Dec 212016

A recently sold item on EBay was this piece of artwork depicting a Boeing concept for an airliner powered by two propfans. These engines, popular items of study in the late 70s and into the 80s, were somewhere between turbofans and turboprops, with contra-rotating unducted fans using blades of complex design and contours. The advantage was, of course, fuel efficiency; the shape of the blades meant that they could spin with tip speeds closer to the speed of sound compared to turboprop blades, and could push the plane faster than normally practical for a turboprop.

Given the NASA logo on the tail, this piece of art undoubtedly depicts a proposal for an unducted fan test vehicle. The gray areas on the wing upper surfaces may indicate laminar flow control via suction, as with the Northrop X-21; this would all conspire to make this a very fuel efficient, if also very complex, jetliner.


 Posted by at 11:33 am
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
Sep 042016

Produced by Bell Aerospace around 1960 as a promotional item was this “ticket” for a flight from New York City to Melbourne, Australia. The aircraft shown was a two-stage hypersonic passenger transport; the first stage was essentially a supersonic transport equipped with turboramjet engines; it carried on its back a rocket powered passenger spaceplane. At the time it was pushed by the likes of Walter Dornberger, who had previously publicized a two-stage all-rocket powered hypersonic transport. There was some link between this design and the Dyna Soar program, but it is unclear just how involved the engineering was on the HST. Artwork was produced and a good display model, but it’s hard to tell if it went any further than that.

bell hst ticket 2 bell hst ticket 1

I have uploaded high-rez scans (600 dpi) to the 2016-09 APR Extras folder on Dropbox. This is accessible to all APR Patreon patrons at the $4 level and above.

 Posted by at 2:10 pm
Jul 062016

Every now and then ebay provides some interesting items that are just plain too expensive. One such is a Boeing presentation on using the 747 to carry and air-launch MX ICBMs. The original Buy It Now price was over two grand; consequently, the document remained on ebay for something like a year. However, I negotiated down to $250. Still too expensive, but crowdfunding makes it reasonably affordable.

I currently have about 9 people interested in splitting the cost. Nine plus me means the cost is $25 per person… suddenly not quite so horrible. If more people come on board, the price will fall even more. Twenty people total drops it to $12.50 each. Thirty drops it to $8.33, and so on. Each contributor gets a complete high-rez scan of the document.

If you are interested in getting in on this, it’s open to APR Patreon patrons at all levels. Check out the APR Patreon for this and other rewards. The most recent posting at the APR Patreon has a place to comment and express your interest in getting a copy of this document.

The opportunity will be open until the document arrives in the mail, which should be a few days.


 Posted by at 7:53 pm
Jun 252016

A heavily illustrated USAF brochure on turbine engine technology included, among a vast number of little photos of engines and aircraft, a few illustrations that might be of interest.

Several futuristic concepts here, several old ones. Of particular interest is the “Supersonic Multirole Fighter,” which looks like a cross between the old Lockheed Hopeless Diamond concept and the Northrop XST design… tailless with an inlet on top, with features reminiscent of the F-117, but blended rather than faceted.



Of these “Emerging Concept Needs,” several are distinctly old. The middle row of three designs are all 20+ year-old concepts.



 Posted by at 6:08 pm
Jun 112016

An early Boeing concept for the 767. This was designed for cruise at high subsonic speeds; the unusual “wasp-waisted” fuselage was to give the configuration the area ruling needed for low-drag transonic flight. This concept, studied by Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed, NASA, Bell and others, arose after the spike in oil prices in the early 1970’s and the demise of the SST program. The goal was to create a jetliner that could fly just as fast as possible while still being economical with fuel. But production costs of the curvy fuselage and wings doomed the effort.

This scan is from a print currently on ebay.


 Posted by at 5:37 pm
Apr 172016

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects titles.

US Bomber Projects #18

US Bomber Projects #18 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #18 includes:

  • Boeing Model 726-13: A nuclear pwoered bomber with the cockpit in the tail
  • Martin Model 164: A pre-war high altitude twin-tailed bomber
  • North American WS-110A: An early concept for what became the B-70, with “floating wingtips”
  • Convair MX-1593: An Early, large five-engined Atlas ICBM concept
  • Boeing Model 701-299-1: The final XB-59 supersonic bomber design
  • Boeing Model 464-72: A B-52 with pusher turboprops
  • Boeing F-15GSE Global Strike Eagle: An unmanned F-15 with a giant missile on its back General Dynamics – Light Weight Attack Configuration 29: An advanced ground attacker with vectored thrust

usbp18ad2 usbp18ad1

USBP #18 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



US Transport Projects #6

US Transport Projects #06 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #06 includes:

  • Lockheed CL-408-15: An early Mach 3 SST
  • Lockheed L-155-4: A very early 8-engine jetliner
  • Boeing Model 754-4V: A very-wide-bodied cargo hauler for Husky
  • Gates Learjet PD1502A: A four-seater with a turbofan
  • Convair Comet Seaplane: An American idea for turning a British jetliner into Flying Boat
  • Lockheed Twin C-5 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft: Two C-5’s mated together to carry a Shuttle between them
  • Boeing Model 765-096 Rev A “SUGAR Volt”: A hybrid jetliner
  • CRC HOT EAGLE – Super Global Troop Transport: Finally, hard data on a rocket transport for Special Forces and Marines

ustp06ad2 ustp06ad1

USTP #06 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



And don’t forget…

US Fighter Projects #1 and US VTOL Projects #1 are still new and still available!

 Posted by at 10:42 pm
Feb 232016

In the early 1970s, after the collapse of the SST program due to, in part, the rise in energy prices, Boeing, Lockheed, General Dynamics and NASA looked at the possibility of jetliners designed to fly economically right at the edge of the sound barrier. The idea was that there is an unavoidable spike in drag at Mach 1.00, but it would theoretically be possible to fly at, say, Mach 0.98 at relatively low drag. This would make the aircraft about 100 mph faster than conventional jetliners without being much more expensive. In order to pull this off, the jetliners would need to take advantage of every imaginable aerodynamic trick in the book… most obviously, area rule designing resulting in “wasp waisted” fuselages, and almost no straight lines… all curves. The problem is that this makes aircraft heavier and more expensive to build. Thus, no transonic airliners ever got any further than wind tunnel tests.

Below is a piece of Boeing art showing one of their designs for an Advanced Technology Transport. It was a Model 767 design, dash-number unknown.

transonic 767

 Posted by at 11:45 pm
Jan 232016

USSP #04

US Spacecraft Projects #04, the Lander Special is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #04 includes:

  • GE Electrically Propelled Cargo Vehicle: A lunar lander with a nuclear reactor and ion engines to reduce the cost of lunar logistics
  • Douglas LASS: Landing an S-IVb stage on the moon
  • Convair PLAME: VTOL crew return with jet engines
  • North American Mars Excursion Module: the iconic conical Mars lander
  • Martin-Marietta Ballistic NIMF: A nuclear “hopper”
  • Early LEM: One of the first recognizable designs, by Maxime Faget
  • ROMBUS: probably the largest lunar lander seriously proposed
  • Boeing Lander Module 2: A recent Mars crew lander

ussp04ad1 ussp04ad2

USSP #04 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $5:



USTP #05

US Transport Projects #05 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #05 includes:

  • Boeing Model 820-100: The B-52 can haul more than bombs…
  • Lockheed Nuclear Tug: Want to tow two C-5s across an ocean?
  • Martin Super Ocean Transport: A WWII-era design for a post-war giant passenger transport
  • HOT EAGLE: 13 Marines to Benghazi in minutes
  • Sikorsky SST: An early supersonic transport concept
  • Lifting Body Cargo Airplane: A wartime design for a multibody design with a separate cargo module
  • Resource Air Carrier: A giant “flying pipeline” to haul petroleum
  • Boeing Model 763-165: A side-by-side New Large Airplane design

ustp05ad2 ustp05ad1

USTP #05 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



AND don’t forget these…



Issue 03 of US Launch Vehicle Projects includes:

  • Juno V/Titan/Nomad: A 1958 concept for a space launcher using an ICBM for upper stages
  • Convair ATE Nova: A 1963 idea for winged airbreathing boosters
  • B-70/Gemini: Using a bomber as a booster
  • Phase II VTOHL Orbit-On-Demand: a 1985 concept for a relatively small two stage to orbit spaceplane
  • NASA Lewis Saturn Ib/Centaur/Kick Stage: a high energy upper stage
  • NASA MSC 042B/Titan IIIL6: a straight-winged orbiter atop a large Titan derivative
  • Heavy Lift Titan: A large diameter Titan core with three Shuttle boosters
  • Escher “Unshackled”: An unconventional idea for a lunar rocket

uslp03ad2 uslp03ad1

USLP #03 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



Large format USBP drawings, Issues 10-12

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 10-12 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Boeing Model 464-34-3, Republic mach 7, Lockheed CL-1301-1, Convair WS-125A, Boeing 484-415, Martin Model 223-10, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar, Martin Model 192-5, Boeing Model 464-40, Boeing Model 701-218, Northrop Nuclear flying wing, North American D118, Martin Model 223-11, North American Model 705-00-04, Bell/Martin 464L, Boeing B-1, Boeing Big Bird BB 6800, Boeing Model464-41, Douglas MX-2091-E, Boeing Model 701-238, Martin Model 223-12, Northrop Nuclear Flying Wing, Rockwell MRCC, Lockheed CL-820-8


USBP11x17-10-12 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


Large format USBP drawings, Issues 13-15

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 13-15 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Ryan Model 162, Boeing Orbital bomb, Northrop Atomic Wing, Consolidated Vultee High Speed Flying Boat, Martin Model 189, Boeing Model 464-046, Curtis F-87C, Boeing Model 701-247, Lockheed WS 464L Dyna Soar, McDonnell WS 464L Dyna Soar, North American WS 464L Dyna Soar, Republic WS 464L Dyna Soar, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar I, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar II, Douglas WS 464L Dyna Soar, Northrop N206 WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar II, Bell/Martin WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 2050E Dyan Soar, Boeing Dyna Soar/ Titan IIIc, Bell D2001 TS-149, Lockheed Harvey; Convair Model 35, Rockwell D661-27, Boeing Model 464-49, Boeing Model 988-123, Boeing Manned Orbital Bomber, Boeing Model 701-251


USBP11x17-13-15 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


 Posted by at 8:27 pm
Nov 132015

A few months ago, Airbus Defence and Space Sas received a US patent for a nearly hypersonic passenger transport. The vehicle has a number of different engines… rocket engines for vertical boost and acceleration, ramjets for hypersonic cruise, turbojets for subsonic flight including takeoff and landing. It would take off conventionally with turbojets, fire the rocket to shoot almost vertically to about 35 kilometers altitude (going supersonic in the process), then level off and cruise under ramjet power at Mach 4.5. The extreme altitude, about 3 times higher than normal jetliner traffic, would mean that the sonic boom should be greatly attenuated by the time it got to the surface.

The wingtip fins would rotate through 90 degrees to maintain center of pressure from subsonic through supersonic.

Unusually for a patent, this one provides dimensions. Fuselage length (dimension 11 in Figure 1) is 52.995 meters; overall length (dimension 110, Figure 3) is 57.63 meters; maximum span (dimension 126, Figure 5) is 27.188 meters.

Interestingly, the design looks like a mishmash of WWII-era designs… the “gothic wing” designed by Michael Gluhareff of Sikorsky merged with the wingtips of the Blohm & Voss P.208-2 or Skoda-Kauba SL-6.

This is US Patent 907661B2. At the moment the Google page for this patent seems a little non-functional; the PDF of the patent won’t download for me. Fortunately, the page for the patent application is functioning just fine. You can download the PDF file of the patent application directly from THIS LINK RIGHT HERE.

Some pages of diagrams:

Pages from US20120325957_Page_1Pages from US20120325957_Page_2 Pages from US20120325957_Page_3

Here is a video description of the design.

The interior views of the vehicle show one of the problems with rocket-boosted transport aircraft: The majority of the interior volume isn’t people and cargo, but propellant.

Much more aerospace stuff is available via the APR Patreon. If this sort of thing interests you, please consider signing up… not only will you help fund the search for obscure aerospace history, you’ll gain access to a lot of interesting stuff, not available elsewhere.


 Posted by at 12:50 pm