Jul 302012

A reproduction of admittedly dismal quality of a Martin Co. painting of their December 1958 Dyna Soar configuration at launch. This configuration, the product of a team-up of Martin and Bell, competed against Boeing (and other companies) and lost; what must have been grating for the Martin-Bell folks was that the Boeing design that won looked nothing like the final Dyna Soar design… which actually looked a whole lot like this vehicle.

The Dyna Soar is here being shown launched by a modified Titan I ICBM. This booster would have fallen far short of orbiting the Dyna Soar; instead it would have simply tossed it on a long hypersonic suborbital trajectory. This would have been a purely experimental aircraft, the natural follow-on to the X-15.

 Posted by at 2:30 am
Jul 282012

A three-view of the April 1962 configuration of General Dynamics’ TFX entry. This is very clearly the F-111, but with a few minor differences. The most obvious are the different inlets and the tail “cone.” Here, it appears that at least for the USAF version, the tail cone was meant to angle downwards… presumably forming a ventral fin to aid in stability (or perhaps aid in maneuverability).

Other design features that would change include the profiles of the dorsal and horizontal stabilizers.

 Posted by at 12:46 am
Jul 252012

While the December 1961 configuration of General Dynamics’ TFX proposal was quite different from what was actually built as the F-111, the April 1962 configuration was quite close, though still not final. This diagram shows both designs. The most obvious changes are for positioning of the wings further forward, and the substantial increase in size of the horizontal stabilizers.

 Posted by at 10:31 pm
Jul 232012

The F-111 was one of those aircraft for which a *vast* number of designs were put forth. While General Dynamics won the contract, they went through a long design development for their final design. As of December 1961, the design was clearly *almost* the F-111 as it would eventually be built, but not quite:

 Posted by at 11:39 pm
Jul 192012

I have this artwork… and nothing else. It depicts a VTOL aircraft that apparently uses augmenter technology for vertical thrust, and has an air cushion landing system. These would seem to place the design in the late 1960’s, maybe early 1970’s. That was when Bell was pushing air cushion landing systems hard… and before the spectacular failure of the augmenter-wing XFV-12.

It seems to be armed to the teeth with guns, but doesn’t seem to have space for much of anything else.

 Posted by at 1:04 pm
Jul 182012

A few years ago I found this in Jay Miller’s giant stack of stuff down in Arkansas. It was devoid of context, just a loose photocopy. Most likely it represents some Bell Helicopter illustrator having some fun spoofing the modifiability of the Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter. I’m guessing this dates to the 1980’s.

 Posted by at 11:30 pm