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 112017
 

Seems I’ve been a wee bit lax  on the PDF Reviews I will attempt to rectify that in the future.

Here is a Air Force conference paper from May, 1964, describing the X-20 Dyna Soar program and vehicle. At this point the program had been cancelled for some months; the configuration shown in the paper was essentially the final design. It’s a decent overall view of the Dyna Soar.

Here’s the link to the abstract:

The X-20 (Dyna-Soar) Progress Report

Here’s a link directly to the PDF.

 

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

 

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 Posted by at 11:35 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.

 

 

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 Posted by at 2:36 am
Jun 162017
 

Dating from about 1963-63, this is a depiction of a high-altitude research aircraft equipped with “composite air-augmented turbo-jets” for launch and rockets for “near-space operations.” The general configuration was used many times over the decade, typically for scramjet powered aircraft. This was painted by Pat Shealy, chief of the Presentations Division, Air For Office of Scientific Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

 Posted by at 10:31 am
Apr 152017
 

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues:

US Transport Projects #07

US Transport Projects #07 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #07 includes:

  • Lockheed L-279-9: an early SST
  • Convair HST – Phase II Variable Sweep Configuration: A mid-1960’s hypersonic transport
  • Lockheed CL-1373: a short-haul turboprop liner
  • Boeing Model 702-134(4): a large nuclear-powered logistics hauler
  • McDonnell-Douglas Swept Wing Spanloader: a heavy cargo carrier
  • Lockheed Hybrid Wing Body: a current design for an efficient military transport
  • NASA Cut-Down 747 SCA: a 1973 idea for a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
  • Rockwell Boost Glide Transport: An early 1970’s rocket transport

 

USTP #07 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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Also available, the first in a new series:

US Recon and Research Projects #01

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

  • General Dynamics “FISH”: 1958 concept for Mach 4 parasite
  • NACA-Langley X-Tail X-15: early hypersonic rocket plane concept
  • “Jake’s Jeep”: WWII-era motorjet design
  • Lockheed “Archangel”: The first step on the road to the SR-71
  • Boeing Model 853-21 “Quiet Bird”: A 1961 stealth platform
  • Northrop Tacit Blue: Operational version of the early stealth experiment
  • Convair Pilotless Airplane I-40 Inhabited: WWII-era design of a manned test for a flying bomb
  • Lockheed CL-278-1-1: a proto-U-2

 

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

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 Posted by at 11:43 am
Apr 122017
 

So very, very close on the next two US Aerospace Projects issues. I’m only lacking cover “art”and have to deal with a bit of “dead air” in the middle of US Transport Projects #7. Usually I can shuffle things around well enough to not have this sort of thing, but this time it just hasn’t worked out. I suppose it doesn’t really matter all that much, but it does look kinda lazy like that.

It’s been about a year since I released the last USxP issue. That last issue was the first time where I used vector diagrams embedded within the issue, rather than raster images; getting the diagrams from AutoCAD into Word was a bit of a chore back then. And in the intervening months… I forgot how I did it. So I had to figure it out again, and the process is different. I have to walk the AutoCAD diagram through Rhino 3D and save as a WMF and blah, blah, blah; end result is it works just fine. I’ve done some further refinement… the main outlines are set at 0.25 mm width and the ends of the lines have been reset to rounded and mitered, so sharp corners now look more like sharp corners.

Hoping to have these two out in a day or two. The other three will be rather longer.

 

 Posted by at 6:57 pm
Apr 022017
 

I’m essentially done with the drafting portion of the exercise. Now to finish the writing. I had planned on releasing ll five at once, but due to external factors I’ll almost certainly have to split this up. So… which ones do people want more? The publications forthcoming are Fighters, Bombers, Transports, Launchers and Recon & Research. Comment below…

 Posted by at 11:05 pm
Mar 102017
 

Coming soonish: the return of USXP publications. Five are under current development and are mostly done. There is a new title in the bunch… USRP. Strictly speaking it should probably be USR&RP… United States Research and Recon Projects. Perhaps Recon and Research aren’t necessarily the most obvious categories to link together into a single title, but apart from the vitally important alliteration, there is this important fact: compared to, say, Bombers, there aren’t that many Recon and Research projects out there.

If there are specific proposals, or general categories you’d like to see in future publications, feel free to comment below.

 Posted by at 10:41 am
Nov 172016
 

Here’s another photo of the lifting body mockup I showed a month ago. Here you can see that the full display – apparently a USAF public relations  item – included a more or less full length booster, presumably a Titan II. It’s not the best angle, but it *kinda* looks like this might be just the first stage of the Titan II (or a round tube resembling one) without a second stage. It’s doubtful that there was ever a plan to launch a one-man lifting body atop a single Titan II first stage; it would be distinctly suborbital, and without some deep throttling the acceleration would probably be pretty crushing.

When i last posted this, I mentioned that photos of this were shown “many times.” I wrote that because I remember seeing such photos… but once I started actually looking for them they turn out to be rather hard to find. I imagine I must’ve seen the photos in 1960’s magazines or such. Two more not terribly helpful photos are available HERE and HERE.

 

 Posted by at 5:40 pm
Oct 302016
 

I’ve been running the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon project for a bit over two years now. Every month, Patrons get rewarded with sets of aerospace history stuff… currently, one large-format diagram or piece of artwork, three documents and, depending on level of patronage, an all-new CAD diagram of an aerospace subject of interest. More than two dozen such packages have been put together so far and distributed. Given that you can get in on this for as little as $1.50 a month (for 125-dpi scans… $4/month for full-rez 300 dpi scans) and you get at least four items, that’s a pretty good bargain compared to the individual aerospace drawings and documents.

Patrons who signed up after the process got underway can now get “back issues” of the previously released rewards packages. A catalog of more than the first years worth has just been posted; each month will see an updated catalog posted for Patrons to order from. So if you are interested, check out the APR Patreon page to see how to sign up; if you are already a patron, check out the catalog here.

 Posted by at 3:41 pm