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Lockheed CL-1201 Logistic Support Aircraft

sferrin

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Funny I was thinking of a design very much like that less than two minutes ago when I was reading the Lockheed nuclear aircraft thread. There was an airborn aircraft carrier that sported something like 24 fighter aircraft beneath it's wings and looked a LOT like that design. There was a drawing of it in the book Future Combat Aircraft by Gunston IIRC.
 

Orionblamblam

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Lockheed CL-1201-1
Span: 1,120 feet
Gross weight: 11.85 million pounds
Endurance: 41 days:
Reactor output: 1830 megawatts
Crew: 845
Tactical fighters carried: 24
Lift engines for VTOL: 182

Knowledge that we *could* build this: priceless.
 

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flateric

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Significant economy leap: just 54 engines for VTOL on Logistic Support Aircraft version)))
 

Orionblamblam

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The attack version weighed more, and was intended for VTOL landings of vast numbers of troops and equipment, along with the airplanes under the wing; the transport version was intended for STOL operations (for an airplane this big, "STOL" probably meant "runway less than 10km long.")
 

RP1

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A question on the reactor output - is that thermal megawatts or shaft power megawatts?

And a general statement: OMFG.

RP1
 

Orionblamblam

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RP1 said:
A question on the reactor output - is that thermal megawatts or shaft power megawatts?

*Appears* to be total thermal output. The total thrust of the engines is claimed to be 500,000 pounds... which seems pretty damned weak. Possible that 500,000 pounds *per* *engine.*

And a general statement: OMFG.

Indeed!
 

flateric

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From Bill Gunston's 'An Illistrated Guide To Future Fighters...'
 

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flateric

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And why do you think it was back then?
 

Stargazer2006

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sublight is back said:
Why do you say 1982, I thought this was designed in the 50's?

Neither. CL-1201 studies date back to the 1969-70 period. But of course it's not so unusual to see them appear in a report that's only a little over a decade later.
 

sublight is back

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Skyblazer said:
sublight is back said:
Why do you say 1982, I thought this was designed in the 50's?

Neither. CL-1201 studies date back to the 1969-70 period. But of course it's not so unusual to see them appear in a report that's only a little over a decade later.

Could you point me to that report please? :)
 

flateric

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It was a date of AIAA paper LSA was mentioned in.
Looking more pages then I did in a hurry, I would find that LSA traces back - as it was said - to late 60s

G. D. Brewer, Dalton Sherwood, P.J. Sibley
"A Study of Very Large Nuclear-Powered Aircraft in a Potential Mission Application"
Lockheed Report No. 22802, 12 September 1969
 

carsinamerica

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Oh, jeez, it had landing gear? I remember Gunston speculating that it would be a flying boat. Imagine parking that thing. I suspect it'd go something like this:
TWR: Attention all aircraft: DFW is now closed to all traffic."
QF7: Dallas, Qantas 7, has there been an accident?"
TWR: "Qantas 7, DFW, uh, negative. We just had a CL-1201 land."
QF7: "Oh, right then."
 

Avimimus

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It appears that the centre of aerodynamic lift should be pretty far back (near the reactor and the centre of gravity). However, the centre of lift from the lift jets should be much further forward. This should apply to both known variants but be even more evident for the transport variant (which had less wing mounted lift-jets)

This suggests that the lift jets were designed to produce a strong upward pitching moment (probably used at lower throttle settings for control during takeoff and landing). This might be to compensate for a backward moment in the lift distribution when flaps are extended.

However, I could do with someone checking to ensure that I haven't messed up in my assessment of where aerodynamic lift should be distributed.

P.S. What is the Reynold's number for a 20 metre thick wing (vertical dimension) going at Mach 0.8? One billion or something like that? What implications does that have - do we even know?
 

Foo Fighter

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I cannot think of a runway that would take that span of wing, let alone the weight. Taxiways might have been a problem too not to mention finding a way to brake the thing to a halt.
 

circle-5

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That's precisely why it's a VTOL design.
 

Foo Fighter

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I got the VTO bit but you will still need a runway/pad and taxiways around some kind of secure zone. The logistics of this would be mind boggling on their own let alone the services required to turn this thing around. Sooner or later it WILL have to come back down.
 

fightingirish

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Found And Explained said:
The Nuclear Powered Flying Aircraft Attack Carrier - Never Built CL-1201
In 1969, Lockheed was tasked by the US air force to design a plane that was so big that it could carry 3000 troops, launch 22 parasite air to air jet fighters and fly for 41 days straight without landing. But it would never see the light of day, facing design challenges such as building a powerful enough nuclear reactor to how to even take off into the sky. [...]
Check out for more: aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Diagrams of CL-1201 by Scott Lowther

Video:
View: https://youtu.be/d7KgjObskvM

Link:
Code:
https://youtu.be/d7KgjObskvM
No bad CGI, but I have seen better. :)
At 2:21min the Lockheed CL-1170 has a cameo.;)
 
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Orionblamblam

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Found And Explained said:
The Nuclear Powered Flying Aircraft Attack Carrier - Never Built CL-1201
In 1969, Lockheed was tasked by the US air force to design a plane that was so big that it could carry 3000 troops, launch 22 parasite air to air jet fighters and fly for 41 days straight without landing. But it would never see the light of day, facing design challenges such as building a powerful enough nuclear reactor to how to even take off into the sky. [...]

It's an ok video. What makes it special are the diagrams that are included, used to illustrate the concept.

*My* diagrams, diagrams I created for Aerospace Projects Review issue V1N3 and US Transport Projects #07.

Feh.
 

Orionblamblam

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As an aside... a commenter on the YouTube video above claims: And I know more than a few people from Secret Projects Forum that have stories about Scott taking credit for other peoples work...

Has anyone actually heard such "stories?" If so, about what?
 

Orionblamblam

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Not here, Scott.

I wouldn't think so, but...

I have little doubt that many people can find valid, or at least valid-adjacent, complaints about my work. But to my knowledge I've never taken credit for someone else's work. Still, if such claims are made I want to hear about them so I can either squash them with A Mighty Fact Hammer... or correct the issue if it's real.

I suspect, though, that an equally or perhaps more likely explanation is that it's one of the delightful trolls that occasionally pop into my blogs comment section threatening to try to get me deplatformed for my wrongthink. But one never knows. If there are tales of me doing people wrong, I need to know.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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To be clear, its possible some people with accounts here have bad-mouthed you, but I've never heard a whisper about this myself.

Your drawings have a distinct "house style" which means I often recognise them posted elsewhere (blogs, Reddit, Pinterest) usually without attribution.

In fact, by scrupulously redrawing everything yourself, you have a much better claim to not be doing this than most.
 

Orionblamblam

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I'm used to seeing my stuff pop up elsewhere. This one grated due to the nearly half-million views (now well over half a million). If even a tiny fraction of those viewers decided to take a look at my publications, then maybe I could afford to eat this week. Man, that "come and join the aerospace historian brigade" brochure really exaggerated when it described not only the financial remuneration but also the hordes of rampaging groupies.
 

hesham

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As an aside... a commenter on the YouTube video above claims: And I know more than a few people from Secret Projects Forum that have stories about Scott taking credit for other peoples work...

Has anyone actually heard such "stories?" If so, about what?
Of course no one as I know,

My dear Scott works from his own sources.
 

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Orionblamblam

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Leave a comment on the video on Youtube or submit a takedown notice.
I left a comment, directing the few people who'll see it over to where they can get the original illustrations. Not going to bother with a takedown notice. Wouldn't do *me* any good.
FYI: Several emails back and forth with the video creator later... it looks like someone else claimed my drawings were theirs, and the video creator got snookered. As a result of my Fabulous Social Skills and decision to not jump all over him, it looks like the video, or at least the description, will be revised to include attributions & links, and there is a distinct possibility of future collaborations on similar such projects.

See? It pays to be diplomatic, ya filthy animals!
 

aim9xray

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Make that "steely-eyed rocket man Youtube media rockstar".

Q: Do you know how to make a small fortune in Aerospace History?
A: Start with a large one.
 
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