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McDonnell-Douglas Hypersonic projects from the 60s and 70s

KJ_Lesnick

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Isn't the XLR-129 that incredibly powerful rocket that all it's tooling and drawings were destroyed after the fact that had an obscenely high chamber pressure?
 

flateric

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What for Sergey Brin invented Google?

"The Air Force has something called the XLR-129 – it’s in a book that one of the Pratt & Whitney
guys wrote that you can buy from the Society of Automotive Engineers library
. The XLR-129 had
about 580,000 pounds of thrust from a LOX-hydrogen engine and 3,500 psi chamber pressure.
It was fired 40 times without any overhaul, and it was brought up to full-power in about 3.5
months – whereas the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) took about 38 months to come up to
full-power.
This very same XLR-129 engine was donated to NASA when the Air Force got out of the space-
race. The plans, the engine, and everything related to it were destroyed, and the last sentence in
that chapter in Pratt’s book says, “NASA destroyed all of this because they didn’t want to
embarrass their present engine contractor.”

There are plenty declassified contractor's documentation on XLR-129 at http://stinet.dtic.mil/
 

airrocket

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I think would deserve to rest at 'Postwar Secret Projects' as they are not Aurora fantasies but actual concepts

They we're tech demo's not full on strike RECCE most would fly hypersonic for only a few minutes. Notice how large the inlets are sized compared to the rest of the vehicle. These vehicles had short range allowing just enough time to gather data on propulsion, TPS etc... MCD had a very well thought-out step-by-step progression for hypersonic development. Their lifting body/TOSS back booster MOL service plan was the most comprehensive TSTO VTOHL scheme I've ever seen. Based on high flight rate RLV’s it would be the prefect blueprint for a modern private enterprise LEO RLV CATS program. I would post pics however it is not mine to distribute publicly. Perhaps that information is out there buried in some old Air force DOD reports.
 

flateric

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flateric said:
MDAC XLR-129 powered hypersonic glider
Interesting that while quite recent Paul Czysz paper describes this photo as MD Astronautics hypersonic glide vehicle, Mark Wade's Astronautix identifies it as USAF/DARPA/General Dynamics/Martin Marietta HGV (Hypersonic Glide Vehicle). As I understand, BTW, only very lazy didn't work on HGVs in 1980s - Aurora book mentions classified Lockheed HGV as well.
Photo at Astronautix obviously was taken by Bill Sweetman during his visit to Air Force Association Show in 1987.
http://astronautix.com/craft/hgv.htm
 

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flateric

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Hmm...what do Mark Wade mean then?
Many thanks to Bill Sweetman for pointing out the existence of this project.
Bibliography and Further Reading
Sweetman. Bill, Interavia, "Review of Air Force Association Show", 9/23/87.
Way of my thoughts: a). Bill S. visits Air Force Association Show b). Bill S. sees this model c). Bill S. takes his camera
 

LowObservable

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Except that pic was taken in an office somewhere, not in the big convention-space beneath the Marriott in DC...
 

flateric

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Then I admit that I was wrong.
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19750018925_1975018925.pdf
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Hi All -

I've been scanning some McAir advanced concepts artwork from the Greater St. Louis Aviation Museum archives and some of the images match up to what Overscan posted on #36 and the referenced XLR-129 powered hypersonic. Thanks to Scott L for guiding me in the right direction and making the match up.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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quellish

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Mark Nankivil said:
Hi All -

I've been scanning some McAir advanced concepts artwork from the Greater St. Louis Aviation Museum archives and some of the images match up to what Overscan posted on #36 and the referenced XLR-129 powered hypersonic. Thanks to Scott L for guiding me in the right direction and making the match up.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Very cool! I am very interested in the aircraft in the first 2 images as one of the late Rutan RASCAL MIPPC vehicle designs was a nearly identical configuration. I've seen some of the previous posts that detail the aircraft and am very interested. Sadly, I have not re-found the images I had seen of this particular Rutan design, which was a significant divergence from the other public MPV concepts.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Thanks Mark!

Awesome find.

But a couple of questions.



Is the third picture related to PROJECT RHEINBERRY?


Picture 3 is what Bill Rose depicts as the "Aerospaceplane project from the early 70's". According to his book "SP: Military Space Technology", this was supposed to be a revival of Rheinberry using airbreathing propulsion.

(I'm not going to hate on Mr. Rose. While his books are informative, his info does sometimes seem a bit dubious. Canadian Arrow's SpaceShip One taking the X-Prize, anybody? And considering SP: M.S.T. didn't have a bibliography, you have to wonder.)

Also, could the plane in picture 4 be related to the beast at the start of this thread? :

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5512.0.html



Moonbat
 

flateric

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haaappyy daaay (singing) oh-la-la!!!
 

shockonlip

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I'll ditto that! Thanks for the post Mark!!

Love these hypersonic concepts!!
 

HyperTech

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You have mixed and matched several different projects from 1956 to 1972. NOTE None of the McDonnell Aircraft Engineering or McDonnell Missile Engineering Divisions ever designed a hypersonic wing-body glider except as a strawman to destroy. Bill Sweetman did NOT take the XLR-129 powered glider that is from the top of a file cabinet at McDonnell St. Louis, circa 1958. I'll have to make a note of the different pictures and tell you what they are. Included in your pictures are a USAF Mach 6 rocket accelerated SLBM interceptor launched from a C-5 circa 1974, a USAF Mach 4.5 turboramjet interceptor circa 1972, a USAF Mach 6 turboramjet interceptor circa 1972, a XLR-129 powered hypersonic glider with a 25,000 nautical mile glide range circa 1958 and others. If I can ever figure out how to paste pictures can give you a snapshot of the best hypersonic design team from 1956 to 1972, with Lockheed as a very close competitor.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Due to the forum having being hacked by uploading a malicous file disguised as a jpg image, we now require users make 5 posts before they have the ability to post a picture. You have only made 4 posts so far which is why you don't have this ability.

I have now manually given you the right to post images immediately.

You attach an image by clicking "Browse" button near "Attach" below the message entry box on a new post and selecting the image from your computer. To add more pictures click on (more attachments) next to the browse button to add multiple attachment lines.

Any image file format is OK, with the filesize up to 512kb. If the file is bigger than this, you can email it to me and I will resize and post it.
 

flateric

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HyperTech said:
Bill Sweetman did NOT take the XLR-129 powered glider that is from the top of a file cabinet at McDonnell St. Louis, circa 1958.
It was just my uneducated guess, sorry...
 

sferrin

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Orionblamblam said:
While digging through a hard drive for something else, I found these:
You need to dig through your hard drive more often. :)
 

Meteorit

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The third pic in Mark's post seems to have been taken in the same wind tunnel (maybe even around the same timefame) as the first picture here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6422.msg53388.html#msg53388, though they appear to be different designs.

I wonder if the mods could perhaps rearrange these threads (I think "Desert Dawn" agreed to it here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6422.msg53944.html#msg53944) (and maybe clean up the "aneutronic fusion" stuff ::) ).
 

shockonlip

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quellish said:
Mark Nankivil said:
Hi All -

I've been scanning some McAir advanced concepts artwork from the Greater St. Louis Aviation Museum archives and some of the images match up to what Overscan posted on #36 and the referenced XLR-129 powered hypersonic. Thanks to Scott L for guiding me in the right direction and making the match up.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Very cool! I am very interested in the aircraft in the first 2 images as one of the late Rutan RASCAL MIPPC vehicle designs was a nearly identical configuration. I've seen some of the previous posts that detail the aircraft and am very interested. Sadly, I have not re-found the images I had seen of this particular Rutan design, which was a significant divergence from the other public MPV concepts.
From a Paul Czysz paper in: "Scramjet Propulsion" (Cuirran and Murthy editors), Paul
discusses the McDD concept shown in the second picture:
"The resulting aircraft rather resembled the Canadian CF-106 Arrow (CF-105 actually) with very large inlets
and did not offer a significant research value with regard to fully integrated propulsion systems."

and then a little later - a very interesting observation - and RASCAL
was going in this direction, somewhat. Quoting Mr. Czysz again:

"All the afterburning turbojet/fans used in the HyFac study were conventional installations
where the airflow to the compressor increased in temperature and pressure. At about Mach
number 1.8, most compressors reach the point where the corrected speed for design efficiency
equals the machanical rotational speed limit of the compressor. At Mach numbers above this
point the mechanical speed is constant and the corrected compressor speed (N/sqrt(T/288K)
decreases. If there is a cryogenic heat exchange in the inlet between the inlet exit and
compressor entrance, then the temperature of the air entering the compressor can be kept at
that for best corrected speed, up to the Mach number limit where the heat exchanger can no
longer keep the temperature within limits. When such a turbojet is thermally integrated with a
rocket, there is no longer a transonic acceleration deficiency. This is not a classic definition of
a turbojet." I may also add, this is similar to what skylon is doing.

Were any these your possible RASCAL refs:
http://www.responsivespace.com/Papers/RS2%5CSESSION%20PAPERS%5CSESSION%208%5CLOPATA%5C8004P.pdf
http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/8372/1/AIAA-2005-3241.pdf
 

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

A few bits of McAir artwork to go along with some of the designs being discussed. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th images are similar to the USAF AMI Lockheed/McD-D design blend noted in Scott's hard drive find.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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Meteorit

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Thank you Mark for all these beautiful paintings (also on other threads). The first one in your post above was posted before in smaller resolution at http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg1492.html#msg1492, identified as a NASP design, which it is apparently not, as the paintings seem to be from the 1970's.

The second and third ones resemble the "Mach 4.5 GIUK gap interceptor" from the other thread http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,6422.msg54135.html#msg54135.
 

Mark Nankivil

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Thanks - I am pretty lucky to be able to scan and archive the museum's collection. The image file titles are the McD-D assigned number and the date which both are stamped on the back of the image. I need to as some point try and add to the file name the project or proposal info. That's for another time after a lot more scanning and archiving has been done :)

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

starviking

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Mark Nankivil said:
Hi All -

I've been scanning some McAir advanced concepts artwork from the Greater St. Louis Aviation Museum archives and some of the images match up to what Overscan posted on #36 and the referenced XLR-129 powered hypersonic. Thanks to Scott L for guiding me in the right direction and making the match up.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
Number 4 appeared in the Salamander book "Warplanes of the Future", IIRC
 

starviking

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Mark Nankivil said:
Greetings All -

A few bits of McAir artwork to go along with some of the designs being discussed. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th images are similar to the USAF AMI Lockheed/McD-D design blend noted in Scott's hard drive find.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
The 1st and 2nd image also appeared in "Warplanes of the Future".

Anyone got the book at hand to glean any info?
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Not as good as Archipeppe's handiwork, but I do what I can. Enjoy!

;)

PS- ZUJ for the McD TAV and Toss-Back concepts. W.I.P.
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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The Navy one, was that the Deck Launched interceptor I heard about before?
 

archipeppe

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Not as good as Archipeppe's handiwork, but I do what I can. Enjoy!

;)

PS- ZUJ for the McD TAV and Toss-Back concepts. W.I.P.
Ehi, they're really nice!!
What programme did you use to do them?

Anyway, they could eventually become a gooood source for some drawing of mine..... ;)
 

archipeppe

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Plain ol' AutoCAD.
Aha...the good old one.
I continue to use 2002 Release both in 2D and 3D as well.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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AutoCAD 2009.

You know,with these new drawings Mark unearthed, I will probably add to the drawing already seen.

Now to name some sources

My main source is this very thread you're reading. My thanks to everyone that's contributed on here.

Paul Czysz's interview, BEYOND AURORA, from the late lamented www.americanantigravity.com, was another good source. Still available for download here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1026001/Paul-Czysz-Hypersonic-Interview?autodown=pdf.

For my info on the HGV, I have to thank Andreas Parsch:
http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app4/hgv.html

And though I haven't finished them yet......

For the upcoming McD TAV, I'd like to thank the ever elusive Marcus Lindroos on behalf of the webarchive. MARCUS, WE MISS YOUR SITE DEARLY AND HOP YOU COME BACK:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070608073130/www.abo.fi/~mlindroo/SpaceLVs/Slides/sld057.htm

and for the Toss-Back Booster, look no further than our very own thread right here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4024.75.html

All good sources.

Thank you.

Moonbat
 

Meteorit

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Very nice Moonbat, though the side view of the GIUK gap interceptor still doesn't look quite right to my eyes ;)
Also, wasn't it just concluded that the "General Dynamics HGV from the 1980s" is actually a McDonnell XLR129 powered hypersonic glider from 1958! (And thus it seems there are no actual HGV images in the public domain?)
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Shockonlip,

"All the afterburning turbojet/fans used in the HyFac study were conventional installations
where the airflow to the compressor increased in temperature and pressure. At about Mach
number 1.8, most compressors reach the point where the corrected speed for design efficiency
equals the machanical rotational speed limit of the compressor. At Mach numbers above this
point the mechanical speed is constant and the corrected compressor speed (N/sqrt(T/288K)
decreases. If there is a cryogenic heat exchange in the inlet between the inlet exit and
compressor entrance, then the temperature of the air entering the compressor can be kept at
that for best corrected speed, up to the Mach number limit where the heat exchanger can no
longer keep the temperature within limits. When such a turbojet is thermally integrated with a
rocket, there is no longer a transonic acceleration deficiency. This is not a classic definition of
a turbojet." I may also add, this is similar to what skylon is doing.
So basically this is a conventional turbojet/turbofan that's actively cooled and coupled with a rocket? What mach numbers could they get to before they'd have to switch over to rocket?
 

quellish

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shockonlip said:
Were any these your possible RASCAL refs:
http://www.responsivespace.com/Papers/RS2%5CSESSION%20PAPERS%5CSESSION%208%5CLOPATA%5C8004P.pdf
http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/1853/8372/1/AIAA-2005-3241.pdf
Sadly, no. The configuration I'm looking for is nearly identical to the McD concept in this thread, but has a canopy with circular portholes like SpaceShipOne/WhiteKnight. In place of the centerline ramjet is the RASCAL ascent rocket.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Oh, that ever-elusive HGV! When will it end?

Meteorit, my friend, you're absoulutely right. So....

CONFUSION ITEM No. 1:

A:The HGV has never been publicly seen.
B: Prof. Czsyz did just say that the "Sweetman Model" isn't at all what it's purported to have been all these years. But instead a model from McD filing cabinet, ca. 1958.

Which means we've been misled since 1987 on that item. Either that or somebody dusted the model off and set it out for the 1987 AF Convention where Sweetman could see it. Disinformation perhaps.

I wonder what Bill Sweetman's thoughts are on this. We should find him and ask him.

I got something else thats been bothering me too.

CONFUSION ITEM No. 2:

Why did Bill Rose in SP: Military Space Technology, portray the Incremental Growth Vehicle (IGV) as Project ISINGLASS? It's the IGV. We've discussed it here on this forum before. Scott even posted the AWST article detailing it the other day.

Why is Bill Rose so convinced that the IGV is Project ISINGLASS? Is there more to this?
 

Orionblamblam

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Why did Bill Rose in SP: Military Space Technology, portray the Incremental Growth Vehicle (IGV) as Project ISINGLASS? It's the IGV. We've discussed it here on this forum before. Scott even posted the AWST article detailing it the other day.

Why is Bill Rose so convinced that the IGV is Project ISINGLASS? Is there more to this?
XP67_Moonbat said:
Picture 3 is what Bill Rose depicts as the "Aerospaceplane project from the early 70's". According to his book "SP: Military Space Technology", this was supposed to be a revival of Rheinberry using airbreathing propulsion.

(I'm not going to hate on Mr. Rose. While his books are informative, his info does sometimes seem a bit dubious. Canadian Arrow's SpaceShip One taking the X-Prize, anybody? And considering SP: M.S.T. didn't have a bibliography, you have to wonder.)
I pointed out this thread to Mr. Rose, who sent me this reply and authorized quoting him:

[quote author=Bill Rose]Firstly, the comments regarding the Canadian Arrow project details in MST
are a puzzle to me. My relatively brief entry was precise and completely
accurate and there is nothing dubious about the info, as suggested by the SP
member.

The Arrow represented the most ambitious proposal for a (recent) development
of the basic V-2 design, but the people behind this project finally dropped
out of the race. As you know, the honour of becoming the first private
citizen in space went to Mike Melville of Scaled Composites - which was
clearly stated in my book. There is nothing that says that the Canadian
Arrow took the X-Prize, as it obviously didn't!

Two things missing from MST were the credits, which were intended to go at
the start of the book, but didn't appear on the final printed copy (don't
ask me why) and a bibliography, which, to be honest, I don't regard as very
important.

Background information (for MST) came from many sources. I used numerous
reference books, which most of the more experienced forum members would be
familiar with. There were also publications like Spaceflight and various
aerospace magazines. The amount of material I studied can only be described
as substantial, with a lot of library special orders.

The bulk of the other background material was sourced directly from
contractors, agencies like NASA and the military. Finally, there are my
private contacts which are not for disclosure.

Roughly speaking, my budget for research was about double that of the
previous book.

The content, size and completion date for a book like MST will be specified
in the publisher's contract and all these factors can lead to things being
left out or changed at the editing stage.Unfortunately, with books and
magazine articles, there is never the option to go back and improve your
work. ...

MST was never going to be perfect. There are obvious gaps in the detail and
undoubtedly errors due to non-availability of certain information. Without
trying to state the obvious, I would also mention that there are times when
you find yourself brushing up against areas that are classified and this can
generate certain problems for any writer.

The book was written a couple of years ago and should it ever be updated, I
would make several minor changes, but in overall terms, I feel the content
is fairly solid and an honest attempt to outline the topic in a reasonably
interesting way.

The Isinglass drawings were most definitely not based on the IGV, despite
the similarity. Unfortunately there is a caption problem with these drawings
and I would now add additional information about the IGV, which I did not
have at the time.

Because of the reliability of my source for Isinglass, I think it is pretty
fair outline for the original proposal, although it is based on details
provided to me and the illustrations are to some extent speculative.

With a book like MST, information you've requested continues to arrive long
after the publisher's deadline. Last month I received documentation from
NASA in response to a long standing FOIA. ...

The same goes for McDonnell hypersonic vehicle projects, which were far more
extensive than I realised while writing the book. Now, I have some very
interesting info for future use.[/quote]
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Well good to see Mr Rose has cleared that up. I'll have to get a future edition.

For today I give you this. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: The dimensions on the TAV come from the webarchive of Marc Lindroos's old page. Starting with that as reference, I approximated the dimensions for Toss-Back Booster. As we've so far not seen solid unclassified info on the Toss-Back, I made a guess. Input from the forum is always welcome.

Moonbat
 

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