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Air-Launching Satellites

RanulfC

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blackstar said:
RanulfC said:
Actually the Air Force did, it was in fact the main requirement given for the Air Launch AND the DARPA/NASA study by them. Randy
They didn't fund it. I consider "cares" to mean "willing to pay to make it happen."
Agreed thoug they actually did "make-it-happen" and paid for the development. Like the "Flyback-Booster" program there was/is no Congressional interest in continuing towards an operational vehicle hence no funding. Once this was clear there was no need for work beyond the test program itself.

Randy
 

blackstar

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You say that there was no "congressional interest." Actually, there was no Air Force interest.

Keep in mind that USAF is a collection of fiefdoms, some of which want to do things and never get them approved/funded. The interesting thing is
that some of them also get things funded for a little while until they get squashed.

This stuff has always been a tiny niche of a tiny niche. Compared to the vast amount of other things that USAF does in space, most milspace people just don't care about it.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Hey I was curious about something. Were the B-52 and Lockheed L-1011 the only carrier aircraft considered for launching Pegasus?

The only reason I even ask was the maguffin for Monday night's Blindspot was a missing MD-83 (a lá MH-370). It was captured by terrorists and modified to launch a microsat to knock out America's GPS constellation by EMP. The launch vehicle? A conveniently acquired Pegasus (acquired by writer magic, no doubt). It was up to our intrepid heroes to get control of the plane before hitting 60,000ft.

I know it's mindless but fun entertainment. However it did get me to wondering what other carrier planes were actually considered along with the B-52 and L-1011.
 

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TomS

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Also the 747 and the DC-10.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Aviation Archive posted a link about an Israeli paper on air-launching microsats from F-15's.

http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2016/04/f-15-air-launch-of-micro-satellites.html?m=1
 

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fredymac

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In case this hasn't been posted before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L47cpXTzQU
 

Byeman

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Hey I was curious about something. Were the B-52 and Lockheed L-1011 the only carrier aircraft considered for launching Pegasus?
B-52 because it was an existing qualified drop aircraft.
L-1011 because it uses a dual keel unlike other aircraft. This allows for a cut out in the belly of the aircraft for the Pegasus vertical stabilizer. And available and cheaper than 747.
 

Grey Havoc

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Another Hazegrayart production this time of a Russian air launched shuttle. Carrier vehicle is a massively distributed turbine propulsion system that puts electric fan alternatives to shame. The jet equivalent to the N1 booster.


Before the Stratolaunch was ever conceived, the Tupolev Bureau proposed a fully reusable replacement for the Buran Space Shuttle The "OOS" Which stood for Odnostupenchati Orbitalni Samolyot, (one-stage orbital plane)

Like the Stratolaunch system The shuttle would ride under the Aerospace Transport System (AKS) A Dual fuselage version of the Antonov An-225 with between 24 and 40 Jet Engines The OSS would have a weight of 675 tons and the AKS would have a weight of 1000 tons for a total of around 1600 tons.

Primarary source False Steps: The Space Race as It Might Have Been By Paul Drye
 

Archibald

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It's because hazegrayart work is so gorgeous o_O o_O o_O
 

PMN1

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Vulcan B.2 with Diamant
Valiant B.1 with Diamant
I had seen the Vulcan launcher previolsy but the Valiant is a new one to me, it looks to have better clearance than the Vulcan.
 

Archibald

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Best combination (outside LH2, a little too dangerous for air launch) seems to be a 3-stage system made of
- large subsonic bomber with at least 30 mt of payload
- heaviest solid-fuel booster (say, 20 mt, and 280 isp)
- small storable stage 2 (liquid props have better isp, in the 320 range)

This is way it is possible to launch 200 to 2000 pounds into orbit. A larger bomber with a larger solid-fuel booster could go to 5000 pounds.

Hey, a solid-fuel / storable booster maxing out a C-5 Galaxy payload could nearly launch a 8000 pounds Gemini-B (the MOL one) into orbit. Of course the issue would be to safely parachute that through the rear ramp, on a big pallet.


Plus the (partial) Minuteman drop of 1974 of course.
 

weirc

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Hello Joe,
Do you have any specifications for the 'Avro Flight Corridor Research Aircraft' mentioned in post #95 ? I have looked in the past and found none.

Colin
 

JFC Fuller

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Thanks for posting those drawings @TsrJoe, A couple of observations:

The body of the Avro Z.124 looks very similar to that of the Avro air launched ballistic missile design of February 1960 illustrated in Nicholas Hill's Skybolt book. The principle difference appears to be the location of the aerodynamic surfaces that are on the third stage on the ALBM.

The Bristol Siddeley ramjet proposal looks like it uses the same planform and ramjet configuration as the Variable Trajectory Missile and Cruise Vehicle Missile from the same company, also from 1960 and both illustrated in Chris Gibson's Vulcan's Hammer.

There was definitely some design recycling going on.
 
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RanulfC

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Best combination (outside LH2, a little too dangerous for air launch) seems to be a 3-stage system made of
- large subsonic bomber with at least 30 mt of payload
- heaviest solid-fuel booster (say, 20 mt, and 280 isp)
- small storable stage 2 (liquid props have better isp, in the 320 range)

This is way it is possible to launch 200 to 2000 pounds into orbit. A larger bomber with a larger solid-fuel booster could go to 5000 pounds.

Hey, a solid-fuel / storable booster maxing out a C-5 Galaxy payload could nearly launch a 8000 pounds Gemini-B (the MOL one) into orbit. Of course the issue would be to safely parachute that through the rear ramp, on a big pallet.


Plus the (partial) Minuteman drop of 1974 of course.
SwiftLaunch concept, (http://mae.engr.ucdavis.edu/faculty/sarigul/aiaa2001-4619.pdf, page 11 "SwiftLaunch RLV" paragraph) suggests a parachute extracted/supported sled and RP1/LOx LV which weighs in at about 264,000lbs to put a payload of between 1,800lb and 3,500lb into LEO. Carrier aircraft were un-modified C-5B and AN 124 cargo aircraft.

Then there's the AirLaunch/T-Space concept (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7f1c/1f06f78df4ae78efa3bed9ca62fa663348e6.pdf) which ended up a tri-barrel, 3STO methalox V-Pak pressure-fed design to put Dragon/Cygnus class cargo's into orbit. (V-Pak: https://www.holderaerospace.com/downloads/Technical_Papers/VaPak Systems Overview.pdf) Aircraft used was a modified, (approximately the same cost and modifications to turn a 747 into an fire tanker configuration, in fact the modified aircraft could also perform fire-tanker missions between launch missions if needed) to carry the LV and the T-Lad drop system.

Lastly, I was reminded by going back over the thread that there was another 'concept/pitch' at one point by DARPA IIRC that suggested launching, (going from memory) the upper-stages of a Minuteman from an F-15 modified into a drone, (has to because the stages are carried on TOP of the F-15) and I think they did some flight tests of the possible trajectory with a QF-15 or an F-15 fitted with QF-15 controls but can't find anything atm on the net. I 'think' it was a possible nano-sat launcher but it may have been just a anti-sat or target application but as I said I can't find it atm. Anyone else recall this one?

Randy
 

Grey Havoc

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Lastly, I was reminded by going back over the thread that there was another 'concept/pitch' at one point by DARPA IIRC that suggested launching, (going from memory) the upper-stages of a Minuteman from an F-15 modified into a drone, (has to because the stages are carried on TOP of the F-15) and I think they did some flight tests of the possible trajectory with a QF-15 or an F-15 fitted with QF-15 controls but can't find anything atm on the net. I 'think' it was a possible nano-sat launcher but it may have been just a anti-sat or target application but as I said I can't find it atm. Anyone else recall this one?
Yes, I vaguely remember that one as well.
 

RanulfC

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Lastly, I was reminded by going back over the thread that there was another 'concept/pitch' at one point by DARPA IIRC that suggested launching, (going from memory) the upper-stages of a Minuteman from an F-15 modified into a drone, (has to because the stages are carried on TOP of the F-15) and I think they did some flight tests of the possible trajectory with a QF-15 or an F-15 fitted with QF-15 controls but can't find anything atm on the net. I 'think' it was a possible nano-sat launcher but it may have been just a anti-sat or target application but as I said I can't find it atm. Anyone else recall this one?
Yes, I vaguely remember that one as well.
I think what got my attention on that one was with only a quick 'skim' you read the pilot flew the F-15, (missing several points where they note he does NOT fly it with the missile on it) and how the heck does he do that with a thick steel 'canopy' and how does he get into it, and... wait, what... OH, erm, silly me :)

Randy
 
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