Armstrong-Whitworth Pyramid and new launch vehicle

PMN1

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In Volume 59 Supplement 2, 2006 of BIS’s Space Chronicles – UK Spaceplanes, has an article on the late 50’s Armstrong Whitworth Pyramid manned vehicle and a new launcher for it with a launch mass of 160 tonnes and a diameter of 3.96m and a first stage length of 12.5m (nothing quoted for second or third stages)

Pyramid was expected to weigh about 1,879kg (though the article suggests this is low) and have a length of 25ft 3”, a span of 29ft 6”, a height of 9ft 3” and a plan area of 3658 sq ft with the crew in a cylindrical structure at the rear.

Does anyone have any information on Pyramid and the new launcher?
 

Michel Van

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sounds like Armstrong Whitworth "Waverider"

if is this the Waverider then the new launcher is a modified Blue Streak
 

PMN1

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Michel Van said:
sounds like Armstrong Whitworth "Waverider"

if is this the Waverider then the new launcher is a modified Blue Streak

The article says 'Like the Armstrong-Whitworth Pyramid, the waverider depened on having sharp leading edges,'

This suggests to me Pyramid and waverider are two different designs.
 

Barrington Bond

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Somewhere in either Flight, The Aeroplane or perhaps RAF Review I'm sure I have seen sketches of this but it's rather difficult for me to get at my copies for the time being. I would describe this as looking like a squat/fat F117. What I also recall is that two (belly to belly) would be mounted on top of the launcher for aerodynamic purposes.

Regards,
Barry
 

PMN1

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Barrington Bond said:
Somewhere in either Flight, The Aeroplane or perhaps RAF Review I'm sure I have seen sketches of this but it's rather difficult for me to get at my copies for the time being. I would describe this as looking like a squat/fat F117. What I also recall is that two (belly to belly) would be mounted on top of the launcher for aerodynamic purposes.

Regards,
Barry

That's the one, I would post a scan of it on top of the hypothetical launcher but I suspect the BIS would not like me.

'Because the Pyramid vehicle could not fit symmetrically within the fairing envelope of the launch vehicle, it was proposed that the vehicle could be mounted in an offset position with a symmetrical fairing on the other side. This mirror volume could have contained the small third stage required to inject the vehicle into orbit.'
 

Michel Van

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i check my database and found this

"The Dream Machines" by Ron Miller
page 413, 422-423, 427

instand to scan Miller drawing
I draw my self ;D

other Info I found on Romance to Realtity home page (OFFLINE)

"Surface Exploration of the Moon," Peter A. E. Stewart, Spaceflight, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1961, pp. 34-48.

Phase 1 (1960-63) includes expedition planning, team selection, vehicle and base design, and (in 1962) the first in a series of automated soft landings. Stewart rejects U.S. Saturn rockets, opting instead for the British Rolls-Royce Blue Streak/Black Knight rockets, some with nuclear upper stages fueled by ammonia or hydrogen. These could, says Stewart, soft land up to 7 tons on the moon.

Phase 2 spans 1964-67. The expedition members train in 1964-65, and large roving vehicles (described below) are manufactured and put through Earth surface trials. In 1966, the team simulates the expedition in a terrestrial desert using the prototype base structure and roving vehicles. Meanwhile, the lunar space suit undergoes Earth orbital testing and the unmanned cargo carrier and manned spacecraft are tested in lunar and Earth orbit, respectively. In 1967, the expedition simulation is analyzed, space suit and manned spacecraft tests occur in lunar orbit, and the first unmanned cargo carrier touches down on the moon.

Phase 3 (1968-69) includes the first piloted reconnaissance landings, first space suit use on the moon, and caching of expedition equipment at the base site using unmanned cargo carriers. Stewart targets his base for Piazzi Smyth crater, near Mt. Piton in Mare Imbrium.
Phase 4 (1970-71) is the actual lunar expedition. The expedition crew lands in several capsules at lunar dawn near pre-landed cargo carriers and Earth-return capsules.
 

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Jemiba

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There was an article in RAF Flying Review 10.1959 about it .
For the launching-vehicle a weight of 133,5 tons, with a lenght
of 41 ft and a diameter of 13 ft, but no type or designation
is given.
 

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PMN1

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Jemiba said:
There was an article in RAF Flying Review 10.1959 about it .
For the launching-vehicle a weight of 133,5 tons, with a lenght
of 41 ft and a diameter of 13 ft, but no type or designation
is given.

That first image is the one shown in the JBIS article.
 

fredgell

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One link with a couple of dawings -
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1959/1959%20-%201913.html

the editorial on page 68 before this also has a brief comment on designs.

Does anybody have more in the later HS designs?

Regards

Fred
 

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Nice drawings, Michel Van! That big rocket's cruciform engine arrangement kept bugging me, though; 'I'm sure I've seen it somewhere before', I kept thinking, and then I realised - it's a bigger version of Thunderbird 1!
 

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Michel Van

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McTodd said:
Nice drawings, Michel Van! That big rocket's cruciform engine arrangement kept bugging me, though; 'I'm sure I've seen it somewhere before', I kept thinking, and then I realised - it's a bigger version of Thunderbird 1!

Thanks McTodd

to Thunderbird 1 who copy who ? ;D ;D ;D
i think Peter A. E. Stewart design inspired Derek Meddings to Thunderbird 1
(inkluding other aircraft design)
 

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Jemiba said:
There was an article in RAF Flying Review 10.1959 about it .
For the launching-vehicle a weight of 133,5 tons, with a lenght
of 41 ft and a diameter of 13 ft, but no type or designation
is given.

Thinks -- look at the mass volume ratio for the vehicle what do you think the propellant could be?
 

Barrington Bond

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Sorry, I'm not a scientist/technician/mathematician - I'm assuming it is a rhetorical question and you already know the answer ;)

Regards,
Barry
 

DarkLord

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The "New" launch vehicle for the pyramid capsule was an enlarged Blue Streak with a squat Black Knight 2nd stage. a 3rd stage was to be housed in the aerodynamic shroud that mirrored the capsule on the nose of the launcher. The larger Blue Streak was to have had 4 engines. These were fuelled by Lox/Kerosine; the squat Black Knight was HTP/Kerosine. The 3rd stage was not specified, but it was to be a start/restart type of engine; so it would probably have been storable propellants. It was originally proposed to use a standard Blue Streak with A modified Black Knight 2nd stage, but as the calculations were done it became apparent that there was not enough boost. (a little like the Dyna Soar which started out on a Titan 1 and ended on a Titan 3) I saw several sketches of the "new" launcher during my days in the RAF. One of my lecturers who was involved with the Blue Streak from the RAF side, had a model of the launcher with the pyramid capsule and fairing in place as well as a presentation model of the Blue Streak in a launch silo. I would give what teeth I have left to own them! Or at least have a photo of them! He was at a senior level then, so he has probably departed this life now. The models are probably resting in an attic or have been lost.
 

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DarkLord said:
The "New" launch vehicle for the pyramid capsule was an enlarged Blue Streak with a squat Black Knight 2nd stage. a 3rd stage was to be housed in the aerodynamic shroud that mirrored the capsule on the nose of the launcher. The larger Blue Streak was to have had 4 engines. These were fuelled by Lox/Kerosine; the squat Black Knight was HTP/Kerosine. The 3rd stage was not specified, but it was to be a start/restart type of engine; so it would probably have been storable propellants. It was originally proposed to use a standard Blue Streak with A modified Black Knight 2nd stage, but as the calculations were done it became apparent that there was not enough boost. (a little like the Dyna Soar which started out on a Titan 1 and ended on a Titan 3) I saw several sketches of the "new" launcher during my days in the RAF. One of my lecturers who was involved with the Blue Streak from the RAF side, had a model of the launcher with the pyramid capsule and fairing in place as well as a presentation model of the Blue Streak in a launch silo. I would give what teeth I have left to own them! Or at least have a photo of them! He was at a senior level then, so he has probably departed this life now. The models are probably resting in an attic or have been lost.

Hi Barry,
No catch
Some years ago I was given a copy of the original paper that went with the 1959 BIS/Commonwealth symposium presentation. No recollection of Blue Streak being mentioned in it in the context of the booster.

Only in alternative proposals at a much later date by other authors’?

The sizes of the launch vehicle made public at that time are clearly not consistent with what was the then secret RAF Booster programme for which AW was one of the companies that did studies proposals for a three crew + two optional passenger “Spaceplane/Spacecraft”

Looking at the masses of the respective stages 1959 version, the figures appear to relate to an HTP/K powered first stage and a LH/LOX second stage.

HTP/K is a very dense propellant combination compared to LH/LOX for example

These two combinations are the only possible solution to the problem that I could think of at the time.

The second stage must have been LH/LOX or there was a huge amount of empty space which does not seem probable. (Note not generaly known but Official UK work on Hydrogen as a fuel started in 1951 or 1952. Westcott and other places!)

Hi Dark Lord,

Wonderful contribution, I would add a few teeth just to see those models.

As I understand it the definite “man” rated booster was 14ft diameter and from drawings circa 63ft in length,. this was with a 4RZ2 cluster, The cargo vehicle booster had a diameter of 16ft with similar length circa 63ft.and 5RZ2. also man rated to use American terms. But other engine combinations were explored or intended for operational use..

The 15ft diameter model was to ensure compatibility with American Military proposals, not sure of dates, .hence the 15ft Shuttle bay cross section is a legacy of that joint work.

Would be very interested in what the American proposals for launchers were and this is not a rhetorical question, can any one help.


There may have been variations on the theme so one can not rule out other suggestions
 

DarkLord

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Many years ago, my father designed and installed the electrics for many of the exhibition stands at the Farnborough Air Show. I got to see the exhibitions before anyone else! There were always speculative models of rockets and spacecraft, I wonder where they ended up!!!

I always accompanied my father to the Airshow and was there, aged 7, when the DH-110 ploughed into the crowd. That was a memory I don't like but I did not really understand what was going on as my father ushered me away!
 

Barrington Bond

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Great stuff and thank you for sharing - it has cheered up my evening as I was rather despondent earlier after learning that my car engine repairs are going to cost £700 (thankfully the timing belt didn't go or that would have been £3000 for a new engine!!!).

Regards,
Barry
 

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DarkLord said:
Many years ago, my father designed and installed the electrics for many of the exhibition stands at the Farnborough Air Show. I got to see the exhibitions before anyone else! There were always speculative models of rockets and spacecraft, I wonder where they ended up!!!

I always accompanied my father to the Airshow and was there, aged 7, when the DH-110 ploughed into the crowd. That was a memory I don't like but I did not really understand what was going on as my father ushered me away!

Darklord,
Do you remember a model of a proposed three jet UK airliner circa 1956/7 for BEA configured like a narrow body Tristar? I just can not remember who the design company was?
 

hesham

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Re-entry vehicle of 1959

Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1959/1959%20-%201913.html
 

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Barrington Bond

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Re: Re-entry vehicle of 1959

Already a thread for this...

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2946.0/highlight,pyramid.html

Regards,
Barry
 

Michel Van

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got some one more info about Peter A. E. Stewart Big Lunar Rocket ?

the one based on Blue Streak Hardware
8xRZ.2 and 4 Stantor Engines and NERVA type upperstage

one source is this:
"Surface Exploration of the Moon," Peter A. E. Stewart,
Spaceflight, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1961, pp. 34-48.

Thanks in advance

the attach Picture is from Stewart proposal
on right you see a landed Waverider on the Moon !
 

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Grif

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Somewhere in my library is a copy of "The Eagle Book of Spaceflight", with a picture article about the lunar project. There was a sequence of development, with a Blue Streak-type vehicle with a Mercury-like capsule atop it, which I believe the author said would "provide a manned capsule for the RAF", and the nuclear upper stage vehicle. There was also a tracked vehicle for use on the Moon, and an illustration of a spacesuit backpack. Oddly enough, the vehicle and backpack were re-used in the "Diagrams and Technical Data" at the back of the Angus MacVicar juvenile SF novel "Super Nova and the Rogue Satellite"; also used was a Lockheed (I think) Dyna-Soar type orbital ferry vehicle, as a "Laser-Armed Scout Ship", and a Clarke-style "dumb-bell" space liner. Funny how stuff gets re-used!
Grif
 

robunos

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Somewhere in my library is a copy of "The Eagle Book of Spaceflight", with a picture article about the lunar project.

s'pose you can guess what's coming next...... ;)

cheers,
Robin.
 

Barrington Bond

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Back to the first post of this thread - it does say in the article that AWA tried to avoid work on a booster but since Blue Streak/Black Knight or Blue Streak/LOx - Hydrogen upgrade were not capable enough or wide enough they came up with a draft of what they thought was needed.

Regards,
Barry
 

Barrington Bond

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From The Aeroplane and Astronautics 28 August 1958.
 

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Barrington Bond

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Finally managed to unbury my copy at last...
From "Eagle Book Of Rockets And Space Travel" 1961 by John W R Taylor and Maurice Allward.

Returning from the Moon.
 

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Barrington Bond

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Hmmm...
 

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Michel Van

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...mmmmh

that Atlas ICBM

this rocket is a "Cousin" of Blue Streak
Engineers team of De Havilland visit Convair plant in San Diego
and learn how to build balloon tanks with very thin stainless steel

while a Engineers team of Rolls-Royce visit Rocketdyne plant
for study the S3D engine, was became RZ.1 and later RZ.2

i think the S3D developed into LR89-5 engine for Atlas
 

Barrington Bond

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HAha!

This is the one that the gantry has been traced from - even the men are in the same position :D
 

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Barrington Bond said:
HAha!

This is the one that the gantry has been traced from - even the men are in the same position :D

Hi ,

Wonderful detective work!
 

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DarkLord said:
Yes I think it was the Trident, possibly by Handley Page.
hi Dark Lord,

Side issue, can not find original request, but did you ask for help with Blue StreaK?
 

Barrington Bond

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The Aeroplane 4 Sept 1959.
Interesting, you can see more clearly how the rear triangle blends into the fins.
 

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fredgell

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This has just shown up

http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/collections/up-in-the-air/

waverider tunel models.

Fred
 

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B) B) B) B) B) B) B) B) B)
 

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