Mar 292016

Some photos (from ebay) of a NASA PR glossy from December, 1961, showing the then-current Saturn C-5 configuration. Note the fairly obvious signs of some retouching of the engines on the first stage… either the engines were originally larger, or they were larger in number. Note the lack of the small but distinctive stabilizing fins on the first stage.

saturn c5 3 stages 2 saturn c5 3 stages

 Posted by at 8:44 am
Mar 242016

A mid-1960’s German (VFW/Heinkel) concept for a VTOL passenger transport, a quad-tilt-wing design, with capacity for 40 passengers or 13,200 lbs of cargo.

VC-400 Interavia 10-1966 1

I’ve uploaded a two-page article from the era on the VC400. It is in the 2016-03 APR Extras Dropbox folder, available to all $4+ APR Patreon patrons. If interested, check out the APR Patreon.

 Posted by at 4:21 pm
Mar 172016

Seems I’ve sorta fallen off the PDF Review Wagon. So here’s a hastily slapped-together review of a great report (the scans, sadly, aren’t so great, but whatreyagonnado…

V/STOL Concepts and Developed Aircraft. Volume 1. A Historical Report (1940-1986)

Report Number: AFWAL TR 86-3071 Volume 1
Author(s): B. Lindenbaum
Corporate Author: Universal Energy Systems
Laboratory: Flight Dynamics Laboratory
Publication Date: 11/1/1986
Pages: 458
Contract: F33615-83-C-3000
Project: 3038
Task: 303800
AD Number: ADA175379
Photo Enhancement: Complete

Abstract Text:

The purpose of this document is to present a comprehensive, in-depth review of the serious efforts made in the development of VTOL and V/STOL concepts and aircraft other than the helicopter. The time period covered is from the beginning of organized government-sponsored activity in the late 1940’s through the present, during which a very large study and development activity has taken place. Conventional helicopters are not included because their development history is a sizeable subject in itself and one which is already well-documented. Included are V/STOL aircraft which do use rotors but are aimed at providing cruise speeds and aerodynamic efficiencies similar to those of conventional airplanes. Although not aircraft in the conventional sense, wingless VTOL vehicles which use direct thrust (rocket or turbojet/turbofan) for lift in all flight modes also are included since such machines do have a close relationship to some of the more commonly accepted forms of VTOL aircraft. This volume contains an introductory review of V/STOL aircraft concepts and the rationale behind them. The concepts are categorized by propulsion system. This volume contains definitive information and technical reviews of the rocket belt, turbojet/turbofan platform type (wingless) vehicles, and turbojet/turbofan vertical attitude takeoff and landing aircraft.


Two scans of this are available online.

Direct link to PDF copy 1.

Direct link to PDF copy 2.

 Posted by at 5:24 pm
Mar 172016

An ok-quality inboard view of the slick S-67 from 40+ years ago. This represents an armed, operational vehicle.

av week 1974-07-29-22

Nice, eh?

 Posted by at 5:19 pm
Mar 112016

A silent NASA film documenting flight testing of the little-remembered X-100 in 1960. The X-100 was a slick-looking tilt-prop design, a predecessor to the X-19. In this video is certainly looks rather wobbly in the air as the pilot attempts to hover. The craft could certainly have benefited from modern computerized controls.


 Posted by at 1:28 am
Mar 052016

I managed to finagle a complete full-color scan of an original copy of Eugen Sanger’s 1944 report, Uber einen Raketenantrieb fur Fernbomber (A Rocket Drive for Long Range Bombers). A “meh” quality B&W PDF of an English-language translation of the report has been available online for a while, but it seems to me that the world needs a proper high-rez version of the original, in color where appropriate.

One of the pages I’ve cleaned up from the new scan shows the statistical damage potential if New York City was regularly targeted by a very large number of bombs. This image, at least a black-and-white English-translated version, several generations removed from the original, is reasonably well-known and commonly reproduced… and as described a few years back, is generally described wrong.

Sanger (1) S2 (101)

 Posted by at 7:00 pm
Mar 032016

Artwork depicting the Surveyor lunar probe as of June, 1962. Reasonably close to the final product, but some differences are visible. The subsurface probe I believe was not employed; neither was the SNAP-11 nuclear power source. That was intended to power the lander through the lunar night.


 Posted by at 12:19 pm