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TomcatViP

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It's an amazingly surprising design. The build quality is top notch but I have to admit that I fail to reckon most of the logics that led to that... Including the staggering cost (1B$?!) claimed to finance the project.

I understand that they re-used the latest LO aerodynamics trick of the industry (even one of the access panel looks to come directly from the black world).

But why so much reliance in body lift when an extra wing span would have done the trick?

Why a tail with staggered wing/horizontal when launch at alpha will see a drastic CG shift that would command to be the design point criteria?

Why having such a dual exhaust when engines Pods installation would lead naturally to separated exhausts?

Let's admit, this thing could better be a future stealth tactical tanker than a civilian rocket launcher...
 
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dark sidius

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It's an amazingly surprising design. The build quality is top notch but I have to admit that I fail to reckon most of the logics that led to that... Including the staggering cost (1B$?!) claimed to finance the project.

I understand that they re-used the latest LO aerodynamics trick of the industry (even one of the access panel looks to come directly from the black world).

But why so much reliance in body lift when an extra wing span would have done the trick?

Why a tail with staggered wing/horizontal when launch at alpha will see a drastic CG shift that would command to be the design point criteria?

Why having such a dual exhaust when engines Pods installation would lead naturally to separated exhausts?

Let's admit, this thing could better be a future stealth tactical tanker than a civilian rocket launcher...
Or a big supersonic ucav wingman with high altitude capability, or abble to launch hypersonic missile with the belly rocket place.
 

sferrin

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It's an amazingly surprising design. The build quality is top notch but I have to admit that I fail to reckon most of the logics that led to that... Including the staggering cost (1B$?!) claimed to finance the project.

I understand that they re-used the latest LO aerodynamics trick of the industry (even one of the access panel looks to come directly from the black world).

But why so much reliance in body lift when an extra wing span would have done the trick?

Why a tail with staggered wing/horizontal when launch at alpha will see a drastic CG shift that would command to be the design point criteria?

Why having such a dual exhaust when engines Pods installation would lead naturally to separated exhausts?

Let's admit, this thing could better be a future stealth tactical tanker than a civilian rocket launcher...
Or a big supersonic ucav wingman with high altitude capability, or abble to launch hypersonic missile with the belly rocket place.
Where did they say it was supersonic? :confused:
 

TomS

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Where did they say it was supersonic? :confused:

Several sources mention it.




The early renders show a much more elongated vehicle with a delta wing planform that at least LOOKS very fast indeed. The newer model seems to be a bit less aggressive.

Older:
b7085ad260b75ba47edf24954ea88949.jpg
70818652_1122507081471107_8652896351543099392_n-1.jpg
259043_standard.png

Newer:
960x0.jpg
960x0 (1).png

Ars Technica has an article with some interesting specs. The upper stage is supposed to deliver a 100kg payload to a 500km sun-synchronous orbit. And the whole system (including rocket) works on Jet-A. Not even RP-1. That supposedly costs them about 1% in Isp but makes for much easier propellant availablility. (LOX is still a limiting factor, though.)

 
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dark sidius

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Financing with a part of pentagon money and futur launcher for a Us Space Force mission.
 

TomS

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Thanks for breaking this out as its own thread.

I think it's possible that the images posted above as "older" are actually of the larger planned RAVN vehicle, which is supposed to put 300kg into orbit.

 

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Interesting.

I'm sure there's a rationale for using a scaled-up Generic Loyal Wingman shape for a space-launch platform. Doesn't look remotely like the way Rutan did it, but what does he know?

I've no doubt that they can get from roll-out to flight next year, and launch in 2022, despite the fact that the level of detail on their rolling mock-up would shame a 1955 Aurora kit.

I am equally confident that, overall, the cost of maintaining flight crews for this kind of operation is much, much greater than the trivial task of getting Auntie FAA to let you fly a 25-ton UAV full of rocket fuel over the heads of the unsuspecting public.

And nothing says "game-changing departure from conventional design practice" so much as the fact that the company lists four people on LinkedIn, including the CEO, the PR lady and a photographer, but not including anyone who has actually, like, built an airplane. You don't want people mired in the old ways of doing things.
 

red admiral

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I'm sure there's a rationale for using a scaled-up Generic Loyal Wingman shape for a space-launch platform.
Easy to download the CAD from Turbosquid and then embiggen and make a few changes before sending to the model maker?
 

flateric

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I'm sure there's a rationale for using a scaled-up Generic Loyal Wingman shape for a space-launch platform.
Easy to download the CAD from Turbosquid and then embiggen and make a few changes before sending to the model maker?
What exactly do you mean? Ravn renderings were unveiled in fall of 2019, Boeing ATS - in May 2020.
 

TomcatViP

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@LowObservable : The Loyal Wingman shape makes sense in the way that the amount of lift you gain with that lifting fuselage is gained at low alpha, with minimal induced drag (the ejector effect of the exhaust). Hence you can have a smaller wing or a wing with lower alpha (hence drag).

IMOHO, Rutan did go full on wing lift, what needed a very high aspect ratio for low induced drag and then a far aft tail plane for trim with a gammut of structural problem with the wing bending moment (hence the twin fuselage).

Here they can have a relatively low aspect ratio thick wing and introduce a sweep angle for less drag and higher speed at lower power settings, hence altitude.
Plus the lower wing span make them adaptable in term of launch site.

The main thing I am surprised is the V-tail.
 
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LowObservable

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@LowObservable : The Loyal Wingman shape makes sense in the way that the amount of lift you gain with that lifting fuselage is gained at low alpha, with minimal induced drag (the ejector effect of the exhaust). Hence you can have a smaller wing or a wing with lower alpha (hence drag).

IMOHO, Rutan did go full on wing lift, what needed a very high aspect ratio for low induced drag and then a far aft tail plane for trim with a gammut of structural problem with the wing bending moment (hence the twin fuselage).

Here they can have a relatively low aspect ratio thick wing and introduce a sweep angle for less drag and higher speed at lower power settings, hence altitude.
Plus the lower wing span make them adaptable in term of launch site.

The main thing I am surprised is the V-tail.

The V-tail looks supercalifragistically cool. It makes people think of Dr Will. And as any wandering albatross can tell you, wings are the way to get lift.

Here they can have a relatively low aspect ratio thick wing and introduce a sweep angle for less drag and higher speed at lower power settings, hence altitude.

Those dummies at Gulfstream and Bombardier have a few things to learn!
 

TomcatViP

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Those dummies at Gulfstream and Bombardier have a few things to learn!
Gulfstream and Bombardier use the tube and wings architecture for the simplicity of their structural benefits given the techniques and cost at the time.

Moreover, here there is no STOL requirements, no unpaved surface to think of or no speed cap with altitude... It's different, less constrained and from another age.
;)
 

Archibald

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Clever concept ! I kind of like it. Going supersonic for air launch - except with a drone rather than, say, a second-hand F-15.
Intriguing...
 

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Any explanation why the landing gears look somewhat "mock-up-stylish"?? :oops:
 

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So yeah... i see a LO ASAT Platform here.
Could probably hit GEO with the payload size they are targeting.

Clever concept ! I kind of like it. Going supersonic for air launch - except with a drone rather than, say, a second-hand F-15.
Intriguing...
I presume that they wanted a bigger payload with the centerline reinforced, instead of the wings. Also, the hardest part of this concept is probably the supersonic separation. Too bad about the Phantom Express.
 

Deino

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Any explanation why the landing gears look somewhat "mock-up-stylish"?? :oops:
Because it's a mockup.


Ok ... thanks, so all this "The World’s First Autonomous Launch Vehicle and the Largest Unmanned Aircraft System" and "The build quality is top notch" is a PR stunt and the failure (like mine) to notice it is nothing real so far.
 

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Ok ... thanks, so all this "The World’s First Autonomous Launch Vehicle and the Largest Unmanned Aircraft System" and "The build quality is top notch" is a PR stunt and the failure (like mine) to notice it is nothing real so far.

a69.gif
 

Have Blue

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The blue light strip running down the right side of the mockup (just like their renders and animations) is what really convinced me that this is a fully thought-out launch system and not a marketing stunt. /sarc
 

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