A follow-up to the earlier photo set of Burans at Baikonur left to rot: a full -scale mockup of the Energia-M launcher. The Energia-M was a planned smaller two-booster version of the four-booster Energia used to launch the Buran orbiter… and, like the Buran orbiters, it has been left in place and is slowly rusting away.
Bell artwork from the late 70’s or ’80’s depicting the D316 tiltrotor, a proposed operational derivative of their XV-15 research tiltrotor.
Convair 58-9 SST, derived from the B-58 bomber (see HERE for a well illustrated article on this and other B-58 SSTs):
Early artwork for a VTOL fighter concept from Ryan; this would eventually become the X-13:
Rockwell art of an early Shuttle configuration. The full-rez version has been made available for $10-level patrons at the APR Patreon.
While this is broadly much like the STS as actually built, there are a lot of important differences. The spine down the top of the cargo bay… that was to give room for the cargo manipulator arm without putting it actually in the cylindrical bay, taking up valuable cargo space. The booster rockets have teardrop ports on the cylindrical sections just aft of the nosecones… these are the thrust termination ports that, in the event of an abort, would blow out through the forward dome of the rocket motors. This would not only slash the chamber pressure in the motors, it would provide an escape route for the hot gas to go forward, cancelling the thrust from the aft nozzle. The ET is of a slightly simpler geometry; the small cylinder on the nosecone contained the de-orbit solid rocket motor (because the ET would either go into orbit with the Shuttle, or so close to orbit that the splashdown location would be somewhat randomized).
I haven’t had an opportunity to really dig into this, but Boeing just patented a jet engine powered not by hydrocarbon fuel combustion but by small nuclear explosions. Basically an Orion (via laser-driven inertial confinement compression of tiny fusion fuel pellets) in a jet, stuck on a passenger plane.
The US Patent Office page on this.
THIS should link directly to the PDF of the patent.
Sigh. Every single time I think I’ve got a handle on “this is everything in the world of NPP, I can finally finish the book,” they suck me back in.
Now available… three new additions to the US Aerospace Projects series.
US Bomber Projects #15
- Bell D2001: A 1957 eight-engined Bell VTOL strike plane for the Navy
- Lockheed “Harvey”: AKA the Hopeless Diamond, Lockheeds first design for what became the F-117
- Convair Model 35: An early push-pull concept for the B-36
- Rockwell D661-27: A nuclear powered strategic bomber
- Boeing Model 464-49: The penultimate major design in the development of the B-52
- Boeing Model 988-123: A highly agile stealthy strike fighter
- Boeing Orbital Bomber: An early concept for a Dyna Soar derivative with eight nukes
- Boeing Model 701-251: A twin engined concept on the road to the XB-59
USBP#15 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.
US Transport Projects #4
- Boeing Model 473-13: An early twin-engine jetliner
- ICARUS Troop Transport: 1,200 marines, anywhere, anytime
- Republic Model 10 SST: A little known SST competitor
- Lockheed CL-593: A giant, if slow, logistics transporter
- Boeing 763-059 NLA: A whole lotta passengers in one place
- Fairchild M-534: A B-36 converted into a vast cargo carrier
- Lockheed CL-1201: Probably the largest aircraft ever designed
- Oblique All-Wing Supersonic Airplane: A supersonic variable-orientation flying wing
USTP#4 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.
US Launch Vehicle Projects #2
- Juno V, 4 stage: An early design that became the Saturn rocket
- Boeing “Space Freighter”: a giant two-stage spaceplane for launching solar power satellites
- Boeing NASP-D: A rare look at an operational National Aerospace Plane derivative
- LLNL Mockingbird: The smallest SSTO ever designed
- Boeing Model 922-101: A fully reusable Saturn V
- NAR Phase B Space Shuttle: a fully reusable two-stage concept
- Martin Marietta Inline SDV: A Shuttle-derived heavy lifter
- Scaled Composites Model 351: The Stratolaunch carrier aircraft
USLP#2 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.