DuPont Aerospace Projects


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3 January 2006
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This is a complete mystery to me?

It seems that this a real, $63 million USD, ONR funded program?

Is Anthony DuPont one of the heirs to the DuPont fortune?

Is "DuPont Aerospace" part of the Delaware based DuPont chemical corporation?

It seems that brochures for this project date back to 1981!


Here's another reference to a ONR program dating back to 1998!
DuPont not a new player at this field of controversial aerospace program.
For example, Tony DuPont was a man who was, in fact, starting genesis of of one little known program... called NASP.
If you are beginning to wonder, read this,250.msg1756.html#msg1756
For me sounds like today's Howard Hughes - with all his pluses and minuses. Bird looks like damn X-14.

....5000 nm range??? Map in DuPont animation shows strange thing flying New Your to Moscow non-stop...take back 63 MUSD from this guy. Immediately.
Guy's got a reputation for outre designs, few of which come to fruition, and then after a long gestation. He was the driving force behind Garrett's doing the ATF3 engine with all its peculiarities.
Need an adress ? Here it is !
And this advert is from an Aviation Week issue in 1973 ... ;)


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Jemiba said:
Need an adress ? Here it is !
And this advert is from an Aviation Week issue in 1973 ... ;)


This stuff from 1997

was called DuPont Linebacker.

Some more info from

AIAA paper 97-5549
Full Scale Test of a Transport Aircraft Thrust Vectoring System
by Anthony A. duPont
duPont Aerospace Co., Inc.

"A full scale test of such a thrust vectoring
system was successfully completed in the fall of
1996. A single engine installation using a 30,000
pound thrust V2500 engine was tested. The thrust
vectoring hardware was nearly 100% graphite epoxy
composite construction. It held the engine operating
line in both forward and vertical thrust. The data
showed high efficiency, low thrust losses, in both
forward and 90 degree vectored thrust. The ability to
vector the thrust for control was also demonstrated.
Composite structure held up well during several hours
of testing. The only structural problem was caused by
differential thermal expansion of the steel bearing
attachment fittings."

"The test hardware consisted of the thrust
vectoring hardware installed in a nozzle box and a
transition duct that connects the circular engine exit
to the rectangular nozzle box. The engine used for
the test was an International Aero engines V2500
rated at 30,000 pounds thrust. Figure 3 shows the test
hardware in the preparation building at Pratt and
Whitney's West Palm Beach facility.
The transition duct is on the left and the engine flow
is from left to right. The nozzle box houses the
cascade and control box, seen deployed below the
nozzle box at the center. The cascade pivot is the
shiny stainless steel circle at the top of the nozzle box
side. The black steel frames are attachment
provisions for the test stand and a substitute for
aircraft structure that limits the deflections of the
nozzle box sides where it is open at the bottom to
permit thrust vectoring. A steel box mounted forward
of the front steel frame houses the instrumentation
connections. The industrial actuators and electric
motors mounted on top of the nozzle box move the
cascade and controls for the test. They will be
replaced with aerospace actuators for flight.
The nozzle box and V2500 engine were
mounted on the Pratt and Whimey test stand for test.
The center line of the engine was about 16 feet above
the ground. A one diameter spool duct was inserted
between the engine and the transition duct in order to
permit total pressure measurements in a constant
diameter section. The total pressure of the flow
entering the nozzle box was measured by four static
pressure taps located 90 degrees apart on the duct
wall and boundary layer rakes to determine the
boundary layer blockage. The engine was connected
to the spool piece through a flexible seal to isolate
engine forces from nozzle box forces.
The nozzle box was suspended from three
50,000 pound capacity commercial load cells which
measured vertical forces. A series of links reacted
horizontal forces at the load cell connection points
insuring only vertical forces into the load cells. Fore
and aft forces were measured by the facility load cells
connected to the stong back that carried both the
nozzle box and engine mounting systems. Figure 4
shows the nozzle box being installed."

"The thrust vectoring system held the
engine operating line in both forward and vertical
thrust. An experimental mixer was provided by Pratt
and Whitney for the test. It worked pretty well for the
first try, but there was a region of unmixed turbine
exhaust in the center. A water injection system was
built to cool this region down to the mixed
temperature. The injection of water added mass,
which increased thrust, but it also cooled the flow,
which reduced thrust. The calculated net effect was a
small loss hi thrust. The amount of water injected
was so small relative to the air flow that this effect
was negligible."

"The thrust coefficient is measured thrust
divided by the thrust available from an isentropic
expansion from conditions entering the nozzle box.
Forward thrust lies on a single slightly upward
sloping line. The one point not on the trend was
taken when a steel fairing designed to preclude base
drag vibrated loose and was hanging down in the
flow. After the fairing blew off completely, the trend
resumed indicating that the worries about base drag
were unnecessary. For the most part the vertical
thrust measurements scatter around the predicted 95%
value within the predicted measurement accuracy.
The high value at idle can be explained by the idle
thrust being only slightly more than 1,000 pounds, so
a 50 pound measurement error would bring it up to
where it was measured. There is no explanation for
the high value at 4,200 RPM. The other points that
were considerably lower than the trend were taken
when the system had a large uncommanded roll, and
examination of the pressure data and roll angle taken
from an infra red video indicate the measurement to
be in error. These other indications show those points
should be near the 95% trend line.
The cause of the uncommanded roll could
not be determined in a timely manner during the
limited test period, so the roll control was
disconnected and testing continued with the roll vanes
fastened in the vertical position. A video camera
showed that the vanes moved, but the control actuator
did not. Post test analysis showed that the probable
cause was thermal distortion of the 1/4 inch thick
steel plate that supported the actuator arms used for
pitch control. The distortion probably moved the end
of the arm sideways which caused a roll control input
without moving the actuator. Calculations using the
angle on the video and the camera postion show that
the thrust vector was in the hard over position. The
inadvertant roll command showed the effectiveness of
the vane control before this was scheduled in the test

"This was fortunate because, although the
composite structure held up well in the severe
vibration and temperature environment during testing,
thermal expansion of the bolt circle attaching the
stainless steel cascade bearing housing to the
composite cascade side pried off the doubler and
precipitated a structural failure. With the cascade no
longer restrained by the bearings, it pivoted backwards colliding violently with the aft end of the
nozzle box and falling to the concrete below the test
stand prematurely terminating testing. The lesson
learned the hard way is that metal connections in a
potential high temperature environment should be
made of invar to reduce thermal stress. Examination
of the bearing, which was discolored due to heating,
showed that it had experienced temperatures from
150 to 300 degrees higher than anticipated.

In spite of the structural failure the test was
declared a success.
The thrust vectoring system
works, and the thrust coefficient in vertical thrust was
measured at the value expected after full
development. The thrust coefficient in forward thrust
is lower than desired operationally, and at least part
of the loss is attributed to the large housings for the
door actuation struts, which projected down into the
nozzle flow. Next tune, if they can not be eliminated,
they should at least be streamilined fairings.
Composite structure is satisfactory at the mixed
exhaust temperature of a high bypass fan, much
lighter than the equivalent metal structure and
eliminates problems with thermal expansion.
Eliminating thermal expansion is a big plus for
systems like this and helps maintain tight clearances
to control leakage and maintain the fan operating line."


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"The engine used for the test was an International Aero engines V2500 rated at 30,000 pounds thrust....experienced temperatures from 150 to 300 degrees higher than anticipated..."

Another wonderful thing about the concept is that the downwash/outwash is even worse than the AV-8 Harrier. So a transport aircraft (with the associated weight) will be even more likely to dig a hole in the ground when landing vertically.

If heated tornado velocity winds and the associated rocks, cars, people they push around are alright...

Congress hearings bring me sharp smell of palm oil...

duPont Aerospace site is the most laconic I've ever seen so far


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There are some pictures and videos of the test vehicle floating around right now. It looks like someone tried to build a Yak-36 replica using some Piper Cherokee parts.
To be fair, we perhaps should remember, that other VTOL projects weren't succesful,
too, and never left the ground. And they, too, were built from "off-the-shelf" parts, from
A-4s and F-4s.
And the US-taxpayer probably had to pay its share for the Rockwell XFV-12, too !
And that money is spent for development and production only, is quite rare in this
business, I think, no matter which country is involved !
They DuPont team have been making the rounds within the US military again. It CAN do VTOL but better to do STOVL or SSTOL with any decent load on board. It can pick up loads but it is limited on range, especially if you want to do VTOL hot high. Also when asked how it does in unimproved environments where that huge snout, low to the ground, would likely ingest impressive quantities of sand and other things that do wonders for turbine blades, you get the old, "We have not done any analysis on that." I suspect the real market they are after is the regional jet market where the ability to operate from smaller airports would offload the major airports that are so congested. Of course all of the extra weight and maintenance will not likely make it popular in that segment of the aerospace market either. They like many are hoping that a military application will allow them to streamline and improve the maintainability and reliability that will make the aircraft more viable in the civil sector.
DP-1C subscale prototype has just made a coulpe of 45sec tethered hovers

Videos of the two runs are here:

PTiming is probably not a coincidence, as duPont's funding will run out on 31 December unless Congress votes it a few more millions...
At least X-32B couldn't do this...If ONR would hire some guys from almost-dead Yakovlev and give them 63 millions I'd expect better results)))

BTW, theworacle has more great videos at his YouTube page, so, CammNut, you've made my day once more!

Lockheed VARIOUS UCAV (killing T-34s in attack)
Lockheed Morphing UCAV
Lockheed Cormorant MPUAV

and some other...
Yes, the landing was a little bit bumpy, but there were no separating parts, at
least I couldn't see any . And if this was achieved with just 63 million US $, it
was a bargain price, I think ! Of course, employment of some Yakovlev engineers
could be helpful, but if they would work in the US, they probably would like to
get US salaries, too, largely increasing the costs against a russian project. ;D
And what do you get for 63 milions in other programs ?
Mostly just huge piles of paper, but no flying hardware. And the world of VTOL
still is a very expensive one !
The performance data for the "series version" really seem to be high flying dreams,
but I think if the company just wants to lure taxpayers dollars ino their own purse,
there would have been easier ways, than to built this aircraft.
I see congressional report circulating in December with prases like 'selected members of top aerospace community are in hard support of DP-2 project [1]" We are really one of just dozen place on the net to be found with keywords 'DP-2'


My dears,

do you know this Bell aircraft ?!.


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Hesham, are you reading forum sometimes? I guess you have missed something,1979.0.html
This is DuPont Aerospace DP-2
Air International Vol.26 No.3 (March 1984) has small article on duPont DP-2 in Airdata File section + 3-view. Bird has a long roots down to 1973. Said that Tony duPont 'has previous engineering experience with Douglas Aircraft and Garret'
Then DP-2 would as plannes carry 34-44 paxs at M=0,95 at 2,500 nm range...
Flateric said it, but I didn't believe it, until...

From the DP-2 testimony to Congress:
Mr. Anthony duPont, President, duPont Aerospace Company. Mr. duPont’s proposed aerospace plane and engine design concept was selected as the government’s baseline design for the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program in 1983. He holds eight patents and is a former co-pilot for Pan American World Airways. Mr. duPont founded the duPont Aerospace Company in 1969 to pursue the development of VSTOL aircraft using vectored thrust. He first proposed the DP-2 aircraft design concept in 1972.

And from a recent review of US hypersonic programmes by historian Richard Hallion:


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The Hallion history of hyperonics pdf is 2.5Mb. Probably nothing new in there, but a useful reference perhaps. He gave the presentation as a keynote at the recent annual meeting of NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics programme (now that's a goldmine of concept designs...). If there is somewhere I can post the pdf, let me know.
I wish I could remember where I read it but basically this guy was selling snake oil when it came to NASP.
CammNut said:
The Hallion history of hyperonics pdf is 2.5Mb. [...]If there is somewhere I can post the pdf, let me know.

Dear CammNut, you can upload it to and post a link here.

Another hypersonics paper from Schweikart with duPont/NASP story
The Hypersonic Revolution. Case Studies in the History of Hypersonic Technology.
Volume III: The Quest for the Orbital Jet: The National Aero-Space Plane Program (1983-1995)


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duPont Aerospace DP-2 is described on Global Security.

Greetings All!

Something a bit different:

Enjoy the Day! Mark


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I found this at the San Diego Air and Space Museum's (SDASM) photo archive at Flickr. It is a photo of a DP-2 model from the collection of James Pfeiffer (R. James Pfeiffer, I presume) a former (1950s-era) VP at Fairchild, who is also described in other sources as also being involved with DuPont Aerospace in the marketing of the DP-2.

The SDASM has an incredible collection of photos posted at Flickr, albeit with bare-bones tags. I try to add as many relevant tags I can in my boredom.

Here's a link to the original SDASM Flickr page:

And here's the model DP-2 photo:
First I need to say that I agree with those that consider that the DP-2 is on the outrageous side, and I am/have/had/could never been connected remotely/with-a-ten-foot-pole/really with this project.

Now that the disclaimer is out, I have here a 150-ish pages document that if member of this forum could find worthwhile for historical reason, I could scan and post it here as a PDF. Let me know.



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Machdiamond said:
I have here a 150-ish pages document that if member of this forum could find worthwhile for historical reason, I could scan and post it here as a PDF. Let me know.

Please, Yes!
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