Nov 292014

Before “Voyager” meant “a flyby probe of the Outer Solar System,” it meant “an orbiter and lander for Mars.” It was, essentially, a bigger, more ambitious version of what became the Viking missions. big enough that the Saturn V was the launcher, sending two craft at a time.

A number of companies put in bids to design and build the spacecraft. Below are images of the TRW concept.  The conical section is the capsule holding the lander; the propulsion section is derived from the Lunar Module descent stage.

trw voyger

 Posted by at 2:29 pm
Nov 252014

A painting that was up on eBay a while back purported to be a McDonnell-Douglas concept rendering for a transonic jetliner. This aircraft used advanced – and expensive – fuselage shaping to lower transonic drag, much like the NASA/Boeing/Bell design illustrated in US Transport Projects #01.

The image does give me pause. There’s something about the wings that just looks… off. I don’t think they match. And the port engine looks like it’s larger in diameter than the starboard engine.

ebay 2014-09-29 c

 Posted by at 11:28 am
Nov 202014

A tiny, postage-stamp-sized illustration in a double-page advertisement for Lockheed in a July, 1988, issue of Aviation Week shows a CAD diagram of a jet fighter. This appears to be a twin-engined stealthy air superiority fighter. The illustration appears to be a photo taken of an old-school CRT monitor, and mirrored for some reason. Sadly, none of the text is useful or readable, and dimensions are undeterminable.

av week 1988-07-11 b

 Posted by at 2:14 pm
Nov 192014

The latest releases in the “US Projects” line (see the full library HERE):


Issue #02 of US Transport Projects, done in the same format as US Bomber Projects, USTP will cover flying vehicles designed to transport cargo, passengers and troops. Issue 02 includes:

  • Jupiter Troop Transport: A 1956 Army concept for ballistically launched soldiers
  • Catamaran 747: A NASA  concept for a more efficient twin-fuselage 747
  • Nuclear C-5A: A NASA concept for using the existing C-5 to demonstrate nuclear powered flight
  • Boeing 765-076E: A recent design for a small supersonic transport
  • Lockheed L-151: An early jetliner concept adding six turbojets to a Constellation
  • AAFRL/Lockheed AMC-X: A recent design for a stealthy C-130 replacement
  • Boeing Twin Hull Airship: A 1970’s design for a semi-buoyant  cargo lifter
  • Douglas D5.0-15A: A partially NASP-derived hypersonic jetliner

USTP #02 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:





Also available: issue #01 of US Spacecraft Projects.  This series will present some of the wide range of manned and unmanned probes, stations, landers, spaceplanes and so on that have been designed over the decades. Issue #01 includes:

  • General Dynamics 2-Man Space Taxi: A concept for the minimum possible manned spacecraft
  • General Dynamics EMPIRE lander: one of the earliest designs for an excursion module to and from the surface of Mars
  • Convair Landing Boat: Krafft Ehricke’s Atlas-launched spaceplane
  • Zenith Star: the SDI laser battlestation experiment
  • Northrop PROFAC: a flying gas station for spacecraft
  • NASA Warp-drive spacecraft: a highly hypothetical concept for planning purposes
  • Martin Direct Flight Apollo: lunar landing without the LEM
  • Boeing DS-1 Satellite Interceptor: an early Dyna Soar with nuclear missiles

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




 Posted by at 6:37 pm
Nov 162014

The November rewards for the APR patrons have been released. They include:

PDF document: “The Air Turborocket Powerplant,” an Aerojet brochure from October 1955 describing an advanced airbreathing propulsion system for missiles, bombers, intercepts, etc.

PDF document: “VTOL Transport Aircraft Comparative Study,” a report from Vertol, 1956. Describes, with data, sketches and three-view diagrams, a range of different types of VTOL transports, including tilt-wings, lift jets, aerodyne, etc.

DIAGRAMS: two parter this month. First: layout, inboard and sectional views of the Lockheed L-2000 SST. Second: Douglas diagrams… “Plans for Scale Model Construction of the Long-Tank Thor Agena.” Good diagrams of the launch vehicle.

CAD diagram: NASA-Langley hypersonic transport.

2014-11 patreon ad

If you would like to access these items and support the cause of acquiring and sharing these pieces of aerospace history, please visit my Patreon page and consider contributing.



 Posted by at 8:48 pm
Nov 132014

An ad from 1989 showing the Boeing-Sikosky competitor for the LHX program. This was the winning design and was built as the RAH-66 Comanche, though not without some notable design tinkering.

av week 1989-07-19 2

 Posted by at 11:15 pm
Nov 122014

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning I go in to get a CAT scan of my lungs. This is so the pulmonary specialist can get a better look at something he saw on an X-ray a week ago; it apparently looked like a more or less harmless granuloma (scar tissue from a bacterial or fungal infection), but the fact that it deserves more attention is a little disturbing. From the limited information available so far (including the fact it took an entire week to get the CAT scan… you’d think if the doc thought it was important they’d’ve put a move on), it seems most likely that this will show nothing of any real health importance. Nevertheless, this ain’t free; insurance leaves a pretty substantial bill. And therefore… I’m having a sale on all my downloadables. Aerospace Projects Reviews, US Bomber Projects, drawings, documents. I’m offering 10% off orders of more than $25, 20% off orders more than $50 and 25% off orders over $100. The easiest way to do this, since PayPal doesn’t (so far as I know) seem to offer any such “sale” option, is you order stuff, and I refund the difference. I’ll leave this up and running for a day or three.


The most recent items I’ve published, USBP11 and USTP01, haven’t been added to the main catalog pages yet, but they’re here:

Of course, if the CAT scan finds something more interesting and energetic than a granuloma, I might have to have a somewhat more aggressive sale.

 Posted by at 7:59 pm