASA-Ames Research Center effort to do a preliminary study of a giant torus space station for several thousand permanent inhabitants. It is a basic text on the subject of space colonies, but obtaining a copy of the printed book of course requires money (but not much… a quick check at abebooks.com shows them going for about $8) and online versions have typically been either black-and-white scan PDFs of indifferent quality, or versions rendered into painful HTML format. Fortunately, someone (it’s unclear to me who, though it seems a professional job) has scanned in the book and all the illustrations and reformatted the text into an all-new, clean PDF version.

The PDF can be downloaded HERE.

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Much more aerospace stuff is available via the APR Patreon.


Posted in Patreon, PDF Review, space station, spacecraft | 2 Comments

US Bomber Projects #13, US Launcher Projects #01

Two new publications in the US Aerospace Projects series are now available.

Now available: US Bomber Projects #13. This issue includes:

  • Ryan Model 162: A VTOL strike/recon plane
  • Boeing Orbital Bomb: a nuclear-tipped re-entry glider
  • Northrop Atomic Wing: an asymetric nuclear powered design
  • Consolidated Vultee High Speed Flying Boat: an early post-war Skate design
  • Martin Model 189: a canard version of the B-26 Marauder
  • Boeing Model 464-046: A six-engined B-52 predecessor
  • Curtis F-87C: a night fighter with bomber abilities
  • Boeing Model 701-247: a supersonic antecedent of the B-59



USBP #13 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



Also available: US Launch Vehicle Projects #01. The premiere issue of this new series includes:

  • Pre-Saturn Phase III Vehicles: 1958 concpet for clustered Atlas boosters
  • Boeing “Big Onion”: an SSTO to launch SPS
  • Northrop TAV: an in-flight propellant transfer spaceplane
  • Martin Orbit Project: A 1946 concept for a hydrogen fueled SSTO
  • Saturn V derived HLLV for FLO: A brief Saturn V revival in the early 1990s
  • MSC Orbiter 020: An early Shuttle with straight wings and a single SRB
  • Hammerhead ET: a way for the Shuttle to transport outsized payloads
  • Loral Aquarius: A way to make space launch cheap


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USLP #01 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:


Posted in bomber, Dyna Soar, hypersonic, launch vehicles, Recon, rockets, space shuttle, spacecraft, spaceplane, US Bomber Projects, US Launcher Projects | Leave a comment

PDF Review: 1973 Senate testimony on Agile

A PDF pieced together from scans found on the Secret Projects forum of Senate testimony on the AIM-95 Agile air-to-air missile. Agile was, as the name might suggest, a close-in “dogfighting” missile, an attempt to incorporate the hard lessons learned by the USAF and USN getting their tails kicked in the skies over Viet Nam by scrappy Russian dogfighters pilots by scrappy Vietnamese pilots. The main advantage that the Agile provided over the Sidewinder was that the infra-red seeker was capable of looking further off boresight… in other words, you didn’t need to point the plane at the enemy before the missile could get a lock-on. While the AIM-95 Agile apparently worked just fine, it was simply cheaper to upgrade the Sidewinder.

The AIM-95 would be steered via vectoring the nozzle rather than aerodynamic control fins. Initial targeting was planned to be done by having a sight integrated into the pilots helmet.. where he looked, the missile looked. The AIM-95 was intended for use by the F-14 and then the F-15 as well, but it never entered service.

The PDF file is HERE.


Much more aerospace stuff is available via the APR Patreon.


Posted in Patreon, PDF Review, rockets | Leave a comment

February 2015 APR Patreon rewards are available

I have made available for APR Patrons the following:

1) “Titan III B-C-D-E Propulsion Handbook,” from Aerojet, explaing and diagramming just about everything you want to know about the Titan III propulsion  systems, from the SRMs to the Transstage. I originally got this via ebay.


(This shows just a small portion of the ~300 page handbook)

2) “Aircraft Descriptive Data for Northrop F-89F.” A collection of then-current data on the projected (and unbuilt) F-89F. This was from a collection gathered by Lockheed to keep tabs on their competitors. Has some “Secret” markings on it. I originally got this via ebay.


3) Skylab diagram. This very large format illustration was found in the NASA HQ and photographed piecemeal and painstakingly reassembled, using text scanned from another copy of the illustration (with a far smaller diagram, but good text).


4) An original layout diagram of the XB-70. It took several years to get this diagram into this shape. It seems pretty good to me.

misc-127 XB-70

You can gain access to these by becoming an APR Patron for as little as $1.50 a month. That’s not so very much, is it? Check out the APR Patreon page for more details.

Posted in fighter, hi-rez, launch vehicles, Patreon, rockets, spacecraft | Leave a comment

APR Patreon “extras” moving to Dropbox

I’m moving the occasional “extras” to a Dropbox folder where these items will stay, and remain available, indefinitely. The Dropbox “extras” folder is being made available to all APR Patrons at the $4 level and above.  I have also added a few new SST images to the folder to help get things going. If you would like access to these high-rez images and documents, wander on over to the APR Patreon and sign up. It’s cheap!


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PDF Review: Unconventional Submarine Propulsion Systems

Modern submarines (like the Seawolf and Virgina classes) are often propelled not by propellers, but by pumpjets. These are shrouded turbines with a number of blades, looking much like the inlets and compressors of modern high bypass turbofans. They provide propulsive improvement, but apparently more importantly they are quieter than exposed propellers. However, the details of their designs are often obscure, for the obvious fact that they make submarines stealthier vehicles.

One of the few pumpjets I’ve seen shown in any detail comes from a 1963 General Dynamics report covering unusual propulsion system options for submarines. At this early date it’s safe to assume that the resemblance to a modern pumpjet is probably fairly minimal beyond the overall concept and configuration, but it’s still an interesting  look at a rarely seen technology Additionally, the pumpjet is about the *least* unconventional of the concepts shown in detail, which include props that are fitted to a ring at the maximum diameter of the hull and separate, podded propulsion systems (a common enough design feature on many surface vessels today) and cycloidal propulsion systems. All of the systems are compared by assuming they are applied to SSB(N)-616 USS Lafayette, a  ballistic missile sub.




This report can be downloaded from the Defense Technical Information Center website.

The link to the abstract is here.

The direct link to the PDF file is here.

Support the APR Patreon to help bring more of this sort of thing to light!


Posted in Patreon, PDF Review, ships | Leave a comment

Boeing 733 SST artwork

A B&W version of a Boeing artists concept of their 733 Supersonic Transport.


I’ve made a high-rez version of this available at the APR Patreon, available to all patrons.


Posted in jetliner, Patreon, transports | Leave a comment

All prior APR Patreon Rewards

I’ve been pondering how to go about making the APR Patreon rewards available in a reasonably fair way. What I’ve come up with… patrons can now purchase the rewards bundled by the month they were made available. in other words… if you want the diagram from October, 2014, it comes with the documents and CAD diagram made available in October 2014, all in a single ZIP archive.

The documents and diagrams are available in the full-rez 300 (or better) dpi format. The CAD diagram is included in the 18X24 format. All bundles are $10 each. I’m not making the web address of the order form publicly known, but for simplicity it’s not being password protected. If you are interested in any of the prior APR Patreon rewards, either because you signed up several months in or because you were signed in for lower-rez rewards, you can now access the full-rez items.

The link to the order form is now available on the APR Patreon page for all patrons (as low as $0.75/month).

Posted in Patreon | Leave a comment

XB-70 Cutaway

I have been busy with a number of things recently (some good, some bad), which has clearly reduced my Aerospace History blogification substantially. So… here’s a cutaway of the XB-70:


Granted, it’s tiny. However, a far bigger version of this illustration, created Way Back When for “Flight” magazine, is available on the Flight archives, right HERE. From back when such bits of beauty were created by hand.

Posted in bomber | 1 Comment

Bell VTOL Artwork

Last night I went to upload the monthly catalogs of diagrams & documents for the $10-level Patreon patrons to choose from… and found that something screwy is going on with the file attachment system. After much useless flailing I determined that the system, which has worked fine until now, is just plain broken. However, an alternate system seems to have presented itself which should work just fine. And additionally I wound up adding two pieces of high-rez artwork for $4-and-up-level patrons… an X-14C VTOL ground attack plan weapons loadout display, and the Bell “Mighty Mouse” small assault transport tiltrotor. If you would like to become a patron and get occasional bonus goodies like these (as well as the regular monthly rewards), please consider signing up to become a patron. For a pittance per month, you get all kinds of aerospace history goodies.


The full-size versions (available to $4 patrons under the “Creations” tab) are much bigger:

Image5a Image100

Posted in hi-rez, Patreon, VTOL | Leave a comment