Jul 282013

A NASA painting of a 1969-vintage Space Shuttle concept. This was known as the “DC-3” configuration, and was designed – or at least heavily pushed – by Maxime Faget, and was adopted by several McDonnell-Douglas designs. It featured two manned and reusable rocket powered stages, both burning hydrogen & oxygen, both with straight wings. The smaller orbiter would basically “belly flop” into the atmosphere when re-entering. The straight wings would not provide a whole lot of lift, but they would also not be very massive. Thus the vehicles were relatively lightweight, but with restricted crossrange. Both stages also had turbofan engines mounted in the nose for cruise and landing assist.

 Posted by at 12:30 am

  2 Responses to “DC-3 Of Space”

  1. This was the system that should have been built.

    And it still can be adopted with the first stage operating unmanned in a drone configuration.

  2. Didn’t they find that the straight wings and high AOA on reentry would have made it very unstable?

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