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AMSCI/ALSV - Air-launched mini shuttles from early 1980s - help needed

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Rockwell concept produced for the Air Force Space Sortie Vehicle study (also known as the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle). (Source: Carl Ehrlich)

Source:
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1591/1
 

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Archibald

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I'm confused... what was the relation between TAV and ASLV ? It looks as if the TransAtmospheric Vehicle was part of a larger program reaching beyoind the Air force, up to DARPA and Copper Canyon (described as an airbreathing TAV, by opposition with rocket powered projects - ASLV ?)

http://books.google.fr/books?id=Smtn0fbL-EAC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=%22TAV%22%22DARPA%22&source=bl&ots=FQoKyosrjw&sig=VJGuyq8UdxBjOrQDq13wEL5xZb8&hl=fr&ei=U7mpTeLJHois8QOz1uC4Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22TAV%22%22DARPA%22&f=false
 

blackstar

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http://www.spacenews.com/launch/110722-israel-airborne-launch-shavit.html

Israel Studies Airborne Launch Scheme for Shavit Rocket
By Barbara Opall-Rome

TEL AVIV, Israel — Faced with a requirement for heavier military spy satellites, Israeli planners have devised an airborne launch concept in which the country’s indigenously built Shavit 2 rocket would be released from a modified Boeing 747 aircraft in international airspace high above the Indian Ocean, sources here said.
Launching far from Israel’s congested airspace and hostile neighbors is emerging as the most likely of several options under review here to preserve Israel’s ability to deploy its most sensitive national security satellites aboard domestically built rockets.
Under the new option gaining traction within some sectors of Israel’s defense and space establishment, the Shavit 2 would be carried under the fuselage of a specially adapted 747 airliner, flown to the Indian Ocean, and launched from altitudes of about 12,000 meters eastward in the direction of Earth’s rotation.
Unlike the U.S. Pegasus rocket, which is dropped bomb-style from an L-1011 carrier aircraft and then maneuvers itself into its launch trajectory, the Israeli concept calls for the Boeing host aircraft to hurl the wingless Shavit 2 into its designated flight path. Sources here say the Israel Air Force aims to do this by pitching the carrier aircraft up to a steep acrobatic performance-style angle to put the space launch vehicle into its required trajectory.



MORE
 

RanulfC

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blackstar said:
http://www.spacenews.com/launch/110722-israel-airborne-launch-shavit.html

Israel Studies Airborne Launch Scheme for Shavit Rocket
By Barbara Opall-Rome

TEL AVIV, Israel — Faced with a requirement for heavier military spy satellites, Israeli planners have devised an airborne launch concept in which the country’s indigenously built Shavit 2 rocket would be released from a modified Boeing 747 aircraft in international airspace high above the Indian Ocean, sources here said.
Launching far from Israel’s congested airspace and hostile neighbors is emerging as the most likely of several options under review here to preserve Israel’s ability to deploy its most sensitive national security satellites aboard domestically built rockets.
Under the new option gaining traction within some sectors of Israel’s defense and space establishment, the Shavit 2 would be carried under the fuselage of a specially adapted 747 airliner, flown to the Indian Ocean, and launched from altitudes of about 12,000 meters eastward in the direction of Earth’s rotation.
Unlike the U.S. Pegasus rocket, which is dropped bomb-style from an L-1011 carrier aircraft and then maneuvers itself into its launch trajectory, the Israeli concept calls for the Boeing host aircraft to hurl the wingless Shavit 2 into its designated flight path. Sources here say the Israel Air Force aims to do this by pitching the carrier aircraft up to a steep acrobatic performance-style angle to put the space launch vehicle into its required trajectory.
MORE
What? Just because they don't want to pay to use the T-Space/AirLaunch idea?
http://www.airlaunchllc.com/AIAA-2008-7835-176.pdf

Randy
 

blackstar

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That 747 on stilts just looks so wrong...

If you read the article that I linked to you'll note that they're talking about an Indian Ocean launch. So they'd take off from Israel and then head out to the Indian Ocean... how? I suppose that flying along the Red Sea, with Saudi Arabia on your left and Egypt on your right is safer than just about any other route, but it's not going to be easy. And doing that with fighter escort? Wouldn't that be a pretty long trip in a small cockpit?

The logistics for this are just bad unless they can find a friendly place to operate from in the Indian Ocean. But their other options are not great either.
 

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RanulfC

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blackstar said:
That 747 on stilts just looks so wrong...
Yep, they thought so too so they kept looking till they found they could over-fill the oleo's on the landing gear...

According to astronautix the Shavit itself is 59 feet long and about 5 feet in diameter:
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/shavit.htm

I seem to recall that will fit nicely under the 747, and the trapeze-and-lanyard means you don't have to worry about trying acrobatics :)

Way smaller than the AirLaunch/T-Space vehicle
If you read the article that I linked to you'll note that they're talking about an Indian Ocean launch. So they'd take off from Israel and then head out to the Indian Ocean... how? I suppose that flying along the Red Sea, with Saudi Arabia on your left and Egypt on your right is safer than just about any other route, but it's not going to be easy. And doing that with fighter escort? Wouldn't that be a pretty long trip in a small cockpit?
Yep the article noted the "issues" also. Well if the US can do it... :)
The logistics for this are just bad unless they can find a friendly place to operate from in the Indian Ocean. But their other options are not great either.
Maybe they would ask to fly out of Diego Garcia? :)

Randy
 

blackstar

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RanulfC said:
According to astronautix the Shavit itself is 59 feet long and about 5 feet in diameter:

I seem to recall that will fit nicely under the 747, and the trapeze-and-lanyard means you don't have to worry about trying acrobatics :)

Way smaller than the AirLaunch/T-Space vehicle

According to the article, they would still have to do some kind of maneuver--probably a pitch up climb, similar to the ALSV (look earlier in this thread for Giuseppe's neat artwork).

I think that would be really cool. I also think I would not want to be in that airplane.

As for the T-Space vehicle, I laughed the first time I saw that, but never understood why all the NewSpacers did not also laugh. There are some insane ideas that get pitched and the fanboys fail to recognize how nutty they are.

RanulfC said:
Maybe they would ask to fly out of Diego Garcia? :)

I think that DG would be problematic because it involves two governments. If they consider flying out of foreign territory, they'd be better off simply asking the US to allow them to use Wallops Island, in Virginia (US Atlantic Coast).
 

airrocket

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The concept is alive and well.
 

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mz

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Hello, what are these, Silver Dart prototype drawings? Are they from the quarter scale ones unveiled in February 2009?


Also, what's the Baraban doc? Looks to show heat exchanger work. Is it for the active cooling of the leading edges?




Attached an image of Planetspace's FDL-7 subscale UAV I assume (or is it just a mockup?), photo courtesy of Planetspace.


http://www.planetspace.org/lo/uav.htm



PlanetSpace has for many years now been working on its own Silver Dart, named after the famous Canadian aircraft. To explore the flight characteristics of the lifting body design two matching quarter scale Silver Darts will fly this year as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with Canadian pilots at the controls.




Our 0.25 Silver Darts are turbojet powered all metal construction research vehicles flown from a mobile flight deck located in a launch control trailer. Each Silver Dart is capable of 300 + knots with retractable custom built undercarriage and flight control system.




One Silver Dart, 0.25-B is designed to accommodate rocket propulsion and will test rocket plume and aerodynamic interactions at the base of the vehicle.
More photos at http://www.planetspace.org/lo/dart_images.htm
 

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airrocket

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Planet Space isn't the only company working with the FDL-7 based planform. What you see is a plug being fabricated for a sub-scale call composite mach buster solid fuel (rich burn) air-augmented or ducted rocket RPV VLHL which will include an inward inlet and retractable switch blade wings. The other is a truss conceptual drawing CRuSR oriented. Not PS and each an evolutionary development step.

Baraban was a heat exchanger developed and tested a few years past which would be applicable to the deeply cooled ducted rocket propulsion system similar to the SARBE concept. And referenced in the air launch pdf document.

More to come in the near future.
 

RanulfC

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blackstar said:
RanulfC said:
According to astronautix the Shavit itself is 59 feet long and about 5 feet in diameter:

I seem to recall that will fit nicely under the 747, and the trapeze-and-lanyard means you don't have to worry about trying acrobatics :)

Way smaller than the AirLaunch/T-Space vehicle

According to the article, they would still have to do some kind of maneuver--probably a pitch up climb, similar to the ALSV (look earlier in this thread for Giuseppe's neat artwork).

I think that would be really cool. I also think I would not want to be in that airplane.

As for the T-Space vehicle, I laughed the first time I saw that, but never understood why all the NewSpacers did not also laugh. There are some insane ideas that get pitched and the fanboys fail to recognize how nutty they are.
No pitch-up required for the "trapeze-and-lanyard" system it automatically pitches the released vehicle to the proper orientation. It completely eliminates all the "stunt" work or extra equipment (rocket-engine-in-the-tail) "needed" for earlier air-launch concepts.

Why laughing at the T-Space concept? I admit the needed modifications to fit the original vehicle (13 feet in diameter, wow) was a deal killer but the newest concept uses proven technology and proven operations so I don't see anything "laughable" about the idea. How was/is it "nutty'?

Oh and Gary-H mentioned to me that the most likely reason no body has talked about the idea much with his company is our favorite regulatory restriction: ITAR.

Randy
 

blackstar

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RanulfC said:
Why laughing at the T-Space concept? I admit the needed modifications to fit the original vehicle (13 feet in diameter, wow) was a deal killer but the newest concept uses proven technology and proven operations so I don't see anything "laughable" about the idea. How was/is it "nutty'?

Look at their abort options if the engines don't light. Plus the idea of building a massive new aircraft like that. Not cheap.

Don't know what their "newest concept" looks like, but who thinks that T-Space is a real company? How much capital do they have? How many contracts? There are so many of these hobby corporations that exist on paper to count.
 

blackstar

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From a new study of horizontal launch options.
 

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blackstar

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Here is the largest vehicle evaluated by the horizontal launch study. It would use a single SSME derivative in the first stage and three RL-10 engines in the second stage. Performance is in the 17K to LEO range.
 

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flateric

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http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110015353_2011016245.pdf
 

Stargazer2006

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Boeing 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft as a horizontal four-stage SLV launcher

Didn't know how to look for this one in the search engine, so if this duplicates something, please let the mods dump the topic!

NASA has studied the launch of a four-stage solid launch vehicle from the top of the a 747-100 SCA (of Orbiter fame).

The goal of the Flight Test Demonstrator (FTD) is to reduce development risk of a mission-capable horizontal take-off space launch system, by executing a realistic and achievable program that is directly traceable to ultimate performance, operations, and cost goals. While several existing systems have demonstrated various aspects of air-launch technologies, demonstrations of separation dynamics with large, fully-loaded launch vehicles, ground operations, efficient system integration, and safe handling of propellant are required to validate the technologies and procedures needed for the DDT&E of a routine, safe, and cost effective horizontal launch system.

Two flight test demonstration system concepts were developed to evaluate potential technology and performance approaches to meeting program goals. Program costs for both were estimated assuming that the 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) would be available at the end of the Shuttle program. The same analysis methods used for the point design vehicles to estimate system performance and life cycle costs are used here; however, the purpose of this analysis is only to provide first order feasibility to effectively evaluate test flight options, and not to offer a final solution.

Flight Test Demonstrator 1

The four-stage launch vehicle configuration is intentionally similar to a Taurus rocket and consists of a Castor 120 first stage, an Orion 50S XLG second stage, an Orion 50XL third stage, and an Orion 38 fourth stage. The wing and empennage are attached to the first stage with a strongback. All interstages, fairings and aerodynamic surfaces are composite materials. Power and attitude control subsystems are based on existing systems.

Because the gross weight of the launch vehicle is more than 40,000 lbs lighter than the Space Shuttle, structural modifications to the fuselage of the SCA may not be required. However, because the vehicle is longer than the space shuttle, the attachment points may have to be moved. Further analysis will be needed to determine whether an active separation mechanism will be needed.

Source:Horizontal Launch Systems (PDF file from NASA's NTRS server, 3.90 Mb)
 

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Stargazer2006

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Re: Boeing 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft as a horizontal four-stage SLV launcher

Flight Test Demonstrator 2

The second concept flight test demonstrator (FTD-2), shown in Figure 26, is comprised of the 747-100 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) and a two-stage launch vehicle with LOX/RP propulsion on both stages similar to the Falcon 1e. The Falcon 1e was selected as a convenient example of a low-cost, low-risk demonstrator.

The two-stage liquid engine launch vehicle configuration is shown in Figure 27. The first stage is equipped with a LOX/RP Merlin 1C engine and the second stage with a Kestrel engine, both developed by SpaceX.

Because the launch vehicle is less than half the weight of the Space Shuttle, fuselage structural modifications may not be required. However, because the vehicle is substantially shorter than the shuttle, the attachment points will have to be moved and an active
separation mechanism may have to be added.

The wing and empennage are attached to the first stage with a strongback. All interstages, fairings and aerodynamic surface are composite materials. Power and attitude control subsystems are based on existing subsystems.

Source: Horizontal Launch Systems (PDF file from NASA's NTRS server, 3.90 Mb)
 

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Pat Flannery

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How exactly are the boosters supposed to avoid hitting the vertical fin on the aircraft on release? You can eject them upwards pretty forcefully, but unless their engines are firing, air drag will slow them down and they will drift backwards on release.
Fire the engine up prior to release, and the vertical fin gets cooked by the exhaust.
With dorsal mounting on the fuselage, a twin tail arrangement of the vertical fins would make more sense, getting the fin out of the way, while at the same time clearing a route for the rocket exhaust to exit over the fuselage top.
In the case of the Lockheed D-21 drone, the ramjet was fired up before the drone was released, so it left the fuselage by rising off the back of the aircraft while under power and didn't move too far to the rear during launch.
The alternative is having the aircraft basically dive out from under the booster in the way the way the Shuttle drop tests were done, but these proposals look a lot heavier for their wing area than the Enterprise was.
 

Stargazer2006

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Pat Flannery said:
How exactly are the boosters supposed to avoid hitting the vertical fin on the aircraft on release? You can eject them upwards pretty forcefully, but unless their engines are firing, air drag will slow them down and they will drift backwards on release.

That's exactly the question I asked myself when I discovered this project. Logic would have it that a piggy-back mounted booster would require a vee-tailed or strictly twin-fin aircraft.
 

OM

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Stargazer2006 said:
Pat Flannery said:
How exactly are the boosters supposed to avoid hitting the vertical fin on the aircraft on release? You can eject them upwards pretty forcefully, but unless their engines are firing, air drag will slow them down and they will drift backwards on release.

That's exactly the question I asked myself when I discovered this project. Logic would have it that a piggy-back mounted booster would require a vee-tailed aircraft.

...Or at least a twin-tail arrangement, and arguably one where the tails aren't angled towards the fusilage, as was the case with the D-21 mishap. IIRC, some of the drag issue that helped slam the D-21 back into the mothership was caused by the inward-cantilevered tails.

Orionblamblam said:
blackstar said:
From a new study ...

... by? Boeing? NASA? USAF? Nor-Grum? Scaled? Pawn Stars?

...Considering lack of response, I'd say the latter is the most likely suspect. :p That being said, I'm surprised you haven't chimed in with a Drax clip ;) On the other hand, there is *this* acceptable substitute for the scene in question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xiwISrp1H4
 

Byeman

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Pat Flannery said:
How exactly are the boosters supposed to avoid hitting the vertical fin on the aircraft on release? You can eject them upwards pretty forcefully, but unless their engines are firing, air drag will slow them down and they will drift backwards on release.
Fire the engine up prior to release, and the vertical fin gets cooked by the exhaust.
With dorsal mounting on the fuselage, a twin tail arrangement of the vertical fins would make more sense, getting the fin out of the way, while at the same time clearing a route for the rocket exhaust to exit over the fuselage top.
In the case of the Lockheed D-21 drone, the ramjet was fired up before the drone was released, so it left the fuselage by rising off the back of the aircraft while under power and didn't move too far to the rear during launch.
The alternative is having the aircraft basically dive out from under the booster in the way the way the Shuttle drop tests were done, but these proposals look a lot heavier for their wing area than the Enterprise was.


It was to be like the shuttle. The wing wasn't for a Pegasus type pullup but to "lift" the vehicle clear of the carrier aircraft.
 

blackstar

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Bumped because of the other Air launched (ALASA) thread.

See the links in here.
 

Graham1973

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OM said:
Stargazer2006 said:
Pat Flannery said:
How exactly are the boosters supposed to avoid hitting the vertical fin on the aircraft on release? You can eject them upwards pretty forcefully, but unless their engines are firing, air drag will slow them down and they will drift backwards on release.

That's exactly the question I asked myself when I discovered this project. Logic would have it that a piggy-back mounted booster would require a vee-tailed aircraft.

...Or at least a twin-tail arrangement, and arguably one where the tails aren't angled towards the fusilage, as was the case with the D-21 mishap. IIRC, some of the drag issue that helped slam the D-21 back into the mothership was caused by the inward-cantilevered tails.

Orionblamblam said:
blackstar said:
From a new study ...

... by? Boeing? NASA? USAF? Nor-Grum? Scaled? Pawn Stars?

...Considering lack of response, I'd say the latter is the most likely suspect. :p That being said, I'm surprised you haven't chimed in with a Drax clip ;) On the other hand, there is *this* acceptable substitute for the scene in question:

I'll see that & raise it with some dubious Canadian Sci Fi...



Shuttle, David C. Onley, Futura, 1981

...I've never managed to figure out just where they hid the shuttle fuel.
 

flateric

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In one of 1988 issues of Soviet monthly 'Wings Of Motherland' this beast was shown as 'Teledyne Brown Engineering aerospace vehicle project'
Any guesses? Just fancy promo model I guess?
 

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archipeppe

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flateric said:
In one of 1988 issues of Soviet monthly 'Wings Of Motherland' this beast was shown as 'Teledyne Brown Engineering aerospace vehicle project'
Any guesses? Just fancy promo model I guess?

Strangely it resembles some similarity with this one...
 

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flateric

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archipeppe said:
Strangely it resembles some similarity with this one...
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line.
 

archipeppe

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flateric said:
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line.

I also quote the great Tolstoy.
 

blackstar

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flateric said:
In one of 1988 issues of Soviet monthly 'Wings Of Motherland' this beast was shown as 'Teledyne Brown Engineering aerospace vehicle project'
Any guesses? Just fancy promo model I guess?

I think that one is shown earlier in the thread. If you look at the series of articles I wrote about these vehicles, I think I mention that one. If I remember correctly, the original series of studies by about four contractors were all done around 1980 or 1981. This Teledyne Brown one was performed many years later.
 

mz

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flateric said:
In one of 1988 issues of Soviet monthly 'Wings Of Motherland' this beast was shown as 'Teledyne Brown Engineering aerospace vehicle project'
Any guesses? Just fancy promo model I guess?

Teledyne Brown had these 747 air launched projects in the eighties, it is well known.
 

blackstar

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I still need to find more info on the Teledyne Brown one. I should look for it.
 

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The teledyne brown design was featured in a British Interplanetary Society Spaceflight issue. I recall it used a single space shuttle main engine and was to be launched from a modified 747 performing a zoom climb. Sorry I haven't got access to my Spaceflight magazines at the moment but mabe there are BIS members in the forum who can point you to the correct issue.
 

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ISTR it being shown in an article in Air International during the whole Blackstar brouhaha.
 

blackstar

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For the other articles I managed to find some primary source material. I'd like to get some more on it from some of the people who worked on it.
 

archipeppe

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blackstar said:
For the other articles I managed to find some primary source material. I'd like to get some more on it from some of the people who worked on it.


Great!!!!
 

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Dear blackstar, if it helps the Dan Delong's co contributor to the Spacefight December 1987 article on the teledyne brown engineering spacelane was Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger consulting engineer for TBE. I'm am advised not post the whole article but i can private mail you the article if you wish.
 

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