Nov 182017

A recent acquisition from ebay was a pretty good B&W glossy showing a Martin Company illustration of the Titan IIIC launch vehicle, circa August, 1964. One of the better Titan IIIC illustrations I’ve seen, showing the innards to good effect.

I have uploaded the full 600-dpi scan to the 2017-11 APR Extras Dropbox available to all $4 and up APR Patreon patrons. It’s in two formats… the raw scan, and a cleaned-up version that looks better. Also included is the press release printed on the back of the glossy. If you are interested, take a look at the APR Patreon and consider signing up.

 Posted by at 11:16 pm
Oct 092017

Posted to a NASA Flickr page is this illustration of a 1984 space station concept:

This is the Johnson Space Center’s 1984 “roof” concept for a space station. The “roof” was covered with solar array cells, that were to generate about 120 kilowatts of electricity. Within the V-shaped beams there would be five modules for living, laboratory space, and external areas for instruments and other facilities.

This would probably be a very heavy station for the volume and usable surface area provided. However, once that truss structure is in place, it seems like it would be possible to keep adding on to it without overly stressing the structure, with the possible result of a very capable station. It should also be possible to keep tacking on new truss elements.

The design would necessarily keep most of the station elements shadowed by the solar arrays.

 Posted by at 5:31 pm
Oct 082017

Got them done a little early this time, so here’s a review of what the APR Patrons will be receiving:

Patrons will receive:

A proposal brochure on the C-135A cargo transport

A brochure about the Shuttle-C

A well illustrated NASA-produced booklet from the mid 1980’s describing the space station as them conceived

A large format diagram showing a wind tunnel model of the Titan III/Dyna Soar

A CAD diagram of the ca. 2001 Russian TsAGI Integrated Wing Body large passenger transport jetliner

If these are of interest, please consider signing on to the APR Patreon.

 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Aug 232017

Thanks to some APR Patreon crowdfunders, I was able to procure a *giant* blueprint of the Grumman F7F Tigercat from ebay. Today I got it back from the print shop where it was scanned at 300 dpi, resulting in an image more than 29,000 pixels wide. The image was processed a little bit to reduce the file size from 900+ megabytes down to 100, and a half-size version and a B&W version. These files have been provided to the funders. The blueprint itself will now be sent on to a relevant and worthy museum or archive.

If you are interested in getting in on and helping with this sort of thing, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.



 Posted by at 10:57 pm
Aug 122017

The H-33 orbiter was designed in early 1971 to be launched atop a reusable manned flyback booster, a truly giant supersonic vehicle. The orbiter itself was similar in configuration to the Shuttle Orbiter as actually built, but it differed in that it had internal liquid oxygen tanks and expendable external hydrogen tanks, rather than a single large ET. The NASM has some good photos of a display model of the full system.

The H-33 was a popular design, at least at Grumman. A number of display models were made of it, including this detailed “cutaway” model made – seemingly – of plexiglas.

I have uploaded the full-rez images to the 2017-08 APR Extras Dropbox folder, available to all $4 and up APR Patrons. If interested, wander on by the APR Patreon and sign up. Lots of aerospace goodies available.


 Posted by at 10:11 pm
Jul 202017

A few weeks back I posted an old Chrysler ad I found online. The image quality was ok, but kinda small. Subsequently I found a copy on ebay, bought it, scanned it and cleaned it. I’ve posted the full-rez, fully cleaned version of the ad to the 2017-07 APR Extras folder on Dropbox, available for free for all APR patrons at the $4 level and above. The full rez image is 4043×6270 pixels, orĀ  13.5×20.9 inches at 300 dpi. It could probably be safely printed off at 200 dpi, giving 20.2X32.35 inches.

Here’s a dinkyscale version of the new scan:

And here, because I want y’all to know that these things take time and effort, are some full-size crops from both the final version and the raw scan, showing the improvement in image quality. Some of it is done via a few keystrokes, such as tweaking the rightness and contrast, but erasing thousands of little specks and fixing flaws? That’s all genuine artisanal hand-made old-school photoshoppery craftsmanship.


If you are interested in accessing these and other aerospace historical goodies, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.





 Posted by at 4:36 pm
Jul 162017

Every month, patrons of the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon campaign are rewarded with a bundle of documents and diagrams, items of interest and importance to aerospace history. If you sign up, you get the monthly rewards going forwards; the “back issues” catalog lets patrons aid the APR cause by picking up items from before they signed on. The catalog, available to all patrons at the APR Patreon, has been updated to include everything from the beginning of the project back in 2014 on up to February, 2017.

Below are the items from 2016 (and the first two months of 2017):


If you are interested in any of these and in helping to fund the mission of Aerospace Projects Review, drop by the APR Patreon page and sign up. For only a few bucks a month you can help fund the procurement, scanning and dissemination of interesting aerospace documentation that might otherwise vanish from the public.

 Posted by at 12:49 am
Jul 062017

“Liberty” was a short-lived ATK launch vehicle concept. This design arose in 2011, following after the Ares 1. Where Ares 1 was a single 5-segment Shuttle booster derivative topped by an all-new hydrogen/oxygen second stage, Liberty used the same booster but topped by the core stage of an Ariane V. ATK believed that they could get one of these flying with astronauts as soon as 2015, but NASA decided to not fund the effort and ATK abandoned the project in 2012.

ATK handed out some promotional cards a few years back at one of the big Shuttle motor tests, scanned in below. I’ve posted the high-rez versions of the scans to the APR Patreon Dropbox (in the 2017-04 APR Extras folder, because I forgot to mention that here months ago).

If you are interested in accessing these and other aerospace historical goodies, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.




 Posted by at 8:36 pm
Jul 042017

Around 1960, the USAF had high hopes for the development of ASP: “AeroSpace Plane.” ASP was a program to develop an airbreather one- or two-stage-to-orbit spaceplane. The first stage would use some form of Liquid Air Cycle Engine; the inlet would be actively cooled by the liquid hydrogen fuel so that the incoming air would be condensed to liquid, which would allow the liquified air to be stored and fed into high chamber pressure rocket engines. ASP was extremely ambitious, and obviously – since no airbreathing system has made it to orbit (not counting simple turbojet-powered aircraft carrying otherwise conventional rockets such as Pegasus) – it did not work. A fair chunk of change was spent on the concept, but it faded away after a few years. The basic idea of ASP would arise a quarter century later with NASP, to similar levels of success.

A good, well-illustrated article on ASP was published some time back in issue v2N5 of Aerospace Projects Review.

Most of the known ASP designs were produced by Convair. It seems that Convair jumped into the program with both feet, producing not only detailed diagrams of a whole range of vehicles but also artwork and display models. And the latter category included some beautiful see-through models made from Plexiglas. It shows some interior details such as the complex plumbing of the Liquid Air Cycle Engines, as well as the winged second stage tucked into the lower fuselage of the very large hypersonic first stage. In an era long before computer animation, models such a this would be very useful in illustrating complex concepts to customers and bosses.

I have uploaded the full-rez version of this photo to the 2017-07 APR Extras Dropbox folder, available to all APR Patrons at the $4 level and above. If you are interested in accessing these and other aerospace historical goodies, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.




 Posted by at 2:36 am