Nov 272015

Just under the wire, rewards for November have been made available to APR patrons. Three documents and one large-format diagram, and one all-new CAD diagram, have been posted:

  1. NASA diagram (on two sheets) of a NERVA nuclear rocket engine display model, presenting the configuration with detail and clarity
  2. An article on a orbiting nuclear power station
  3. A full-color brochure (via photographs) on the Convair Model 36, their entry for what became the B-36
  4. A North American Aviation presentation on delta wings for the X-15, presenting a few different configurations
  5. An all-new layout CAD diagram of the Bernal Sphere space colony concept

If you’d like to help out and gain access to these and past and future rewards, please check out the APR Patreon.


2015-11 ad

 Posted by at 5:55 am
Nov 232015

In 1963 the Curtiss Wright Corporation ran an ad in Missiles & Rockets magazine illustrating their participation in the Titan III/Dyna Soar program. The main illustration in the ad depicts the launch vehicle in flight; it is not, sadly, a wholly accurate depiction. The N2O4 thrust vector fluid tanksĀ  for the SRBs aren’t included, nor are the separation motors; the two engine bells on the Titan core are shown clocked out of alignment. Still, a reasonably nice illustration.

missilesrockets1219unse_0529 missilesrockets1219unse_0528

 Posted by at 9:19 pm
Nov 192015

A poor-quality photo of a display model of the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, made partially of plexiglas to permit a view of the interior. Appears to have been made by or for Air Force Space Systems Division. Image published in the February 17, 1964, issue of Missiles & Rockets magazine. This would have been an early design of the MOL. It’s difficult to determine size/scale of the model, but it looks reasonably large… probably at least 1/24 scale. Note that the transstage is shown attached, but it represented at low fidelity.


 Posted by at 10:51 am
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
Nov 072015

Color artwork from NASA circa 1964 depicting Apollo-derived logistics spacecraft. The BALLOS (BALlistic LOgistic Spacecraft) was studied by several corporations such as Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas as well as NASA; the artwork was done *for* NASA, but it’s unclear if it was done *by* NASA.

The full resolution versions of these artworks have been posted into the 2015-11 folder in the APR Extras Dropbox. Please check out the APR Patreon!

S64-06336 S64-01800

 Posted by at 2:06 am
Nov 032015

Now availableā€¦ a new additions to the US Aerospace Projects series.

US Bomber Projects #17

USBP #17 includes:

M.C.D. 392: A wartime design for a global-range bomber
Martin Model 194: A strategic bomber somewhat larger than the B-29
Lockheed CL-285-815: A supersonic nuclear powered concept with five engines
Consolidated Model 36: An early design for the B-36 with twin tails
Boeing Model 701-290: A supersonic bomber on the road to the B-59
Thiokol 260-inch ICBM: An unreasonably large ICBM concept
ARFL ESAV: A recent concept for a stealthy supersonic bomber
Convair GEBO II: An ancestor of the B-58, carried aloft under a B-60

USBP#17 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.



 Posted by at 8:55 pm