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McDonnell-Douglas Orient-Express

Antonio

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In the 90's exoatmosferic hypersonic airliners seemed near to enter production. 15 years before nobody talks about it. All that technology has been vanished after the NASP demonstrator program was cancelled?
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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Does anybody have lots of pictures of the McDonnell-Douglas Orient Express design that was conceived during the mid to late 1980's which was to carry 305 passengers and use LH2 for fuel for trans-pacific routes?

Does anybody have any statistics on the design, and/or what it's designations were?


KJ
 

Antonio

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KJ, I think I have some pics and I'll try to post it as soon as possible :)
 
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Lee

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KJ_Lesnick, quoted: "Does anybody have lots of pictures of the McDonnell-Douglas Orient Express design that was conceived during the mid to late 1980's which was to carry 305 passengers and use LH2 for fuel for trans-pacific routes?
Does anybody have any statistics on the design, and/or what it's designations were?"

All I could find definitive was the National Aerospace Place (NASP) filled the bill for what you described. That would have been the 80's design in the time frame you mentioned.
NASP pictures and specifications are still available from several sources, but the JSTOR British archival service indicated in an article preview or abstract that NASP was what was to be envisioned as the Orient Express.
 

flateric

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President Reagan announced the [NASP] project in his 1986 State of the Union message, calling for development of "...a new Orient Express that could, by the end of the next decade, take off from Dulles Airport and accelerate up to twenty-five times the speed of sound, attaining low earth orbit or flying to Tokyo within two hours...".

Czysz: Well when Scott Crossfield, Gus Wyss, and myself were sitting over at the aerospace club in Washington DC, we put together a chart for Sandy McDonnell that talked about the demonstator that we were proposing for the Air Force – this came well before Copper Canyon ever started. Now at Mach 6, it could carry about 40 people, a Mach 7 capability to carry military goods, and it could be used as a demonstrator to show that with the right equipment – a rocket boost inside of it plus the air-breathing engine – we could get it to orbital speed.
Now we weren’t going to take it into orbit – we were going to take it up to nearly orbital speed and then glide around back on the other side. So a full-sized version of this would fly at Mach 4.5 across the Pacific. So we were sitting there talking about what this concept, and that’s when Scotty came up with the name “Orient Express”….so that’s where that name originally came from.

I remember a series of MDC produced promotional drawings of 'Orient Express' hypersonic liner, pushed after Reagan speech in late 80s, that looks well alike MDC NASP designs, but can't find any as my HDD went to the Walhalla.

"As the prominent contractor in the consortium during the late eighties, McDonnell Douglas Corporation (or MACDAC, in the biz) cranked out a series of full-page magazine ads, brochures, and official-looking reports about its proposed "X-30" experimental plane-"forerunner of the Orient Express."
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-11009293.html

"Orient Express--the nickname the industry uses for the hypersonic, high-altitude transport that would serve the Pacific market-- couldn't use expendable rockets; they'd be too expensive."..."Says Roger Schaufele, leader of McDonnell Douglas's Orient Express research effort, "Foreign competition is a very serious issue for the U.S. commercial transport manufacturing business. Our market share has continued to shrink in recent years, and we can look forward to more and more serious competition in the future.'
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1511/is_v7/ai_4081551/print
 

Antonio

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http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,181.0.html

Isn't that MD-2001 on Reply#14 related to Orient Express?
 
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Lee

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pometablava, quoted: "Isn't that MD-2001 on Reply#14 related to Orient Express?
Yeah, that's the general external design of the late 80s NASP. The later scramjet demonstrator(X-43A) accelerated by the Pegasus launch vehicle looked slightly different, having the engine unit area-ruled-mounted amidships and particularly a 2 dimensional blunt nose.

flateric's description comes from Aurora and Beyond, a 13pp .PDf available from 'Americanantigravity' by GOOGLing the title and I also agree with the interviewed author of the article, Paul Czysz. I consider it highly likely there are aerodynamic devices in existence that make the SR-71 Blackbird flying look like a real 'oxcart' being pull by team of oxen.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Lee,

The X-30/NASP and Orient-Express aren't exactly the same thing. The X-30 was a proof-of-concept LH2-powered spaceplane which would be used to develop the NASP, the replacement to the Space-Shuttle -- The Orient-Express was a nickname for a McDonnell-Douglas LH2 or LCH4-powered hypersonic trans-pacific aircraft-design that was largely pitched at Northwest Airlines. Reagan's speech-writer apparently mixed the two of them up.

pometablava,
Yeah I think that's it, the MD-2001.


Does anybody have any specs, statistics on the design?
 

flateric

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From NASA Ames collection
Art by McDonnell Douglas National Aerospace Plane (NASP) Md Donnell Douglas MD-2001 (artist: Horonzak)
 

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Lee

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KJ, quoted: "...Reagan's speech-writer apparently mixed the two of them up."

I didn't hear that about Reagan's speech writer. Politics being *politics*, I'm not surprised. I would expect someone like them(politicians) to leverage a civilian design to give it military capability and employ people in the process. Good for *politics*, regardless of party. Cost isn't exactly a factor to the military. It isn't really their money, anyway.




KJ: "pometablava,
Yeah I think that's it, the MD-2001."

That's exactly what it is. The same exact artwork is rendered on the NTRS site as a .PDF that I got the following report from. flateric is right about that.





KJ: "Does anybody have any specs, statistics on the design?"

There isn't a lot available, but I did find this:
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19940020603_1994020603.pdf
59 pp.
This paper goes into only one design and uses a particular type of computational software package to achieve results. It does, however, include a fair number of physical dimensions and weights, so it's better than nothing. It's just not the same as the first RBCC + scramjet design.


Here's a wide-ranging treatment of both air breathing and rocket SSTOs using software written for that purpose:
http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA453934
Variables include engine type, fuels used, nozzle type, and of course: planform, which will be evident after viewing the file in its entirety.

BTW, another paper I saw briefly had in the abstract that a TSTO was later seriously considered as possibly more feasible because CFD routines came up with insufficient thrust at very high speeds and very high altitudes.
I kind of liked the GTX with JP-4 at takeoff and in the ramjets with only H2/O2 for orbital insertion. Smaller vehicle that way.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Lee,

To the best of my knowledge it was due to the speech-writer. Whether deliberate or by accident I don't know, but either's possible.

The MD-2001 is the Orient Express, you're right. Slick-looking jet. Any idea regarding
-Roughly how long the plane is?
-What it's wingspan is?
-What kind of engines it used (turboramjet, TBCC, RBCC?)
-Any idea what it's takeoff or landing speeds would have been?

Also, it was Mach 4.5 capable? Mach 5 capable or Mach 10 capable since I've heard all of 'em. Just to clarify.
 

Matej

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This is the way, how the Orient Express should look like. This concept is not directly NASP related, its civil passanger version, so probably the thing, that you are looking for. I will try to find the PDF from which this illustration originate, but it is horrible work :-/
 

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flateric

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Guys, you are talking of paper airplane, even more, ad airplane.
 
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Lee

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flateric, quoted: "Guys, you are talking of paper airplane, even more, ad airplane."

Possibly both. 2 generalized 'Web pages devoted to the NASP/X-30:

http://www.fas.org/irp/mystery/nasp.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/x30.htm

There were certainly drawing board designs concerning the NASP, but when the Gov't pulled funding for the programs, companies lost interest and usually destroyed the data and drawings---with one exception: The Staraker HLHL(Horizontal Launch, Horizontal Land) SSTO launch vehicle was discontinued by the company that started the study, but a son of an original engineer on the project still have plenty of plans for it because the company doesn't care. They quit support it and don't think it's economically viable. This information was gleaned from www.space-talk.com (a competing 'Web blog site devoted to aerospace and astronomical issues exclusively).
If someone has detailed plans, I'll give a hunch that they have them at home in the attic. NASA has some information on NTRS and STINET, but not much that's publically viewable. What they have locked up or squirrelled away in a back room is anyone's guess.

KJ asked what the size and speed of the NASP was.
Like Paul Czysz indicated in his hypersonic interview, and I imply here, that depends on your intended application. Particular engines are available that require certain fuels and that will determine how fast it will go and how big it'll be. Czysz generally implied, and I state in an offhand way here, for something like an F-15 application for Mach 5 would have to be the weight of the F-111 and maybe a little larger than that. A 2-3 man B-58 application might have to be the weight and wing area of a B747. In that size range, mostly. I used different analogies for my examples, just so you know
As for the NASP, to me, logic would dictate a smaller craft like the X-43A would be good for starters and after they got that design down right, scale it up to something 10-15 times the weight and see if it flies just as well.
 

airrocket

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NASP grew out of the Copper Canyon project. I think Copper Canyon had a more realistic objectives and overall better management. NASP was doomed from the start as had it been successful it would have resulted in massive layoffs at NASA. And poised a threat to the politically entrenched Shuttle support infrastructure. Which remains intact for the most part today and far into future.
 
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Lee

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airrocket,
You might be correct in what you say, since these guys also say pretty much the same thing:

http://projectaces.proboards33.com/index.cgi?board=XP&action=display&thread=1092171602

I like many of the things written by the 2 correspondants in the blog page above. Clearly, scramjets will require extremely large, heavy intakes or a very heavy active airframe cooling system to be effective as an SSTO.
Still, Paul Czysz said in his hypersonic interview, Aurora speed Mach 6-8 aircraft had been built(highly classified) and he was told about it by telephone at about 3 in the morning by a man who claimed to be standing next to the plane at the time.
 

starviking

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Lee said:
There were certainly drawing board designs concerning the NASP, but when the Gov't pulled funding for the programs, companies lost interest and usually destroyed the data and drawings---with one exception: The Staraker HLHL(Horizontal Launch, Horizontal Land) SSTO launch vehicle was discontinued by the company that started the study, but a son of an original engineer on the project still have plenty of plans for it because the company doesn't care. They quit support it and don't think it's economically viable. This information was gleaned from www.space-talk.com (a competing 'Web blog site devoted to aerospace and astronomical issues exclusively).

Marcus Lindroos' excellent space pages, before they went down, had a piece on the Rockwell Starraker. It was earlier than the NASP, a HLHL SSTO that had a 100 ton payload. It was designed in the mid-70's era of solar power stations.

Starviking
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Lee said:
I like many of the things written by the 2 correspondants in the blog page above. Clearly, scramjets will require extremely large, heavy intakes or a very heavy active airframe cooling system to be effective as an SSTO.
Still, Paul Czysz said in his hypersonic interview, Aurora speed Mach 6-8 aircraft had been built(highly classified) and he was told about it by telephone at about 3 in the morning by a man who claimed to be standing next to the plane at the time.


How is it that Scramjets would require a heavy inlet structure and active cooling? They wouldn't have to slow the air as much as a ramjet.
 

Orionblamblam

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KJ_Lesnick said:
How is it that Scramjets would require a heavy inlet structure and active cooling? They wouldn't have to slow the air as much as a ramjet.

A ramjet goes no faster than Mach 5 or so. A scramjet for an SSTO must go Mach *25.* That's five times faster... with 25 times (5 squared) the dynamic pressure, not to mention the aerothermal heating. As well, in order to make useful levels of thrust about 200,000 feet, your inlet needs to have *huge* capture area.

So: Large + Nuked + Slammed = Heavy.
 
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Lee

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starviking, quoted: "Marcus Lindroos' excellent space pages, before they went down, had a piece on the Rockwell Starraker. It was earlier than the NASP, a HLHL SSTO that had a 100 ton payload. It was designed in the mid-70's era of solar power stations."

I was looking for that 'Web site. Now I know what happened after I copied off the parts most pertinent to me. You're right, starviking, he had a terrific site.
As for Starraker, I complained on a competing board(space-talk.com) that HTHL SSTO's were limited in payload by merely that they took off horizontally. Vertical takeoff eliminates fuel weight on runways; horizontal landings are easier to manage without fuel and oxidizer. That's my 2 cents on the subject.

Orionblamblam has just posted the same implication I made above: huge capture area(combined with drag) = lots of weight. I second the motion.





KJ, quoted: "How is it Scramjets would require a heavy inlet structure..."

Air at 180,000--250,000 ft is so thin, even at Mach 18-22, the intakes have to be immense and high in drag to be effective. Too much drag, in fact. Not to mention weight. Research engineers reached that in computations and I remember it very well. It was a bubble-bursting show stopper. Only by active cooling could H2 fuel be heated enough to increase speed, but only about Mach 17 or so max. Another show stopper. They quit serious consideration of scramjets for a while after that. The X-43A came along, but I haven't kept up with it. The last test wasn't exceeding successful, as I recall. Moderately successful is more like it.




KJ: "..and active cooling?"

Skin temperature on either ascent and descent usually requires active cooling. The Space Shuttle is one noteable exception, but it's heavily insulated as well. Active cooling might weight less then passive, insulated designs, but I haven't researched it with all the new technology that's often kept in the dark by manufacturers and the Gov't.
 

flateric

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This can give an rough idea of X-30, configuration a202, dimensions
 

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Lee

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flateric, quoted: "This can give an rough idea of X-30, configuration a202, dimensions"

Is that the plane or the engine nacelle?
 

flateric

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It's the Sverdrup report on 'final' NASP configuration ground equipment clearance, so it's the FULL airframe inscribed in these dimensions.
As final configuration is 'classified' that's all they could show.
 

flateric

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Oh, looks nice, but in fact you could try this - this is more close to the real stuff, (especially the second one), than this FI drawing based on AWST cover.
 

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Lee

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Okay, now I see. The NASP you show is from the mid- or late-80's. More recent university AIAA competition(held every year) designs look substantially different according to differing views as to possible aerodynamic efficiency and CAD software available or employed in the research process.
 

flateric

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There was just one NASP that I know that went to grave ca.1994. This is semi-final design (OK, final design is classified) from ca.1992. What the connection between university AIAA competitions and this, quite specific, program?
 
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Lee

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flateric, quoted: "What the connection between university AIAA competitions and this, quite specific, program?"

Only that someone at NASA might find an aspact of a particular design worth incorporating into a program he or she is working on. NASA routinely archives academic papers for whatever reason they deem important. This is a long-standing tradition.
There isn't any real connection between the two, except maybe by coincidence.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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flateric,

That drawing of the X-30 with the sharper nose seems to make a lot of sense. Definitely more practical than the blunt-nosed drawings that were publically-released. Interestingly Paul Czysz had mentioned something like that in one of his articles about the X-30 having a sharp nose.

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how accurate some of the things he says are, but he definetly does know a great deal.


Kendra
 

airrocket

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Scramjet is just one cycle of a RBCC. Scramjet to orbital velocity is 1950's stuff. M12 is max practical limit then switch back to rocket cycle. RBCC (ejector rocket) is the propulsion of choice (ejector rocket, ram,scram, rocket) RBCC. Inlets are not heavy because in 2D inlet spatula nose X-30 design the lower body is the inlet. Recent 3D inward inlets also light weight as round inlet is stronger than 2D channel inlets and requires less structual support. The spatula nose is 2D shape actually less draggy than pointed 3D nose. Spatula nose is clever way to add internal volume without adding much structural weight or drag.
 

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airrocket

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To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how accurate some of the things he says are, but he definetly does know a great deal.

Paul is "spot on"!
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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airrocket,

Does the spatula-nosed waverider behave better at low-speed as well as high-speed in terms of L/D-ratio and takeoff/landing-speed?

By the way, what exactly is a RBCC? The most common definition seems to be a ramjet/scramjet that utilizes a rocket in the cycle in some stages for boost into space and for low-speed (produces thrust and the rocket in the duct has the effect of drawing air through the duct).

I've heard more elaborate designs, though, which were labled as RBCC's that actually uses an expansion-turbine (cryogenic gas like LH2 or LCH4) located in an auxiliary duct above the ramjet/scramjet-duct. It compressed the air, and then fed the compressed air and vaporized fuel into the rocket nozzle in combination with varying amounts of LOx. Although this strikes me as some kind of turbojet/rocket, ramjet-scramjet mix.

How efficient is a typical RBCC in the low-speed/rocket-mode?


Kendra
BTW: What does a "recent 3D-inward inlet" look like out of curiousity?
 

airrocket

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Yes spatula nose is a better way to add internal volume. Such as with LH2, triple point or slush LH2. If the design does not require additional volume then pointed nose is best. There are many other benefits associated with spatula nose.

RBCC Rocket Based Combined Cycle or TBCC which is Turbine Based Combined Cycle. Many combo's are possible. RBCC as in "Ejector rocket" is very efficient at lower speeds as it utilizes entrained air (air breather with thrust at zero velocity) to boost thrust up to M2 or so then switch to ram mode to M5-7 then to scram mode to M12 then pure rocket (inlets closed) mode to orbit. TBCC is a cruiser, RBCC is best for quick acceleration to LEO. Many ways to squeeze more thrust at hypersonic speeds especially with LH2.

Hypersonics one must utilize the entire vehicle as an energy conversion/transmitter even the heat around the vehicle, fuel and exhaust can be utilized.

3D inward compression inlets are based on the old Busemann inlet concept. The concept has been revised and modified (Fred Billig and Sannu Molder) with streamline tracing and CFD techniques to yield a very light weight dedicated (no moving ramps) efficient inlet with less wetted area. Identified by the notched (sugar scoop) inlet cowl. So the X-30 and Aurora 2D inlets are somewhat dated nowadays. However the physics involved in the designs are still valid.
See BlackSwift:
http://www.botjunkie.com/2007/12/14/video-friday-falcon-htv-3x-blackswift-unmanned-strike-bomber/
 

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KJ_Lesnick

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airrocket said:
Yes spatula nose is a better way to add internal volume. Such as with LH2, triple point or slush LH2. If the design does not require additional volume then pointed nose is best. There are many other benefits associated with spatula nose.

I thought you said spatula noses (2D) produce less drag as well? Or are you talking about low-speed?

RBCC Rocket Based Combined Cycle or TBCC which is Turbine Based Combined Cycle. Many combo's are possible. RBCC as in "Ejector rocket" is very efficient at lower speeds as it utilizes entrained air (air breather with thrust at zero velocity) to boost thrust up to M2 or so then switch to ram mode to M5-7 then to scram mode to M12 then pure rocket (inlets closed) mode to orbit. TBCC is a cruiser, RBCC is best for quick acceleration to LEO. Many ways to squeeze more thrust at hypersonic speeds especially with LH2.

An ejector rocket basically uses a rocket in the duct such that as exhaust blasts out of the nozzle, it then pulls extra air through the duct which enhances combustion effects and possibly even allows some ramjet use? Or are you talking about the one with the expansion-turbine like I was talking about earlier?

How efficient would you say one of these RBCC systems are?


Hypersonics one must utilize the entire vehicle as an energy conversion/transmitter even the heat around the vehicle, fuel and exhaust can be utilized.

Actually that's not entirely true. However for speeds over Mach 6, and high aerodynamic and propulsive efficiency, it does become extremely practical.


3D inward compression inlets are based on the old Busemann inlet concept. The concept has been revised and modified (Fred Billig and Sannu Molder) with streamline tracing and CFD techniques to yield a very light weight dedicated (no moving ramps) efficient inlet with less wetted area. Identified by the notched (sugar scoop) inlet cowl. So the X-30 and Aurora 2D inlets are somewhat dated nowadays. However the physics involved in the designs are still valid.

I didn't think any good hypersonic wave-rider designs required any significant amount of movable ramp-area...
 
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Lee

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KJ, quoted: "How efficient would you say one of these RBCC systems are?

Composite Engines for Application to a Single-Stage-to-Orbit Vehicle
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19760006115_1976006115.pdf
104 pp. (Takes a while to load and run on this computer, at least.)

In terms of speed, I think Mach 8 was as fast as Marquardt thought some of these design versions would go. Even at that speed, no air-breathing would be terribly efficient, but these are pretty good. Very large, though.




Hypersonics one must utilize the entire vehicle as an energy conversion/transmitter even the heat around the vehicle, fuel and exhaust can be utilized.

KJ: "Actually that's not entirely true. However for speeds over Mach 6, and high aerodynamic and propulsive efficiency, it does become extremely practical."

Marquardt's designs should be practical at those high velocities. Testing, if it's ever funded, would logically be done on a smaller scale than those drawing board versions above.




KJ: "I didn't think any good hypersonic wave-rider designs required any significant amount of movable ramp-area..."

There are patents that feature moving inlet ramp scramjets, but whether they're any good or not is open to debate.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Lee said:
In terms of speed, I think Mach 8 was as fast as Marquardt thought some of these design versions would go. Even at that speed, no air-breathing would be terribly efficient, but these are pretty good. Very large, though.

Those designs use compressors in the design and not just a rocket -- turborockets. I've been told such designs are about as efficient as a 1960's era military turbofan.


Marquardt's designs should be practical at those high velocities. Testing, if it's ever funded, would logically be done on a smaller scale than those drawing board versions above.

Of course, you always test small, then scale up and if you can get the money, build it and all goes well, you build a prototype.


There are patents that feature moving inlet ramp scramjets, but whether they're any good or not is open to debate.

Yeah, it would seem that if designed right most if not all of the work would be done by the fixed-geometry compression ramp. Any moving ramps, if necessary only, would be located inside the inlet-boxes.


Kendra
 
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Lee

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KJ_Lesnick said:
Lee said:
In terms of speed, I think Mach 8 was as fast as Marquardt thought some of these design versions would go. Even at that speed, no air-breathing would be terribly efficient, but these are pretty good. Very large, though.

KJ_Lesnick, quoted: "Those designs use compressors in the design and not just a rocket -- turborockets. I've been told such designs are about as efficient as a 1960's era military turbofan."

I would agree, particularly for that time period.
However, as a point of discussion, a design similar to the Marquardt unit could have been installed in the GTX SSTO and the H2/O2 fuel/oxidizer weight possibly increased instead of scramjets. I think the SERJ was at least as good as any scramjet.





Marquardt's designs should be practical at those high velocities. Testing, if it's ever funded, would logically be done on a smaller scale than those drawing board versions above.

KJ_Lesnick: "Of course, you always test small, then scale up and if you can get the money, build it and all goes well, you build a prototype."

Sure. You have logic. But that's not what the Govt wanted with the 60's SST. The design could have been perfected on a smaller scale or disproven then with less cost. They didn't think of that then, though.





There are patents that feature moving inlet ramp scramjets, but whether they're any good or not is open to debate.

KJ_Lesnick: "Yeah, it would seem that if designed right most if not all of the work would be done by the fixed-geometry compression ramp. Any moving ramps, if necessary only, would be located inside the inlet-boxes."

I think using fixed geometry ramps are cheaper if one resets them after each test. The ultimate idea, I believe, is to test a prototype flight computer by having it go through different speeds and altitudes to test the whole air intake system as well as overall engine performance.


Kendra
 
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