Transonic Jetliner

A painting that was up on eBay a while back purported to be a McDonnell-Douglas concept rendering for a transonic jetliner. This aircraft used advanced – and expensive – fuselage shaping to lower transonic drag, much like the NASA/Boeing/Bell design illustrated in US Transport Projects #01.

The image does give me pause. There’s something about the wings that just looks… off. I don’t think they match. And the port engine looks like it’s larger in diameter than the starboard engine.

ebay 2014-09-29 c

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Early ATF?

A tiny, postage-stamp-sized illustration in a double-page advertisement for Lockheed in a July, 1988, issue of Aviation Week shows a CAD diagram of a jet fighter. This appears to be a twin-engined stealthy air superiority fighter. The illustration appears to be a photo taken of an old-school CRT monitor, and mirrored for some reason. Sadly, none of the text is useful or readable, and dimensions are undeterminable.

av week 1988-07-11 b

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US Transport Projects #02, Spacecraft Projects #01 now available

The latest releases in the “US Projects” line (see the full library HERE):


Issue #02 of US Transport Projects, done in the same format as US Bomber Projects, USTP will cover flying vehicles designed to transport cargo, passengers and troops. Issue 02 includes:

  • Jupiter Troop Transport: A 1956 Army concept for ballistically launched soldiers
  • Catamaran 747: A NASA  concept for a more efficient twin-fuselage 747
  • Nuclear C-5A: A NASA concept for using the existing C-5 to demonstrate nuclear powered flight
  • Boeing 765-076E: A recent design for a small supersonic transport
  • Lockheed L-151: An early jetliner concept adding six turbojets to a Constellation
  • AAFRL/Lockheed AMC-X: A recent design for a stealthy C-130 replacement
  • Boeing Twin Hull Airship: A 1970′s design for a semi-buoyant  cargo lifter
  • Douglas D5.0-15A: A partially NASP-derived hypersonic jetliner

USTP #02 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:





Also available: issue #01 of US Spacecraft Projects.  This series will present some of the wide range of manned and unmanned probes, stations, landers, spaceplanes and so on that have been designed over the decades. Issue #01 includes:

  • General Dynamics 2-Man Space Taxi: A concept for the minimum possible manned spacecraft
  • General Dynamics EMPIRE lander: one of the earliest designs for an excursion module to and from the surface of Mars
  • Convair Landing Boat: Krafft Ehricke’s Atlas-launched spaceplane
  • Zenith Star: the SDI laser battlestation experiment
  • Northrop PROFAC: a flying gas station for spacecraft
  • NASA Warp-drive spacecraft: a highly hypothetical concept for planning purposes
  • Martin Direct Flight Apollo: lunar landing without the LEM
  • Boeing DS-1 Satellite Interceptor: an early Dyna Soar with nuclear missiles

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




Posted in Dyna Soar, future projects, hypersonic, jetliner, launch vehicles, nukes, rockets, spacecraft, spaceplane, stealth, transports, US Spacecraft Projects, US Transport Projects | Leave a comment

Patreon: November rewards

The November rewards for the APR patrons have been released. They include:

PDF document: “The Air Turborocket Powerplant,” an Aerojet brochure from October 1955 describing an advanced airbreathing propulsion system for missiles, bombers, intercepts, etc.

PDF document: “VTOL Transport Aircraft Comparative Study,” a report from Vertol, 1956. Describes, with data, sketches and three-view diagrams, a range of different types of VTOL transports, including tilt-wings, lift jets, aerodyne, etc.

DIAGRAMS: two parter this month. First: layout, inboard and sectional views of the Lockheed L-2000 SST. Second: Douglas diagrams… “Plans for Scale Model Construction of the Long-Tank Thor Agena.” Good diagrams of the launch vehicle.

CAD diagram: NASA-Langley hypersonic transport.

2014-11 patreon ad

If you would like to access these items and support the cause of acquiring and sharing these pieces of aerospace history, please visit my Patreon page and consider contributing.



Posted in hi-rez, hypersonic, jetliner, launch vehicles, Patreon, rockets, transports, VTOL | Leave a comment

Almost the Comanche

An ad from 1989 showing the Boeing-Sikosky competitor for the LHX program. This was the winning design and was built as the RAH-66 Comanche, though not without some notable design tinkering.

av week 1989-07-19 2

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The CAT Scan Sale is now OVER

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning I go in to get a CAT scan of my lungs. This is so the pulmonary specialist can get a better look at something he saw on an X-ray a week ago; it apparently looked like a more or less harmless granuloma (scar tissue from a bacterial or fungal infection), but the fact that it deserves more attention is a little disturbing. From the limited information available so far (including the fact it took an entire week to get the CAT scan… you’d think if the doc thought it was important they’d’ve put a move on), it seems most likely that this will show nothing of any real health importance. Nevertheless, this ain’t free; insurance leaves a pretty substantial bill. And therefore… I’m having a sale on all my downloadables. Aerospace Projects Reviews, US Bomber Projects, drawings, documents. I’m offering 10% off orders of more than $25, 20% off orders more than $50 and 25% off orders over $100. The easiest way to do this, since PayPal doesn’t (so far as I know) seem to offer any such “sale” option, is you order stuff, and I refund the difference. I’ll leave this up and running for a day or three.


The most recent items I’ve published, USBP11 and USTP01, haven’t been added to the main catalog pages yet, but they’re here:

Of course, if the CAT scan finds something more interesting and energetic than a granuloma, I might have to have a somewhat more aggressive sale.

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Aerion SST brochure

I’ve scanned (at 300 dpi, full color) a brochure from the Aerion Corporation describing their supersonic business jet. It’s several years old… somewhere around 2005-07, I’d guess. I’ve posted the scan in PDF format over at yon Patreon, available to any and all patrons of Aerospace Projects Review.


Posted in hi-rez, jetliner, Patreon, transports | Leave a comment


Two current projects…

ustp02-Model ussp 01dwg-Model

Posted in Dyna Soar, hypersonic, jetliner, launch vehicles, nukes, rockets, spacecraft, spaceplane, transports, US Transport Projects | 1 Comment

X-37B and the Dyna Soar

I’ve written a short and illustrated piece on how the Dyna Soar can illustrate the possible capabilities of the X-37B over at War Is Boring:

Wondering What the U.S. Air Force’s Secretive Spaceplane Can Do? History Offers Clues

I am contemplating expanding this considerably for a separate release. It’d be a little different from the usual sort of thing I do, since the X-37B is a real flying vehicle, not just an unbuilt project.

Posted in bomber, Dyna Soar, hypersonic, nukes, Recon, research, rockets, spacecraft, spaceplane | Leave a comment

PDF Review: A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes

This is the fourth of four “PDF Reviews” I plan to have in October, to make up for the lack of any in September. The idea is to present interesting online resources for those interested in  the sort of aerospace oddities that you can find in the pages of Aerospace Projects Review. This little project is supported through my Patreon campaign; at current levels, I’ll post two such reviews per month. If you’d like to see more, or just want to contribute to help me along, please consider becoming a patron.

A work of no small importance in the history of spaceflight is “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes” by Robert Goddard. Published in 1919 while his early rocketry work was being funded by the Smithsonian, “Method” is one of the major works of rocket engineering of the 20th century. At this time of writing, Goddard had experimented only with solid rockets; liquid rockets still being in the future. But in “Method” Goddard began to show what rockets could be capable of. In his last section he discussed what would be needed to launch a rocket not just to high altitude, but to escape velocity and beyond, with some discussion of how much flash powder would be needed to be detected impacting (and flashing) on the darkened surface of the moon.

It was that last bit that caused all the trouble.

Goddard was not by nature a publicity hound. And the press of the time, once they got hold of the report, savaged him for what they – incorrectly – saw as a sensational proposal to actually build a moon rocket, coupled with a flawed understanding of physics on the part of some reporters and editorial writers. The resulting firestorm in the press served to popularize Goddards work and inspire rocketeers around the world… but it also inspired Goddard to be even more of a recluse. Had this not been published, or had it escaped the notice of the press, it’s interesting to speculate how history might have been different. Many German rocket scientists might not have been as inspired, while Goddard might have been less reclusive and thus more open to accepting assistance. The result *might* have been that WWII would have ended not with German rocketeers being sought all over the world, but American rockeeters in the same position… but victorious. The result of *that* would have been to potentially move the march to space forward by five to ten years, while denying to the Soviets much of the expertise of the Germans.

The Internet Archive has a scan of a Smithsonian copy of the report. Their copy has a number of hand-written corrections and notations, and appears to be a proof copy rather than one of the final published versions.

Image5 Image7

Link to the abstract page:

And directly to the PDF:



Posted in launch vehicles, Patreon, PDF Review, research, rockets, spacecraft | Leave a comment