Bell Hypersonic Rocket Transport spacecraft


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26 May 2006
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The Bell project of 1960 was a hypersonic rocket transport designed,
powered by six turbo-ramjets,the spacecraft would reach a maximum
altitude of 64 km and estimated top speed 6700 km/h.
Greetings Folks:

In response to the Bell Hypesonic Rocket transport of 1959-1961 period. This is the second and updated version of a rocket transport utilizing and applying Bell's extensive research into sustained altitude, sustained hypersonic flight as per their military projects, i.e., BoMi, MX-2276, R459L Hi-Fi recce, System 118P (the hypersonic variant of this two-part study), SR-126 RoBo, and perhaps another undesignated boost-glider. The 1960-1961 variant as is seen in drawings greatly resembled one of the two Bell-designed Dyna Soar I glider submissions in March, 1958. They offered an updated BoMi-Brass Bell design-1 2-man glider, and another updated delta-wing version with the first option, and the second variant was redesigned into the rocket transport. Expanded of course, to include a pressurized passenger cabin, etc.

However, there was an earlier version...the 1954-1956 Dornberger-Ehricke passenger carrying rocket transport as well. This was attached piggyback to a flyback mom-ship, and was derived from the 1954-1954 MX-2276 BoMi...that original vertical launch monster that scared heck out of the USAF (so much fuel and Lox sitting out on a ramp vertically, waiting for a component to fail, and ka-boom, a boy's dream...large explosion. Seriously though, look for Look Magazine possibly January 11th issue 1955 and see the original model that still exists today. Dr. Dorny and Ehricke tried to interest inducstry but it just did not fly as a viable or probably, a safe mode of transportation at the time. Rocket engines and hypersonics were not up to the design and construction of such a fast people carrier.

The 1961 version was quite updated and advanced. The model for it also still exists and I acquired material on both projects with illustrations and model photos. There wer several other aero-firms taht their artists drew up speculative eye-candy for a hypersonic rocket transport but all ideas came to naught. That should help on background history on these intriguing projects.
Have a good day.

The Ehricke-Dornberger project as depicted in a double page from Popular Science dated Feb 1955:


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Bell Hypersonic Airliner



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Re: Bell Hypersonic Airliner

Another hypersonic airliner picture from the same collection, which refers to a different project described here:,4783.0/highlight,bell+hypersonic.html


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Re: Bell Hypersonic Airliner

A two stage airliner?! Presumably a sub-orbital inter-continental transport. From the pictures I assume the second stage was rocket-powered only (at least no air intakes are visible, although they could be under the wings).

The two pictures above look rather different to me (eg cockpit windows?); any one have any more detailed information?
Re: Bell Hypersonic Airliner

There was an article plus illustration of the suborbital transporter in Aviation Week (it's 50 year now, boys !). I have the photocopy. The combination was depicted on an airport deck besides an SST.
Re: Bell Hypersonic Airliner project......

Dear Boys and Girls, here is a picture with a caption in French of the Bell Hypersonic Airliner "project"......

The picture comes from the 26th March 1960 issue of Les Ailes......

Moderators, shouldn't this topic be merged with:-,1804.msg15279.html#msg15279,5236.msg41497.html#msg41497

Terry (Caravellarella)


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pometablava said:

Pometabalava, should it be merged with this one too?,4783.msg37724.html#msg37724
should it be merged with this one too?

I Have my doubts because that's not the same project. Maybe should be better to keep dedicated topics. I accept suggestions.
Re: Bell Hypersonic Airliner project......

Caravellarella said:
Dear Boys and Girls, here is a picture with a caption in French of the Bell Hypersonic Airliner "project"......

The picture comes from the 26th March 1960 issue of Les Ailes......

Terry (Caravellarella)

Also as my dear Caravellarelle displaying,here is a clearer artist drawing to Bell Hypersonic
aircraft,page 33;


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The Hypersonic "tiled" rocket transport was merely artwork displaying a variation from Bell's liquid-cooling and insulation system for their boost-glider studies from 1955 BoMi, Brass Bell and SR-126 Robo, then their March 1958 Dyna Soar I submission. The tiled looking glider was also used in Bell ads, then another firm used it in their ads too...forget who at the moment, but the ad was in glider, black of space background...I and others have saved and cleaned up this ad, as many Cold War era cum, Space program era ads are increasingly difficult to find, so we are scanning as many as possible...starting 1938 or so onwards to the 1970s.
The posts,1804.msg230475.html#msg230475,1804.msg97215.html#msg97215,1804.msg126747.html#msg126747

were commented by Bomiwriter as follows:

"bomiwriter says this was cleaned was an external tile cooling system Bell studied during 1950s and has not name...used in theirs and one other firm's Ads!"

"could Bomiwrite please acquire a good dpi copy of this image? I have others but not this one. Also, I will be writing about this project for Key Publ. AIRLINER Magazine shortly."
(Last request for the pictures of the last two mentioned posts)
The "tiled" Boost-glider I referred to is the view from starboard side...with windows, so it is a hypathetical passenger carrying rocket transport. The image I'd like to acquire is the 1960 Bell rocket transport launching off the back of the mothership. A model, by the way, was brought in to the Bell Museum at Niagara Falls by the engineer-salesman who held it for many years. It is a bit ragged around the edges but is the original display model-also in original colors, he used to try selling the idea to the airline industry. That view of the transport rocketing off the spine of the Mom-ship appears to be one of the 'lost" pieces of presentation artwork on the project...this is a constant problem for us researchers...items in project files always come missing...they obviously, with human help, grow little legs and walk away to who knows where.
From Icare 1961,

there was also in the issue some important Info.


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I'm very excited about this beautiful new model kit from AJAmodels!

And Happy Holidays from "The General" himself (as all those Paperclip guys kept calling him, "Dr. Strangelove"-style, long past the point they probably should have). I found this hilarious holiday card from Dornberger in Willy Ley's archives at the Smithsonian last year. I had a feeling it would end up posted here sooner or later.


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