Feb 182018
 

A few decades before the “X-Wing” configuration gained a measure of popularity, Hughes Tool Company made a detailed study of a somewhat similar concept, the “rotor/wing.” This was a three-bladed helicopter rotor attached to a large central lifting surface, either a circular disk or a triangular structure. The rotor was not turned the conventional way with a turbine engine turning a drive shaft, but instead the engine exhaust was ducted through the center and then out to nozzles at the tips of the rotors. Jet thrust would spin the rotors without transmitting torque to the rest of the vehicles; as a consequence only a small tail rotor would be needed, just powerful enough to orient the craft at low airspeeds.

A few configurations were produced, most of which looking much the same. Probably the most well known configuration was shown in US VTOL Projects 01. Shown below is a lesser-known configuration designed for anti-submarine use. Normally the configurations included the turbojet engines within the upper fuselage, close to the hub of the rotor, but this one rather bizarrely put the engines on the tail. No obvious means of ducting the exhaust to the rotor is evident, so presumably a third (or even fourth) engine was tucked into the fuselage somewhere.

 

 Posted by at 2:21 am
Feb 132018
 

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues. Cover art was provided by Rob Parthoens, www.baroba.be

US VTOL Projects #2

US VTOL Projects #2 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #2 includes:

  • SOS Interceptor: A US Navy Mach 3 aircraft with jettisonable wings
  • Lockheed GL-224-3: A small battlefield surveillance and ground attack plane
  • Phalanx Dragon MP-18: An unconventional  small civilian transport
  • Lockheed L-161-1: An early concept for a variable geometry roadable helicopter
  • GE Supersonic V/STOL: A supersonic strike fighter with flip-out lift fans
  • Convair ANP-VTOL: A nuclear-powered ground-effect craft of the Navy of unusual configuration
  • Piasecki 16H-3: A compound helicopter for high speed passenger transport
  • Boeing Vertol Model 147: A tilt-wing close support fire support design for the US Army

USVP #2 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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US Research & Recon Projects #2

US Research & Recon Projects #2 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #2 includes:

  • Lockheed A-1: The first true design leading to the SR-71
  • Bell MX-2147 Model 105: The high altitude “X-16”
  • Boeing/CRC/AMROC X-34 Reference Configuration: A reusable launcher test vehicle
  • Martin Model 159: A scout/observation float plane
  • NASA-Langley Low-Boom Demonstrator: a recent design to demonstrate quiet SST tech
  • McDonnell-Douglas DC-9 Super 80 Propfan Configuration 1: A fuel efficient transport demo
  • Convair “HAZEL” MC-10: An inflatable Mach 3 plane for the Navy
  • Republic Manned Hypersonic Reconnaissance Vehicle: an early scramjet concept

 

USRP #2 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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 Posted by at 12:53 pm
Dec 142017
 

The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne was without a doubt the niftiest helicopter ever to *almost* make it into production. but, alas, it was ahead of its time… more precisely, ahead of the available technology.

The gunner sat in a seat that could spin 360 degrees (like the gunner in the Gunstar… and if you don’t get the reference, you’ve a geekiness deficiency). The Cheyenne had a pusher prop for very high speed for a helicopter, and small wings to generate lift and offload the rotor at speed. Lockheed had considerable faith in the future of that propulsion concept and incorporated it into designs for civilian passenger transport helicopters such as the CL-1026 9described in US VTOL Projects issue #01).

 Posted by at 7:29 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:

USBP18blue

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:

USBP18green

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
Feb 182016
 

Now available… the first of two new US Aerospace Projects titles.

US Fighter Projects #1

US Fighter Projects #01 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #01 includes:

  • Tremulis “Zero Fighter:” A World War II era two-stage rocket propelled, vertically launched interceptor
  • North American Rockwell D-541-4 “Surprise Fighter:” An early stealth fighter concept with flip-out wings
  • Republic TFX: An unconventionally-configured variable-sweep design, competed to become the F-111
  • Martin Model 302: A large four-engined supersonic interceptor loaded with missiles
  • Convair Nuclear Powered Interceptor Configuration II: A single-seat design with a nuclear reactor
  • NAF Float-Wing Interceptor: A WWII small flying boat to be carried by small ships
  • Martin Pursuit-Type Airplane: An early WWII-era design with a prone pilot
  • Boeing Model 1074-0006: A 1980’s design for a hydrogen-fueled hypersonic monster

usfp01ad2 usfp01ad1

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

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US VTOL Projects #1

US VTOL Projects #01 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #01 includes:

  • Ryan Model 162: A three-lift-fan ground attack plane with a minimum wing
  • NACA VTOL Bomber: A slim six-engined supersonic concept
  • Bell X-14C: A three-engine low cost close support plane
  • Lockheed GL-224-2: A small rescue craft that can dock in flight with a C-130
  • Bell D270A-900-112: A tilt-rotor that has folding props
  • Boeing Model 837-313: A minor design for a fighter like a Harrier with variable-sweep wings
  • Hughes Hot Cycle Rotor/Wing Composite Research Aircraft: Use the exhaust from a jet engine to spin up a triangular rotor blade…
  • Lockheed CL-1026: A civilian derivative of the AH-56, to carry passengers from city center to city center

usvp01ad2 usvp01ad1

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

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 Posted by at 8:27 pm