Jan 292016

Also of unfortunate image quality. But I’ve never seen it elsewhere, so here’s a Northrop space station concept shown in 1963. No data on it apart from whatever can be gleaned from the image. it *may* be an artificial gravity station, rotating around the shorter “axle near the middle. Unclear what’s going on at the far end.

northrop space station

 Posted by at 12:18 am
Jan 262016

As some may know, I’ve recently been on a high-rez aerospace artwork kick (as always, if you know of or have any such, let me know). And while I’ve been focusing on high quality stuff, sometimes there are low-quality images that are stuff worth of note.

One such is below, a rendering of the Northrop Corporations “SLOMAR” (Space Logistics, Maintenance and Repair) design circa 1960. Numerous companies worked on that USAF study, producing a range of lifting manned entry vehicles (see the General Dynamics version HERE). Northrop designed a vehicle virtually identical to the Boeing Dyna Soar, though a bit bigger.

northrop slomar

 Posted by at 11:32 pm
Jan 232016

USSP #04

US Spacecraft Projects #04, the Lander Special is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #04 includes:

  • GE Electrically Propelled Cargo Vehicle: A lunar lander with a nuclear reactor and ion engines to reduce the cost of lunar logistics
  • Douglas LASS: Landing an S-IVb stage on the moon
  • Convair PLAME: VTOL crew return with jet engines
  • North American Mars Excursion Module: the iconic conical Mars lander
  • Martin-Marietta Ballistic NIMF: A nuclear “hopper”
  • Early LEM: One of the first recognizable designs, by Maxime Faget
  • ROMBUS: probably the largest lunar lander seriously proposed
  • Boeing Lander Module 2: A recent Mars crew lander

ussp04ad1 ussp04ad2

USSP #04 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $5:



USTP #05

US Transport Projects #05 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #05 includes:

  • Boeing Model 820-100: The B-52 can haul more than bombs…
  • Lockheed Nuclear Tug: Want to tow two C-5s across an ocean?
  • Martin Super Ocean Transport: A WWII-era design for a post-war giant passenger transport
  • HOT EAGLE: 13 Marines to Benghazi in minutes
  • Sikorsky SST: An early supersonic transport concept
  • Lifting Body Cargo Airplane: A wartime design for a multibody design with a separate cargo module
  • Resource Air Carrier: A giant “flying pipeline” to haul petroleum
  • Boeing Model 763-165: A side-by-side New Large Airplane design

ustp05ad2 ustp05ad1

USTP #05 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



AND don’t forget these…



Issue 03 of US Launch Vehicle Projects 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:



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


USBP11x17-10-12 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


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


USBP11x17-13-15 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


 Posted by at 8:27 pm
Jan 212016

A piece of Sikorsky concept art from 1959 illustrating a commercial passenger pod for the S-60 flying crane helicopter. Into the 1960’s there were a lot of people thinking that commercial helicopter “airliners” would soon be a practical reality… and obviously, helicopters are perfectly functional in the role of hauling people to and fro, but the idea never really caught on. And in retrospect it’s not difficult to see why.

Compared to turbojet or turboprop passenger planes, helicopters are creakingly slow and quite short ranged. So the idea was that helicopter-liners would serve as short range feeder vehicles, transporting businessmen and the like from city centers to outlying regions. A popular goal was to fly passengers from the top of skyscrapers to distant airports, saving considerable time and trouble with ground traffic. But in the end, while helicopters could do that – as many a multi-millionaire with his own helicopter can attest – the cost was always high, and the noise of regularly scheduled very large choppers was excessive. There was also always the fear of helicopters this big zipping up and down the city streets, and building the infrastructure to support in-city commercial heliports just seemed like too much effort.


 Posted by at 10:27 am
Jan 202016

I recently acquired diagrams of a B-52 with six high-bypass turbofans. Sadly, the diagram lacks data on *which* engines those were, and when the design was made. So: does this look familiar?

re-engined b-52

Could be any of several, I think.

The full diagrams have been posted into the 2016-01 folder on the APR Patron Dropbox site. If interested, this and many, many other high-rez aerospace goodies are available to all APR Patreon patrons at the $4 level and higher. So, check it out


 Posted by at 11:39 am
Jan 132016

A single painting created (by noted illustrator Attila Hejja) in 1981 led to a whole lot of speculation about an “F-19.”  Even in the era before the internet allowed BS and rampant unfounded speculation to spread easily around the world, this illustration quickly led to a belief that this was a serious design… probably by Lockheed, and probably to be the F-19. It is indeed a spiffy looking aircraft, but it is much more science fiction than aerospace engineering. It appeared in magazines, books, toys and model kits, modified to greater or lesser degrees.

The painting is usually attributed to Loral, which is rather obvious given that it was prominently used by Loral in the ad below. But it appears that it was created for the Dod and is, in fact, in the public domain.


To download the full-rez version from the Aviation Week archive, click here:


And a reasonable-rez version of the painting is available here:


 Posted by at 1:01 am
Jan 032016

Somewhere north of 20 years ago I received a package in the mail from Martin-Marietta containing stuff on their then-current NIMF study. NIMF was a mangled acronym for Nuclear Rocket Using Indigenous Martian Fuel; basically a propellant tank, structure, landing gear and a nuclear rocket engine, to be used for landing a payload on Mars and for flying or hopping around. The propellant would be liquid carbon dioxide, easily compressed from the Martian atmosphere; the performance would be, by conventional liquid hydrogen nuclear rocket standards, reasonably awful, but it would be adequate to lurch back into Mars orbit or to do long range hops.

Two main designs seem to have been studied: a conical “ballistic” vehicle that would be a dedicated “hopper,” landing on its tail, and a winded vehicle that would land vertically in a horizontal attitude. This latter design was sent to me in the form of diagrams and five computer renders. The renders – early 1990’s vintage – came as viewgraph transparencies, clearly photographs of a computer monitor. The winged vehicle had simple shock absorbers for landing gear, terminating in dishes rather than wheels meaning that a rolling start or stop was impossible. The available information sadly doesn’t explain how the thing was supposed to land vertically.


The full-rez scans of the viewgraphs have been made available to APR Patrons in the 2016-01 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.


 Posted by at 2:16 am