Mar 152014

UPDATE: the deadline has come… these are now no longer for sale.

I am making available, for a limited time, four bound volumes of large format diagrams. These are 11X17 line-drawing CAD diagrams produced by yours truly, bound in red pressboard report covers (why? because that’s classy, that’s why).

I had not planned on releasing these, but I had also not taken into account the fact that the IRS will very soon be demanding a sizable income tax check from me. Ooops. So, my sudden financial panic is your opportunity to get a limited edition item. They will be available until some time on Thursday, March 20. At which point they will be gone forever. Each one will be hand inscribed with the number of the edition (“#1 of 5” or “#4 of 7,” whatever the case may be), with the numbering done via order in which orders are received. Also with my hand-enscribbled initials. (Because who knows, I might be famous someday.)

What I have:

1) BoMi: the complete set of diagrams created for the “Bomber Missile” articles for Aerospace Projects Review issues V2N3 and V2N4, a total of about 45 pages. Includes the MX 2276 from 1955, up through the SR-126 studies from 1957, Brass Bell, Convairs RoBo, Super Hustler, FISH; and Boeing Model 728 studies, among others. $45

BoMi booklet 2014-03

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2) BWB: The complete set of diagrams created for the V1N3 APR article on Blended Wing Body aircraft, 29 pages. Contains many jetliner concepts, along with such oddities as the Lockheed CL-1201,a giant nuclear powered VTOL assault transport concept. $40

BWB booklet 2014-03 Img_3759

3) Model 2050E X-20 Dyna Soar: the diagrams from the not-yet released issue V3N4 APR article. These are the diagrams in their current state; some may change before I’m done with them. And some will not appear in the article. Includes not only the X-20, but also several proposed launch vehicles (including, I’m reasonably proud to say, the first publicly available accurate and detailed diagrams of the X-20 atop the Titan IIIc), layouts of test and operational versions of the DS with transstage, several small space stations designed expressly for DS servicing, and several high-energy transstage concepts. Also includes really quite good diagrams of the ASSET test vehicle and the X-37B spaceplane. 24 pages, $35

x-20 booklet 2014-03 Img_3766 Img_3767 Img_3768 Img_3769 Img_3770

4) Nuclear Pulse Propulsion Starships: diagrams from my hopefully-forthcoming book on nuclear pulse propulsion. I really had not planned on releasing any of the diagrams prior to publication of the book, but what the heck: here are 14 pages showing several versions of the Enzmann Starship, the Dyson Starship, the BIS Daedalus, the Martin/Bond Worldships and the US Naval Academy “Longshot.” $30

nppstarships booklet 2014-03Img_3771 Img_3772 Img_3773 Img_3774 Img_3775


Several of the X-20 and NPP diagrams have been formatted specifically for this release, and will not be otherwise released. And of course if I get mashed by a Mack truck or flattened by a meteorite, these diagram sets will be the only versions of these diagrams ever released. So, you know, there’s that…




 Posted by at 7:21 pm
Mar 152014

A General Dynamics/Astronautics film from 1962 describing the ORCA Weapon System. This was a seafloor deployment concept for solid-rocket ICBMs similar to the Polaris; the missile would be installed within a sealed watertight canister and lowered to the seafloor. There is would sit until called for by a sonar device. Upon receipt of a proper coded audio signal, ballast tanks would be filled with air and the canister would shoot to the surface. Upon breaching, the “nose” of the canister would jettison and the missile would launch out and, presumably, fly to the target.

[youtube YyJjfCpfnI4]

While the idea had some merit, including low cost compared to a Minuteman or a ballistic missile sub, it also had some pretty unfortunate problems. Not least of which is that the US Navy would basically just be dropping nuclear missiles on the seafloor. The canisters would probably have been fairly easily detectable via active sonar, so they would have to have been watched in some fashion to make sure nobody came along and simply strolled off with one. And the security would help to point out where they were. The Soviets and SPECTRE would be forever tripping over each other searching for these things (though that raises the notion of the US Navy making a show of lower hundreds of these capsules… each of which turns out to actually be a miniature sub that wanders back to base. The Soviets would tear their hair out looking for missiles that don’t exist)

So, obviously, these were never fielded. But as the film shows, the concept was built and apparently successfully tested. In contrast to today where such a concept would get years worth of Powerpoints, here… they just went ahead and built a 1/4 scale functional model of the thing including a sizable “model rocket” that successfully launches from the canister upon breaching.

orca 3

orca 2

Shown here is a diagram of a 47,000 pound missile in a 108-foot-long capsule. There is considerable resemblance between this idea and the concept, almost 20 years prior, of V-2 rockets in capsules towed behind U-Boats for use against the US.

orca 1

The rather artsy style of having three guys in business suits posing on the seashore seems a bit odd.

 Posted by at 7:17 pm
Mar 112014

I *believe* this may be Boeing, but I’m not sure. In any event, it depicts the roughly Manhattan-sized structure that was considered in the NASA SPS studies of the late 1970’s. The vast rectangle is covered with PV arrays; hanging off either end is a microwave energy transmitter.

solar power satellite 1

The energy beam would be intercepted and turned into useful electricity at a vast terrestrial receiver station.


solar power satellite 2 2013-10-10

 Posted by at 3:16 pm
Mar 102014

The SP-100 was a 1980’s NASA/DoE/DARPA program to develop a space-based nuclear reactor capable of putting out 100 kilowatts of electrical power. A great deal of progress was made, and plans were in place to use on for space stations, interplanetary probes, military satellites and the like, but of course it was cancelled.

sp-100 space nuclear reactor 2 sp-100 space nuclear reactor

 Posted by at 12:04 pm