Dec 302015
 

A NASA illustration (probably from 1964-66) showing the Saturn launch vehicles planned for the Apollo program. Note that the Saturn Ib shows the Lunar Module ascent stage, sans descent stage. This could have led to some interesting mission possibilities.

saturn_vehicles_for_apollo

The full-rez scan has been made available to APR Patrons in the 2015-12 APR Extras Dropbox folder. If you’d like to help out and gain access to this and many other pieces of aerospace history, please check out the APR Patreon.

patreon-200

 Posted by at 4:36 pm
Dec 212015
 

OK, so I wrote about the “Have Sting” orbital railgun, and produced some provisional diagrams of it, publishing them in US Space Projects #3. A blog article was written for War Is Boring discussing “Have Sting,” based in no small part on my diagrams. OK, so far so good. But then other blogs start writing about Have Sting, and an error is introduced.

Whenever a blog post links to my blog, a “pingback notification” is sent to my blog dashboard. I’ve just glanced at these, haven’t given them much thought. For the most part they seem to be just parroting the verbiage from the War is Boring piece. But with one change: “Have Sting” has become “Have Sling.” A “T” became an “L.”

Examples:
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/219718-exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built

In September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General Electric design for a gigantic orbital railgun.” Have Sling was never built, of course.

http://www.usaspeaks.com/news/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

September, the Aerospace Project Reviews Blog published some fascinating diagrams depicting “Have Sling,” which aerospace historian Scott Lowther described as “[a] General …

http://www.usaspeaks.com/news/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

http://www.viralnewstrend.com/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

And a bunch more, all seemingly the same post over and over.

And if you Google “have sling” and some other terms, some seriously wacky stuff appears, which I’m guessing is the result of some weird auto-translation:

http://www.bbtechnonews.com/index.php/2015/12/19/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

In September, the Aerospace Task Reviews Blog site released some remarkable layouts portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther

“Aerospace Task Reviews?”

And:

http://journalfocus.com/2015/12/exploring-the-death-star-space-gun-america-never-built/

Exploring the ‘Fatality Celebrity’ space gun America never built

UNITED STATE protection coordinators did at one time think about constructing a huge Fatality Star-like gun in space as component of the “Celebrity Wars” rocket protection program, as Warisboring’s Steve Weintz advised us this week in the middle of the hullaballoo of the position of The Pressure Awakens.

In September, the Aerospace Job Reviews Blog site released some interesting representations portraying “Have Sling,” which aerospace chronicler Scott Lowther…

… the styles explain a space tool the dimension of the International Space Terminal, each Lowther.

Buh?

So now when people try to research orbital railguns, there’s every chance that they will be presented with the fallacious designation “Have Sling.”

I just did a Google search on “railgun” and “have sling.”  It spat back 741 results. “Railgun and “Have Sting” only produced 321 results. The lie traveled around the world while the truth was still putting on its boots.

 Posted by at 12:03 am
Dec 132015
 

A photo (dating from the 1950’s sometime) showing Dr. Abe Silverstein and Edward R. Sharp, Director of the NACA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, looking at a model of a ramjet equipped supersonic fighter concept. Unclear if this is a NACA design, but it does resemble something out of Lockheed.

naca ramjet naca ramjet crop

Link to the full-rez HERE.

 

 Posted by at 6:58 pm
Dec 072015
 

USLP 03

Issue 03 of US Launch Vehicle Projects is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #03 includes:

  • Juno V/Titan/Nomad: A 1958 concept for a space launcher using an ICBM for upper stages
  • Convair ATE Nova: A 1963 idea for winged airbreathing boosters
  • B-70/Gemini: Using a bomber as a booster
  • Phase II VTOHL Orbit-On-Demand: a 1985 concept for a relatively small two stage to orbit spaceplane
  • NASA Lewis Saturn Ib/Centaur/Kick Stage: a high energy upper stage
  • NASA MSC 042B/Titan IIIL6: a straight-winged orbiter atop a large Titan derivative
  • Heavy Lift Titan: A large diameter Titan core with three Shuttle boosters
  • Escher “Unshackled”: An unconventional idea for a lunar rocket

uslp03ad2 uslp03ad1

USLP #03 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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Large format USBP drawings, Issues 10-12

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 10-12 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Boeing Model 464-34-3, Republic mach 7, Lockheed CL-1301-1, Convair WS-125A, Boeing 484-415, Martin Model 223-10, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar, Martin Model 192-5, Boeing Model 464-40, Boeing Model 701-218, Northrop Nuclear flying wing, North American D118, Martin Model 223-11, North American Model 705-00-04, Bell/Martin 464L, Boeing B-1, Boeing Big Bird BB 6800, Boeing Model464-41, Douglas MX-2091-E, Boeing Model 701-238, Martin Model 223-12, Northrop Nuclear Flying Wing, Rockwell MRCC, Lockheed CL-820-8

usbp11x17_10-12ad1

USBP11x17-10-12 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:
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Large format USBP drawings, Issues 13-15

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 13-15 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Ryan Model 162, Boeing Orbital bomb, Northrop Atomic Wing, Consolidated Vultee High Speed Flying Boat, Martin Model 189, Boeing Model 464-046, Curtis F-87C, Boeing Model 701-247, Lockheed WS 464L Dyna Soar, McDonnell WS 464L Dyna Soar, North American WS 464L Dyna Soar, Republic WS 464L Dyna Soar, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar I, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar II, Douglas WS 464L Dyna Soar, Northrop N206 WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar II, Bell/Martin WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 2050E Dyan Soar, Boeing Dyna Soar/ Titan IIIc, Bell D2001 TS-149, Lockheed Harvey; Convair Model 35, Rockwell D661-27, Boeing Model 464-49, Boeing Model 988-123, Boeing Manned Orbital Bomber, Boeing Model 701-251

usbp11x17_13-15ad1

USBP11x17-13-15 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:
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 Posted by at 3:30 pm
Dec 072015
 

Here’s something I have some vague recollection of posting before, but couldn’t find after a cursory search: a sketch of the seating arrangement of a 3-man A-4 rocket (might be the A-8 derivative). This is a scan of a photocopy of a photocopy; the original photocopy was found in the files of a researcher at the NASM twenty or so years ago. It’s thought that the sketch was originally made by Werner von Braun during WWII.

Little data is provided; range is given as 500 km. *Presumably* this would have been a winged, landing-gear-equipped derivative of the A-4; replacing the warhead of the V-2 with just three guys seems like a waste of three guys, as well as a not terribly effective weapons system.

3 man v-2 a4

The full-rez scan (such as it is) has been made available to APR Patrons in the 2015-12 APR Extras Dropbox folder. If you’d like to help out and gain access to this and many other pieces of aerospace history, please check out the APR Patreon.

patreon-200

 Posted by at 11:47 am
Dec 012015
 

DARPA Scraps Plan To Launch Small Sats from F-15 Fighter Jet

ALASA (Airborne Launch Assist Space Access) was a program to develop a launch vehicle that could be carried aloft by an F-15, with an orbital payload of around 45 kilograms. The design detail that was supposed to make ALASA work was what killed it: the propellant.

ALASA was to use liquid rocket engines. Nothing new there. The propellant combination was acetylene and nitrous oxide; that’s kinda new. But the Really New part of the design was that the two propellants were to be pre-mixed, meaning that the vehicle required only a single tank and simpler plumbing. Pre-mixing fuel and oxidizer is always a tricky proposition, but it has been successfully demonstrated from time to time. But here, in several tests the propellant simply exploded. This should not be overly surprising… acetylene  is one of those unstable chemicals that will on occasion blow itself to bits just because it’s cranky. Mixing it with an oxidizer is just asking for trouble.

DARPA seems to have bailed on the launcher program, but is continuing to try to develop the propellant (called NA-7). Tricky though it may be, if it can be reliably stabilized there are undoubtedly vehicle designs that could effectively utilize it.

ALASA-darpa

The ALASA vehicle made another unusual design choice: the rocket engines were near the front, not at the back. The reason for this: the trailing propellant tank could be dropped as a stage, but leave the engines in place. This would theoretically make the vehicle lighter, at the risk of having hot rocket exhaust scraping down the sides of the tank.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm