GASL Mach 6.0 hypersonic parasite from 1960

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These photos show a display model salvaged from General Dynamics Fort Worth. This was a proposed, alternate manned parasite deep-penetration vehicle for the B-58B Super Hustler (Phase 2) program. This work was classified and appears to have been active between 1958 and 1961. Cruising speed was Mach 6.0. Powered by butane-fueled scramjets and designed for Convair by sub-contractor Gruen Applied Science Laboratory, Inc. (GASL was formed in 1956 as a partnership between Antonio Ferri and Theodore von Karman, both of whom specialized in engineering hypersonic propulsion systems).

General configuration was based on the Eggers-Syvertson 1956 study into the "flat-top" concept, published in the NACA RM A55L05 report Aircraft Configurations Developing High Lift-Drag Ratios at High Supersonic Speeds. The flat top was ideal for fitting under the B-58B, without all the complexity of the 2-component Convair Super-Hustler design. There were 2 small windows atop the crew helmet fairings. Zero front visibility of course, but possibly a periscope (like the Republic XF-103 - another project helped by Ferri) or TV cameras, like on the Super-Hustler itself.

GASL (later renamed General Applied Science Laboratory) successfully tested this scramjet in 1961. Research continued and a 5,900 mph speed was reached by a GASL hydrocarbon fueled scramjet vehicle in July, 2001. GASL is now part of ATK/Orbital Sciences.

Hopefully someone has more information on this vehicle. Typically, such material would come from Lockheed archives or the GASL Library (probably still located at: 77 Raynor Ave. / Ronkonkoma, NY, ... if anybody lives nearby :) :eek: ::))
 

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Sundog

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Nice find; I've had the drawing, but no images of the model or all of the details you provided. Thanks. :)
 

GeorgeA

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Under which program was the “5900 mph hydrocarbon fueled scramjet flown in July 2001” one wonders.
 

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George Allegrezza said:
Under which program was the “5900 mph hydrocarbon fueled scramjet flown in July 2001” one wonders.
The GASL scramjet-powered projectile was tested at Arnold AFB in Tennessee, allegedly as part of a missile development program. The "flight" covered a distance of 260 feet (79m) in 30ms, which comes to about 5,900mph (9500 km/h). Still pretty away far from snapping photos across the entire USSR at Mach 6.0 while sipping a vodka martini ... But remember that in 1960, scientists also promised we'd have nuclear fusion power plants within a decade.

At least GASL did come up with a wicked-looking airplane, which would still look futuristic today.
 

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flateric

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That's why SPF is a great place with a people who share!
 

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