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British Secret Projects 5: Britain's Space Shuttle by Dan Sharp

martinbayer

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newsdeskdan said:
No idea. Amazon.co.uk shows it out of stock but there are 11 vendors in the 'offers' section of the listing now offering it for sale, including the book depository from whom I've ordered a remarkably cut-price example. Says it's been dispatched...
Hello Dan,

thanks for the tip with Book Depository - they offer it indeed at a great price with free shipping on top. I finally cancelled my US Amazon order after neither phone nor online inquiries yielded any kind of explanation for the delay. I'm really looking forward to your book as a slightly delayed Christmas gift to myself ;D!

Best wishes and happy holidays,

Martin
 

newsdeskdan

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martinbayer said:
newsdeskdan said:
No idea. Amazon.co.uk shows it out of stock but there are 11 vendors in the 'offers' section of the listing now offering it for sale, including the book depository from whom I've ordered a remarkably cut-price example. Says it's been dispatched...
Hello Dan,

thanks for the tip with Book Depository - they offer it indeed at a great price with free shipping on top. I finally cancelled my US Amazon order after neither phone nor online inquiries yielded any kind of explanation for the delay. I'm really looking forward to your book as a slightly delayed Christmas gift to myself ;D!

Best wishes and happy holidays,

Martin
Thanks Martin, same to you. Hope it arrives soon and lives up to expectations.
 

Geist

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AlanDavies said:
... I have to say that the book is absolutely fantastic with tons of new information and some great General Arrangement drawings, superb pictures by Daniel Uhr and I think Luca Landini. ...
Thank you very much for your comment!!!
Only now taking another look in the messages I read yours comment about my work (sorry for not reading and answering it before).
Once again, thank you very much for your words.
;) :D

By the way! I posted a wallpaper (I did it) related to the Mustard - I hope you enjoy (free to download)

www.duhraviationart.com
 

uk 75

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Bought my copy BSP5 in the gleaming new Foyles shop in London. After a decent curry with some friends I had a two hour bus journey to scan both.
My 11 year old self in 1966 could only dream of such goodies, but the glea as I turned the pages is undimmed.
 

JC Carbonel

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Finally yesterday I had a first look at the copy I had bought at Telford ! Amazing ! I would say that 90% of the contents are new to me. I just looked at the pictures and was really surprised at the diversity of the subject. Now I need to read the text as well for more surprises.
Great work !

JCC
 

newsdeskdan

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JC Carbonel said:
Finally yesterday I had a first look at the copy I had bought at Telford ! Amazing ! I would say that 90% of the contents are new to me. I just looked at the pictures and was really surprised at the diversity of the subject. Now I need to read the text as well for more surprises.
Great work !

JCC
Thanks!
 

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Hood

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Only had a chance to flick through this one so far, but the contents are nothing less than amazing and though some of the projects were discussed in BSP:4, there is more than enough new stuff here and the illustrations and photographs are excellent too. A very fine addition to the BSP series.
 

newsdeskdan

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Hood said:
Only had a chance to flick through this one so far, but the contents are nothing less than amazing and though some of the projects were discussed in BSP:4, there is more than enough new stuff here and the illustrations and photographs are excellent too. A very fine addition to the BSP series.
At the beginning, I had intended only to cover Mustard in BSP5, but speaking to members of the Mustard team it became very clear that the project grew out of P.42. So I began to work out how P.42 had begun and why. I was very aware of what had been written in BSP4 but it was evident that I had sufficient material to explain it more fully. While the original BSP4 account mostly stands up, if you read that first - only a few pages - then read what's in BSP5, you will notice some aspects of the latter which seek to directly address statements made in the former.
 

fudge

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Did this mean that some MUSTARD material had to be left out of the book or was the book expanded considerably? I ask this not as a criticism but hopefully in case there is an expanded second edition!
I am reading and re-reading this book it is all so fresh and fascinating
Thanks again
Alan
 

newsdeskdan

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AlanDavies said:
Did this mean that some MUSTARD material had to be left out of the book or was the book expanded considerably? I ask this not as a criticism but hopefully in case there is an expanded second edition!
I am reading and re-reading this book it is all so fresh and fascinating
Thanks again
Alan
The book was originally conceived as something much smaller with a tight focus on MUSTARD alone, so I suppose you could say it was expanded considerably. A lot of material had to be left out, but most of this relates to the associated space science research carried out by BAC to ensure that MUSTARD could operate effectively in a then-unfamiliar environment, the detail of processes and calculations required for re-entry and the development of the digital computer systems necessary to make those calculations. I felt that most readers would be less interested in these aspects of the project.
Other areas where material was left out include the re-entry systems developed by BAC between the work on recoverable rockets and MUSTARD and the work of the other Aerospace Transporter competitors. BSEL and HSA did a great deal of work on related areas, as did Dassault, Bolkow, Junkers, NORD etc. I didn't particularly want to write an 'Aerospace Transporter' book so I left that as a single chapter.
 

fudge

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Thank you for your reply, I am very happy with your book as it is, just being greedy really!
I know you didnt want to do a book on European Aerospace Transporters but I think you would be the man for the job.
Regards
Alan
 

fudge

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IPMS USA have put a comprehensive and very positive review of BSP5 on their website
Sorry if this has already been mentioned elsewhere.
 

SteveO

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Great book Dan, gave me another 'what if' frustration headache but that's the sign of a good read ;)
 

newsdeskdan

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SteveO said:
Great book Dan, gave me another 'what if' frustration headache but that's the sign of a good read ;)
I never imagined, many years ago when I was reading Dan Dare, that British companies had actually gone quite so far down the road of designing manned spacecraft. To look at a picture of Mustard, without any real explanation, it seems like pure fantasy. But when you see how much work was done on it, the bespoke computer systems developed to make the necessary complex calculations, and all the ancillary research carried out, you realise that BAC was capable of building it and making it work (if anyone was). Of all the many aerospace 'what ifs', I personally find Mustard the most tantalising.
 

shedofdread

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Got my copy yesterday (Book Depository). Not too far in yet (~ 1/3) but what a fascinating and well written book. I would agree that of all the un-built 'what ifs', this has to be right up there as one of the ones with the most promise.

Cheers!
 

flateric

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Have finished my copy. More than I could wish. Excellently researched, written and formatted book, definitely must have for any space history enthusiast.
 

Siberia

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newsdeskdan said:
BSP5: Britain's Space Shuttle is out now, it would seem!
Out of interest does it make any difference to the author, or to a lesser extent the publishers, where people purchase the book? Amazon have it with 25% off which is nice but not so large a saving as to stop me ordering it via a bricks and mortar shop if there were other possible considerations. Thanks.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Direct from the publisher always benefits the publisher. It may or may not benefit the author, depending on the arrangement with the publisher.

Blue Envoy Press split all profits with the author, so direct purchases from them does benefit the author. I don't think the same is true of Crecy.
 

newsdeskdan

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
Direct from the publisher always benefits the publisher. It may or may not benefit the author, depending on the arrangement with the publisher.

Blue Envoy Press split all profits with the author, so direct purchases from them does benefit the author. I don't think the same is true of Crecy.
It depends on the arrangement between the author and the publisher. For BSP5, I am paid (annually) a percentage of the purchase price for each book sold. So direct purchases do benefit me - the more you pay for it, the greater the sum I receive. I believe that other authors have other arrangements, however.
 

Siberia

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Thanks for the replies folks. Looks like I'll be ordering direct then.
 

Michel Van

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Finally after two Attempts (the books disappeared in Belgium post system)
The third book arrive save and sound at my home

After reading the Book I have to say

Well investigated, clearly written, rich Illustrated
It not only feature, earlier Hypersonic carrier/Lifting Body but also the Complete overview of MUSTARD project !
and it not stops there, it show us also the 1960s Eurospace proposals and British collaboration with NASA on Space Shuttle.

OMG, THAT IS BEST BOOK ABOUT BRITISH SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM !

congratulation, mister Sharp
 

steelpillow

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Got hold of a copy at last.
What a wonderful book. It covers not only the Mustard project but everything that led up to it, as well as some of the things that it led on to, and all In Dan's inimitable style of detailed dissection and acute observation combined with original drawings and artists' visualisations.
I would like to have seen a bit more about the Rolls-Royce Flashjet project - was its heat source to be nuclear or, like the SABRE cycle, from kinetic heating? And I missed coverage of the more recent HOTOL affair. But that's just being picky, every book has to stop somewhere.
All the work at English Electric and Hawkers, and the huge amount of information flow between the US and the UK, is a real eye-opener into the Cold War space race.

If I may pass comment on one design in particular, the English Electric P.42 Scheme 9/1, drawing EAG 3308/1, undated but around 1959, is a close contemporary to the Lockheed project that became the A-12, the first "Blackbird". Dan comments that "the unusually cambered wing and fuselage were thought to offer greater stability at high speed." Although not immediately obvious, two key design features show a remarkable aerodynamic similarity between these contemporary designs.
The root section is reverse-cambered, with the long forward root at a higher angle of attack than the main wing. In the Blackbird, this section was regarded more as a sideways extension of the fuselage - "chine" is a term originating in boatbuilding and, later, flying boats, but the aerodynamics wouldn't care about that. At low airspeeds it does little more than create a stable vortex over the delta wing to maintain lift and controllability for takeoff and landing. But at supersonic speeds its very low aspect ratio becomes less significant and it begins to contribute significant lift. This moves the overall centre of lift forward, neatly counterbalancing the traditional wing's aft CL movement with increasing speed. While it thus contributes more to trim and a reduction in induced drag than to stability, the offloading of the main control surfaces from this function does make stability easier to maintain throughout.
The other feature is the sharply drooped leading edge of the outer wing, indicative of progressive twist or wash-out towards the tip. This again is seen on the Blackbird and it serves multiple purposes. It acts like a tailplane to improve longitudinal stability. It reduces the angle of attack at low airspeeds, delaying the tip stall and maintaining smooth airflow over the vital control surfaces. The progressive twist introduces a similarly progressive stall, giving the pilot a warning "burble" on the controls as the stall approaches. This much was known about it in 1906 and patented by J W Dunne in 1909. But what Dunne could not know was that at supersonic speeds its drag penalty would prove unexpectedly small and his patent swept leading-edge droop would be incorporated into a generation of Convair deltas, as well as the Blackbirds and, later, not only Concorde but a great many advanced warplanes.
Going back to 1959, one wonders who was copying whose bright ideas here - English Electric or Lockheed?
 

Archibald

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I'm growing desperate to find an electronic copy of that book (real books are hard to get in those troubled times). And yes, I'm willing to pay for it.
(and yes, this is related to that suborbital refueling hobby and pet peeve, with GD Triamese these two are the closest thing from SOR).
 

Hobbes

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Ordering direct is possible with more and more publishers. And I found I can order almost anything from my local bookstore, including the BSP series and other specialist items.
 
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