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Author Topic: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY  (Read 130127 times)

Offline antigravite

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2009, 03:17:50 pm »

I suspect that ISINGLASS' demise had more to do with the retirement of General Bernard Schriever.  Technical challenges may also have hurt it, but Schriever was apparently the program's patron on the USAF side.

General Schriever was the central pillar of Air Force's project Forecast (1963-1964), which served as guidelines for R&D investments in the 1965-1975 period.
Project Forecast was a technology push and as such necessarily impacted positively projects such as ISINGLASS. Especially after the demise of Aerospaceplane.

More on project Forecast here:

http://history.nasa.gov/HHR-32/ch12.htm
 
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Offline blackstar

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2009, 08:42:38 pm »
I think Schriever's involvement in pushing ISINGLASS was more direct (i.e. not simply working on Forecast).  I first learned about ISINGLASS and RHEINBERRY when I had lunch with a former senior CIA official in 1996 and he mentioned both names.  He said that CIA was only moderately interested in ISINGLASS, and that it was heavily pushed by Schriever.  I suspect that when Schriever retired, the project's sponsorship just fell apart.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2009, 07:52:34 am »
We may know the same guy. But ISINGLASS cancellation is also close to the point where it was decided to put the A-12s in mothballs and hand the mission to the CIA, which (according to the CIA's history) the agency resisted.

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2009, 12:30:21 pm »
Has anyone seen a McDonnell Douglas proposed configuration for the Have Region program? I read that the MD entry was a scaled-up version of the Isinglass vehicle.

I'm curious if the Model 192 is the blended wing-body configuration often seen in MD NASP and scramjet paintings.

Also, has anything else come to light on the vehicle below:



The description is from "X-15 in Retrospect":

"A possible new research airplane system conforming to these and other X-15 guidelines is illustrated in figure 20. (Footnote: This is one of several systems receiving preliminary study in the United States.) It is a lifting-body cruise configuration designed for Mach numbers up to 12. Its acceleration engine is a hydrogen fueled J-2S rocket adapted from an upper-stage engine of the Saturn vehicle. Integrated into the lower surface is a research scramjet engine sized to paver the airplane in cruise. Following guidelines from our X-15 experience the vehicle is kept as small as possible, aboub 25 meters in length, and it remains in the Mach 12 environment only long enough for research purposes, about 5 minutes. As we have leaxned from the X-15, a new hypersonic research airplane system is likely to have a long lifetime of perhaps 15 years, during which many new unsuspected ideas for research and changes in configuration are likely to appear as the program develops. Accordingly, we are proposing here actually three different vehicle arrangements. We would start the program with the lifting-body rocket glider without the air-breathing research engine. Later, a delta-winged version using the same subsystems would be flown. And, finally, the integrated scranjet research engine shown here would be installed. Provision for structural cooling schemes including direct fuel cooling, air-film cooling, and other schemes likely to appear in these vehicles might also be made."

The J-2S is an experimental engine started in 1964 (as J-2X not to be confused with latest version), similar class of hydrogen rocket as the XLR-129, offering greater flexibility over the Saturn J-2, with a greater throttle range and an Idle Mode.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:44:45 pm by flateric »

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2009, 01:00:28 pm »
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2009, 01:53:28 pm »
Thanks Moonbat. I've seen the SERJ version of the X-15, but this propulsion selection (LH2 and LOX) for the unknown variant is different than the JP fuel and hydrogen peroxide oxidizer of the SERJ, which uses an ejector ramjet. The CIA/NRO documents on Isinglass recommend hydrogen florine for better Isp, but suggests LH2 and LOX to cut costs in half for the propulsion selection. Which is the type of system specified in the description of the unkown aircraft.

I also read that GRM-29A was developed by McDonnell Douglas under Science Dawn and that the Science Realm program was a test of structural articles from the Science Dawn designs. Have Region was the manufacture and test of Science Realms subscale structural test articles (as per the Anser Briefing documents). Therefore, if the GRM-29A configuration held up through the two studies to the Have Region program, then Isinglass should be of similar configuration. Its a long-shot, but not so long if someone has a drawing of McDonnell's Have Region vehicle.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 02:03:02 pm by Dynoman »

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2009, 03:15:58 pm »
Funny, I was just going to ask about that.
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline quellish

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2009, 10:08:25 pm »

I also read that GRM-29A was developed by McDonnell Douglas under Science Dawn and that the Science Realm program was a test of structural articles from the Science Dawn designs. Have Region was the manufacture and test of Science Realms subscale structural test articles (as per the Anser Briefing documents). Therefore, if the GRM-29A configuration held up through the two studies to the Have Region program, then Isinglass should be of similar configuration. Its a long-shot, but not so long if someone has a drawing of McDonnell's Have Region vehicle.

It would be interesting to know if ISINGLASS has GRM-29's water cooling.

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2009, 10:16:44 pm »
I'll bet Prof. Czysz worked on GRM-29.
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2009, 07:01:53 am »
Quellish, I don't know if Isinglass has the same cooling, but a document that has been circulated mentions GRM-29A as a water wick design (reducing weight of the TPS by 50% over a proposed "Advanced RSI").

Interesting to note that the chart representing ISINGLASS vehicle evolution titled, "Inter-relations of various Aerodynamic Reconnaissance Vehicles" from the CIA/NRO document has operational recon aircraft at the top, what looks like two classified vehilcles to the left, preceeding ISINGLASS, and a row of classified elements (I think are reconnaissance systems below it), and a line of evolutionary propulsion (i.e. turbojet, ramjet, and scramjet) units below that.

The document (of 1965) also mentions three vehicles of various ranges. The last one after ISINGLASS II looks like "Hypersonic Extended Range," a line item mentioned in the document as having a 24,000 nm range and to be operational between 1975-80.

The other two are a boost glide vehicle of 7,500 mile range and a rocket powered hypersonic vehicle of 12,000 mile range. The first vehicle says its in the "Early development stage" and the other in the 1970-75 forecast. I wonder if ISINGLASS is the 7500 mile range and ISINGLASS II is 12,000 mil vehicle?

ISINGLASS was projected to be Mach 20 at 200,000 feet, but the ANSER document lists it as Mach 17.

Also, the propulsion flow chart portion does not show a scramjet planned for the ISINGLASS vehicle until the Hypersonic Extended Range vehicle is developed (1975-80 time frame). Inferring that ISINGLASS had been planned as a rocket-based system until a future growth version developed. Which makes the above picture interesting.
 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 08:48:58 am by Dynoman »

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2009, 10:42:52 am »
This is the case as per the CIA/NRO document:

ISINGLASS - Boost glide rocket - 7,500 mi range, Mach 20, 200,000 ft

ISINGLASS II - Hypersonic rocket powered - 12,000 mi range

Hypersonic Extended Range - Scramjet powered - 24,000 mi range
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 10:46:47 am by Dynoman »

Offline quellish

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #41 on: September 26, 2009, 07:06:14 pm »
Quellish, I don't know if Isinglass has the same cooling, but a document that has been circulated mentions GRM-29A as a water wick design (reducing weight of the TPS by 50% over a proposed "Advanced RSI").

There appear to have been several recurring themes in DoD hypersonics work:
- Hypersonic cruise with scramjets. McD did a lot of this work, the GLOBAL REACH studies eventually resulted in the X-43 design. Today this effort continues with HTV-3X and it's successors.
- Boosted conventional weapons. The boost-glide vehicles and more recent Global Strike maneuvering conventional RVs like HTV-1 and HTV-2 fit here.
- Access to space. SSTO and TSTO vehicles like GRM-29A. The AMST, TAV, COPPER CANYON and later SCIENCE REALM and HAVE REGION programs all aimed to satisfy this need, and X-33 was at least somewhat of a spin off of this work. In parallel to the line of DARPA efforts listed, SDIO invested heavily in access to space projects during the late 80s and early 90s.

Because GRM-29 was an access to space vehicle, and as such was designed around carrying a lot of propellant, I would guess it's relation to ISINGLASS would be indirect. It is possible though that GLOBAL REACH is more directly related.

CIA on the other hand works differently. They basically go to the contractors with a requirement, rather than pursue aerospace projects with R&D investments over time like DARPA and USAF do.

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2009, 09:02:16 am »
Hypertech mentions that the picture in the design is the result of a collaboration between McAir and Pratt & Whitney in the 1958-1963 time frame.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.msg61104.html#msg61104

The planform and basic configuration is similar to the GRM-29A (according to the ANSER document). This ties the planform back to the ISINGLASS development time frame. The ISINGLASS vehicle proposal was delivered in 1965 by McAir. My thought is that this is the Model 192 or a close variant of it.

The Pratt XLR-129 was to power the 'Mach 20 200,000 ft Altitude" Boost-Glide McAir vehicle. CIA Parangoski goes to Pratt in Mid-1965 to discuss the development of an engine to power this vehicle, resulting in the XLR-129 (according to book Adv Engine Development at Pratt & Whitney). The planned engine for ISINGLASS.

There were two versions based on the design: 1) Boost-glide with circumferential glide range (22,500 ft/s); 2) Mach 12 Cruiser, as per:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,722.msg52805.html#msg52805

According to the CIA/NRO document, ISINGLASS vehicles where to have two XLR-129 engines per vehicle. I don't know if one was a spare or both were to be mounted on the vehicle, but the picture in the post below maybe what the proposed vehicle was supposed to look like.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.msg30271.html#msg30271

However, considering the size of the XLR-129 and that the system would be airlaiunched from a B-52H it may have been more like the HGV.


« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 07:18:44 am by Dynoman »

Offline quellish

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2009, 12:51:37 pm »
Scott seems to have a lot of data on GRM-29A, you can see some of it in one of his APR preview images here:
http://up-ship.com/apr/images/v5n2all.jpg
There are definitely similarities to the other McD hypersonic concepts as well as the McD mystery model with an XLR-129, leading all the way up to the X-43/GLOBAL REACH vehicles.

TWO XLR-129s? That seems a bit much for anything launched from a B-52, and even for a boost glide vehicle implies something fairly large, carrying a lot of propellant.

Offline Dynoman

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Re: Project ISINGLASS & Project RHEINBERRY
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2009, 01:59:39 pm »
Quellish, I agree. My post is based on the CIA/NRO planning document that states that FY69 there was to be three test ISINGLASS aircraft with seven rocket engines and the initiation of production of eight operational aircraft for deployment in FY71 with sixteen rocket engines.

If you assume the first of the seven engines is a test article, that leaves two engines per aircraft. These 'second' engines could be spares or vehicle mounted similar to the HSVS picture in the link above.