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A20 from Arthur C.Clarke short story "Inheritance"

Grif

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I've always liked this story, which has a few design details in it about the (fictitious) two-stage rocket A20. I've always imagined it as being rather like an R.A.Smith-style "son of V2" with a retractable wing upper stage. Fired up by "The Spaceship Handbook", I'd like to try drawing this rocket, and I wonder if anyone has any illustrations of it from any publications (it was published in the 40s in the British SF magazine "New Worlds", and in "Astounding"), or any ideas as to what the A20 might have looked like. I don't know if I'm OT here for this forum, and if I am, sorry!
Grif
 

McTodd

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Grif said:
Fired up by "The Spaceship Handbook"...
Do you have Ron Miller's 'The Dream Machines'? It has a lot of BIS designs. Alternatively, when I get home later, I'll see what I can dig up...
 

Justo Miranda

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Grif said:
I've always liked this story, which has a few design details in it about the (fictitious) two-stage rocket A20. I've always imagined it as being rather like an R.A.Smith-style "son of V2" with a retractable wing upper stage. Fired up by "The Spaceship Handbook", I'd like to try drawing this rocket, and I wonder if anyone has any illustrations of it from any publications (it was published in the 40s in the British SF magazine "New Worlds", and in "Astounding"), or any ideas as to what the A20 might have looked like. I don't know if I'm OT here for this forum, and if I am, sorry!
Grif

All "Astounding" covers here http://www.noosfere.org/showcase/astounding_1942.htm
 

Michel Van

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the story is in Astounding Science Fiction, September 1948,
and here the cover, tah dam:

eeeh that all ?
 

McTodd

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Curses! Thanks for the link, Michel. ;)

Meanwhile, I've attached a couple of R A Smith illustrations of the generic chemical-booster-with-winged-upper-stage the BIS had developed by 1950...

During this period, common features of BIS designs included the ogival body profile and large steering vanes in the rocket exhaust. I think that if you designed something in that spirit, you would be close to what Clarke had in mind for his A20.
 

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Michel Van

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I have to thank you McTodd !

it first time i see how the booster looks inside

alot Von Braun A4 (aka V2) tech...
 

McTodd

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Michel Van said:
alot Von Braun A4 (aka V2) tech...
Very much so, I think you've hit the nail on the head! Though the BIS boys seem to have been more confident than von Braun himself that they could get the desired thrust without resorting to forests of rocket engines...

At the risk of hijacking this thread (don't worry, I'll get me coat soon...), attached is a small version of my unfinished drawings of a quite different BIS design - the 1947 lunar ship with nuclear booster. Among many odd features, note the streamlined nose fairing, to be shed after leaving the atmosphere (as is happening in the colour illustration).
 

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Justo Miranda

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McTodd said:
Grif said:
Fired up by "The Spaceship Handbook"...
Do you have Ron Miller's 'The Dream Machines'? It has a lot of BIS designs. Alternatively, when I get home later, I'll see what I can dig up...

From "The Dream Machines" by Ron Miller ,Krieger publishing Company.
Malabar, Florida 1993 . pp.314-315
 

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Justo Miranda

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McTodd said:
Curses! Thanks for the link, Michel. ;)



During this period, common features of BIS designs included the ogival body profile and large steering vanes in the rocket exhaust. I think that if you designed something in that spirit, you would be close to what Clarke had in mind for his A20.

Please see attached some BIS projects
 

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Justo Miranda

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Grif said:
I've always liked this story, which has a few design details in it about the (fictitious) two-stage rocket A20. I've always imagined it as being rather like an R.A.Smith-style "son of V2" with a retractable wing upper stage.


Please see attached some retractable wing samples
 

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Grif

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Thanks, everyone! Some-one should do a website on R.A.Smith; Chesley Bonestell has several about him, and our British equivalent deserves more notice! I've already mentioned this on the "von Braun ferry rocket" thread, but putting "Retro-futurismus" into a search engine will take you to a site with old German illustrations of both von Braun and Smith designs - they're really good!
Grif
 

McTodd

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Grif said:
Some-one should do a website on R.A.Smith; Chesley Bonestell has several about him, and our British equivalent deserves more notice!

I agree completely!

Unfortunately, the BIS are pretty touchy about copyright. On David Zondy's wonderful retro-future website, there is a page on the BIS moon plan...

http://davidszondy.com/future/space/bis.htm

...on which any attempt to save the BIS's images (mostly R A Smith creations) is blocked, with a notice that says, 'Sorry. Downloading this image is denied at copyright holder's request'.

I would strongly urge anyone interested in R A Smith's designs to buy the BIS CD-rom 'High Road to the Moon':

http://www.bis-spaceflight.com/sitesia.aspx/page/297/Node/108/l/en-gb
 
W

Wingknut

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Another interesting on-line source for designs based on R.A. Smith's BIS images is 'The Early Hardy Art Page', from "David A. Hardy's AstroArt", at:
http://www.hardyart.demon.co.uk/pages-gallery2/early.html
The site covers (very well) some lovely images clearly inspired by Smith's designs, the 1939 BIS Moon-lander and related projects. Well worth a look and rather "Clarke-esque".
Cheers,

'Wingknut'
 

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