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1965 NAA manned hypersonic concept

Orionblamblam

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The sum total of my knowledge on this craft comes from this single illustration, found in the Boeing Historical Archives. It’s a 1965 drawing of a rocket/scramjet vehicle that made use of a few X-15 bits and pieces. Clearly it was designed to test high-speed airbreathign systems ina stepwise fashion… get to high speed on rocket power initially, with the scramjet engine either removed or faired over, and only later fire up the scramjet. To get up to speed, the rocket would use propellants that would be stored in tanks that served as fairings for the inlets. Presumably this vehicle would be carried to altitude by another aircraft. It looks big for B-52 carriage, but that was probably the intent.

The inlets appear to be “inward turning” style inlets, recently made popular in the “Falcon” program. The liquid hydrogen tanks appear to be pretty small, so it clearly was not designed to test long duration cruise of the scramjet.

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