May 302017
 

Currently there is a large, expensive auction on eBay for several hundred pieces of Marquardt concept art. The per-piece price of about ten bucks is pretty good, but the sum total is just a whole lot. Anyway, the auction listing provides a look at a *few* of the pieces, including one that depicts a “space sled.” This was a maneuver vehicle for a single astronaut, with much greater performance than the various maneuvering backpacks that had been designed over the decades. Instead of strapping it on, the pilot sits on it somewhat as if it was a motorcycle. The propellants are almost certainly cold gas (nitrogen) thrusters, which means specific impulse was really low. But it also made them very, very simple devices.

While Marquardt did some serious design work on space sleds, including building one that is currently on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, it’s unclear how serious this one is. The space suit, after all, is pretty weak. There appear to be only two thrusters, both providing “forward” thrust; steering looks like it might have been by actually tilting the whole assembly. This would have provided only minimal thrust vectoring, and would have provided little to no pitch or roll control, and no braking thrust. My guess is that this was either the art department coming up with a concept on their own without much engineering input, or it was a very preliminary and perhaps unfinished piece.

 Posted by at 9:12 am
May 202017
 

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues. Cover art was provided by Rob Parthoens, www.baroba.be

US Bomber Projects #19

US Bomber Projects #19 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #19 includes:

  • Early Atlas Concept: Parallel Staged Missile: three-bodied concept leading to the Atlas ICBM
  • Lockheed L-286-665: A supersonic nuclear powered design
  • Consolidated XA-44 Model 112: a three-engined forward-swept jet
  • Convair Pilotless Airplane I-40: a TV & radar guided missile
  • Martin Model 151-J: A late pre-war design
  • Boeing Model 464-79-0: a long-span B-52 with floating wingtips
  • Lockheed-Martin VS-07: A recent stealthy variable geometry concept
  • Boeing Model 724-15: Boeings first giant competitor for the B-70

 

USBP #19 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

——–



US Fighter Projects #02 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #02 includes:

  • Bell Rocket Fighter: A design similar to the X-1
  • North American RD-1381-B: A two-stage VTO design
  • Boeing Model 457: A rocket boosted ramjet fighter with two stages
  • Truax Rocket Fighter: A VTO ship-launched interceptor
  • Northrop XP-79: A flying wing with a prone pilot
  • Lockheed CL-362-1: A late 1950’s spaceplane-like hypersonic concept
  • SAINT II: the Satellite Interceptor lifting body
  • Bell D-35: a tailless delta-like design

 

USFP #02 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

——–


 

 Posted by at 10:49 pm
May 032017
 

A number of vintage 8X10 glossies of aerospace concept art (all apparently North American/Rockwell) were recently sold on eBay. These included Apollo/Skylab, early Space Shuttle concepts, advanced spacecraft (including a manned mission to Jupiter and NERVA tugs) and various space probes and space station designs. Fortunately, the seller provided fairly good scans. I have collected them and uploaded them to the APR Patreon Extras Dropbox folder for 2017-05.  If you are interested in accessing these and other aerospace historical goodies, consider signing up for the APR Patreon.

 Posted by at 11:02 am