NAA MHTV-3 Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle ("X-15D")

Orionblamblam

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This painting is shown with some regularity, but I've never seen any hard data on it. Anybody have any leads?

Note: higher rez version of this image, and a dubious drawing, on my blog:
http://up-ship.com/blog/
 

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SOC

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I THINK that this design was part of the evolution leading to the delta-wing X-15 variant that was cancelled.
 

Orionblamblam

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That seems unlikely to me. The delta winged X-15 was a straightforward development of the existing craft; but this thing bears no relationship to the X-15 at all, so far as I can see.
 

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The delta-winged X-15 was to have been built out of the third aircraft, but those plans changed when it crashed. The Hypersonic Revolution: Volume 1 claims that the idea behind the delta-winged X-15 grew out of studies for a hypersonic cruise research vehicle. Your image may have been one of those studies, that's what I was thinking. I have that massive X-15: The NASA Mission Reports book around here somewhere, I'll see if it has anything. I'm assuming you looked in Jay Miller's book and found nothing.
 

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If it's not an actual X-15 variant, maybe it is a design related to either of these:

http://www.geocities.com/xplanes2000/L301.html

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x15lect/impli.html

The second link is interesting: "Integrated into the lower surface is a research scramjet engine sized to paver the airplane in cruise...Later, a delta-winged version using the same subsystems would be flown."

The more I think about it the more I am sure that I have seen this image before. Tomorrow I'll have a look around and see if I can find where I've seen it before.
 

archipeppe

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The only thing that, barely, resembles an X15 is the cockpit shape.
But I think that is a completely brand new vehicle, considering that the general configuration diverges a lot from the original X15 shape.

Perhaps is a NAA proposal of mid-end '60s about some hypersonic vehicle, maybe it could be a contender of the Lockheed-Martin Marietta X24C for the NHFRF proposal....
 

archipeppe

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Anyway, thanks to the rough 3 views there is in Scott's unwanted blog, I elaborated this drawing about this (possible) X 15 successor.
I still belive that it could really be some competitor of X24C of early 70's.

Nothing really in common with the original X15, only the manufacturer and some know-how acquired in the previous programme.
By an architectural point of view the two aircrafts are completely different except for some "family resemblance" but nothing more....
 

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If this is indeed an NAA project, it could be NA-250. The X-15 was NA-240, and I can't find anything for NA-250. And it figures, the place I saw the image was in fact in Jay Miller's X-Planes book, and it was no help at all.
 

DACguy

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Hello,

Today is my first day on on the BB and I am excited to be able to shed a bit of light on this particular subject, one which has been an area of fascination for me since I was a kid. Like the rest of you, The Rendering was the only link I had to this very interesting X-15 follow-on project and like you, I wanted to know more about it! Fast forward to the present where I now find myself working at Boeing who, by coincidence, happens to own all of the NAA-Rockwell technical library and I now have access to that store of knowledge via the computer sitting on my desk! ;D

So I have found the proposal for this aircraft, complete with many sheets of plans (yes!) but, I do not have the authority to release this information and I would like to keep my job! However, I can release some images of the 3D model I built based on that report...

The first image shows one big reason why I won't be posting the contents of the report here, it is ITAR controlled.

I can however post some facts & figures along with comments on the FP kit configuration. Also, if the members would like to ask specific questions about the contents I may be able to answer some of them.

The first thing that I should make clear is that this project had nothing to do with the X-15, except for being a method of achieving even greater speeds (M8) and that it came from the same factory. The actual project name is MHTV-III or Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle - 3. What were versions "1" & "2"? I don't know but would be interested to find out!

The drawing that Scott L. has is the actual configuration of the craft but it apparently is missing one detail, the rocket engine on the tail. Along with the SCRAM jet engines, the MHTV also had a single LR-91-AJ-13 engine of 100,000 pounds thrust mounted at the base of the tail (see attachments). It has a fairly extended expansion nozzle which I believe should have been visible in the NAA rendering that we are familiar with (but it was omitted for some reason). The SCRAM jets featured fixed geometry inlets and the total launch weight was to be 93,690 lb. The MHTV was equipped with two-wheeled nose gear and skids for the main gear (just like the gear on the X-15).

The report doesn't really show exterior markings other than those seen in The Rendering so we are left to our own opinions as to what they might have been. The MHTV was to be equipped with drop tanks which look to be nearly identical (I haven't actually compared them myself) to those carried by the X15A-2 so my model features a similar high-visibility scheme for them. The aircraft was to be launched from the NASA B-52 mother ships (ouch! A BIG payload that doesn't leave much room between it and the ground...) and it did feature variable-droop wing tips, just like those seen on the XB-70. My model includes hinge bullets for these tips which is a feature that I believe the actual vehicle would have had but they are not shown in the report versions of the plans. The report also shows a tail just like that of the FP kit but I believe that they would have used the typical hypersonic wedge like that used on the X-15. The fin is shown in the report with square tips at the top, not rounded as they appear to be in the FP kit. Another very minor point is that the canards have a slight curve to the leading edge, the FP kit appears to have a straight leading edge. This is not to slight the kit in any way, just to indicate differences between it and the version in the report for those who are interested in such things. The computer model seen here has been embellished with a few other textural details not found on the plans such as the treatment of the rear firewall with corrugated panels and over-board dump vents. Otherwise, my 3D version is straight from the drawings in the report.

Also, I realize that my model is not up to the standard of those created by others on this site but these renderings serve to illustrate the configuration details. I hope to be getting a more powerful computer that will allow for the creation of more realistic renderings in the future but for now these will have to do. Enjoy!

Phil
 

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Orionblamblam

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Two questions right up front:
1: Is a three-view available??
2: What were the dimensions?

I'd love to know how far off I was on the model. So I can go bash my head against the wall a few dozen times.
 

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X-15 SERJ model with Marquardt engineers (source unknown).
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Topic renamed in light on new information received.

Its possible MHTV-1 and -2 could refer to existing designs - MHTV-1 might be the X-15 itself for instance.
 

DACguy

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Hi Scott,

No need to beat yourself up, the FP kit looks really great! Any changes from new data would be relatively minor (except for the rear bulkhead & rocket engine). The kit is fantastic, specially when one considers how little information was available!

I've decided that although I cannot publish the actual report or plans, I can publish my own "plans" which you can then make your own judgment about their "accuracy" (wink, wink, nudge, nudge...). Give me a few days to tr, er, "prepare" them.

It should be noted that this was only a "preliminary" proposal which, if it had been accepted, would have then spawned a true engineering proposal and that is when the wind tunnel work would have begun. Only then would the flight configuration begin to emerge. What is contained in the report and is represented by The Rendering is nothing more than an engineering "sketch" or "estimate".

Phil
 

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Welcome to the site Phil !!

Thanks very much for your post !!

Finally !! Some Info on this design !!

Also looking forward to your plans !

Scott, the model is AWESOME and based on what we knew. So
no big deal.

AWESOME !!
 

DACguy

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BTW,

I forgot to mention that I also have the proposal for the "orbital" X-15. The same restrictions apply but I might be able to post "my own" plans if there is interest. It was to be launched on top of a Saturn 1 with an SIV (not SIVB) as the orbital propulsion module! Cool for days!

Anyway, just wanted to mention that one too.

Phil
 

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I'm with Scott !

Another question:

Hey Phil, can you look for info on these old Republic hypersonic designs:

Republic Aviation Corp. (RAC) Reports related to single-stage-to-orbit studies, 1961-62:
RAC 430,
RAC 730,
RAC 1306.

The above were a footnote in one of the papers in the following AGARD proceedings:
AGARD CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS No.428
Aerodynamics of Hypersonic Lifting Vehicles
Papers presented and Discussions held at the Fluid Dynamics Panel Symposium in
Bristol, United Kingdom. 6-9 April 1987

The specific paper the footnote appeared in was:
HYPERSONIC AIRBREATHING PROPULSION: EVOLUTION AD OPPORTUNITIES
by
P. J. WAtrup
The Johns Hopkins University
Applied Physics Laboratory
 

DACguy

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Thanks guys!

Unfortunately Boeing does not have the Republic files, I wish that they did.

If I could get the ITAR restrictions removed and authorization for public release of these two reports, I would do it but anyone who has worked in a huge corporation like this knows that the last thing that you will ever find is somebody to sign their name to such a release. Everybody covers their butts by just saying "no". Poor Tony Butler tried to get copies of some of the early Douglas efforts on bombers for his "American Secret Projects" book (and Pat in the DAC history office had found some cool stuff for him like flying wings, etc.) but when the drawings got to the Security Dept. (just one of the many Dept.s that must review such requests) they said "no". Reason why? Because the drawings had "Secret" stamped on them! 1944 drawings! Heaven knows we don't want those Nazis to get our "secret" plans!! Thank the stars that we have the good folks in Security looking after our best interests. ::)

It is extremely frustrating having to deal with the "tiny minds" in these cases, as Scott and many many others here can no doubt attest. I will create some drawings of those subjects that I can and post them as time permits.

Phil
 

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DACguy said:
...
Also, if the members would like to ask specific questions about the contents I may be able to answer some of them.
...

Thanks!
So your model shows what looks like a bulge or fairing in the side of the aircraft, almost like a
conformal fuel tank fairing, especially in the front view, yet the color image we have all seen for
so long doesn't show that. Is that bulge on your model intentional or a shadow?

Thanks!
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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DACGuy, I am not sure it is wise to have this conversation in public. Therefore I have moved the discussion to "Private Discussion" which is visible to Senior Members only.
 

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overscan said:
Topic renamed in light on new information received.

Its possible MHTV-1 and -2 could refer to existing designs - MHTV-1 might be the X-15 itself for instance.

That's an interesting idea overscan, so I decided to do a search in a few of the normal places.

I started with a search of "Hypersonic Revolution". I wasn't able to find it in several attempts.
However I did find a few matches as follows:

From pubkuc sources:


MATCH 1 - Found In/At:
----------------------
NASA Research and Technology Operating Plan Summary
Fiscal Year 1973 Research and Technology Program
Publication Year: 1972
Document ID: 19730004251
Accession Number: 73N12978
Report/Patent Number: NASA-TM-X-68856
Updated/Added to NTRS: Feb 26, 2010

What was found:
---------------
W73-70025 501 -22-06
Flight Research Center, Edwards. Calif.
HYPERSONIC VEHICLE STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGY
Andrew E. \lano 805-258-331 1
The program will attempt to experimentally validate
significant hypersonic-vehicle structural concepts and investigate
flight-loads measuring techniques for these structural concepts
as they apply to the MHTV.



MATCH 2 - Found In/At:
----------------------
AIAA Paper No: 67-780
IMPACT OF FUTURE AERONAUTICAL VEHICLES ON DEVELOPMENT TEST FACILITY PLANNING
Lockheed-California Company
Burbank, Gulifornia

What was found:
---------------
"A third area in which continued improvement
in test capability is required is that influencing
the development of future hypersonic aircraft.
Figure 12 shows the flight envelope of two representative
hypersonic vehicles, an aerodynamically
maneuverable lifting entry spacecraft and the
manned hypersonic test vehicle (MHTV)." ...



MATCH 3 - Found In/At:
----------------------
"DTIC Online" Search:
7.No data available
...

Collection: U.S. Air Force
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/space/books/spires/notes.pdf - 2.506 MB - 20 AUG 2010

What was found in that .pdf
---------------------------
"Notes
Introduction. The Dawn of the Space Age"
...
62 . The remaining programs listed are:
Lifting Body Re-entry Vehicle, Manned
Hypersonic Test Vehicle, Manned Maneuverable
Spacecraft, Strategic Earth Orbiting
Base, Space Logistic Support System,
...



MATCH 4 - Found In/At:
----------------------
http://abbreviations.yourdictionary.com/mhtv

What was found (MCDonnell reference?):
--------------------------------------
MHTV
Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle (MCD)
Acronyms, Initialism & Abbreviations Dictionary. Copyright 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

DACguy

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Hi Everybody,

The shape seen on the side of my rendering is not a conformal tank, it is just the shadow of the drop tank. It does look like a tank though!

I worked feverishly to get this drawing ready for the weekend so I hope everybody enjoys it. The layout is proportioned for an 11x17 print. Now you know what the NAA MHTV-3 was supposed to look like. Have a good weekend and if you'd like to talk to me in person, you'll find me showing people around at the Yanks Aircraft Museum at Chino (CA) Saturday between 11:00 & 4:00.

Enjoy!

Phil
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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McDonnell MHTV

index.php

index.php
 

shockonlip

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overscan said:
The Lockheed article from AIAA doesn't really shed much light on anything.

Hi Overscan, I am not sure if "MHTV" was a program name or a general term.
Some of what I saw looks like there is a real program name.

But the Lockheed words: "manned hypersonic test vehicle" are not capitalized
like for a specific program, but they then wrote (MHTV) right after it !
So they could have been prepping facilities for a real program. We still aren't
sure.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.105.html

Daniel Brewers "Hydrogen Aircraft Technology" page 255 describes the Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle (MHTV) that proceeded design work on the MHCV. This aircraft appears to have been designed/developed as a scramjet powered aircraft, with an initial variant incorporating an Aerojet LR-87 for early development flights. It was to be air launched from a B-52 and obtain Mach 6.

It has the same name as the title of Paul Czysz charts at the beginning of the thread.
 

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overscan said:
McDonnell MHTV
...

Good one Overscan !!

I totally forgot those McDonnell pages !!

I knew I had seen this term somewhere! You found it !!
 

shockonlip

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DACguy said:
Hi Everybody,

The shape seen on the side of my rendering is not a conformal tank, it is just the shadow of the drop tank. It does look like a tank though!

I worked feverishly to get this drawing ready for the weekend so I everybody enjoys it. Enjoy!
...
Phil

Thanks Phil for the answer and also your work on the drawing!
Looks GREAT !!
 

shockonlip

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overscan said:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.105.html

Daniel Brewers "Hydrogen Aircraft Technology" page 255 describes the Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle (MHTV) that proceeded design work on the MHCV. This aircraft appears to have been designed/developed as a scramjet powered aircraft, with an initial variant incorporating an Aerojet LR-87 for early development flights. It was to be air launched from a B-52 and obtain Mach 6.

It has the same name as the title of Paul Czysz charts at the beginning of the thread.

Thanks Overscan.
I have Brewers book, I'm going to read that section again tonight. maybe that's where I remember it from.

Let's discuss a little when I finish reading.
 

shockonlip

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overscan said:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2867.105.html

Daniel Brewers "Hydrogen Aircraft Technology" page 255 describes the Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle (MHTV) that proceeded design work on the MHCV. This aircraft appears to have been designed/developed as a scramjet powered aircraft, with an initial variant incorporating an Aerojet LR-87 for early development flights. It was to be air launched from a B-52 and obtain Mach 6.

It has the same name as the title of Paul Czysz charts at the beginning of the thread.

Hi. So I have reviewed the sections of Brewer. I now think the 1967 Lockheed quote we were discussing earlier is
related to the term MHTV as used in Lockheed, because Brewer's H2 book that you quoted, references footnote 20
in the "Hypersonic Aircraft" chapter. That footnote refers to an article Brewer did for "Lockheed Horizons"
issue no. 4, Q1 1966, emtitled: "Manned Hypersonic Vehicles" (the famous "hypersonic" issue or issue with the HCV
(Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle) on the cover). There is a section in that quarterly Lockheed California Company magazine entitled:
"Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle" that says similar things to what Brwer said in his later 1991 book you quoted.
An important phrase that keeps coming up is: "using the techniques developed for the X-15 research aircraft".
Also Mach 12 is mentioned.

The MCDonnell pages you showed say Manned Hypersonic test Vehicle Study (U) [for Unclassified]
Submitted under contract no. AF 18(600)-2751 (I'm not sure about the 8). I don't see a date.

Phil's MHTV-3 stuff from North American is dated 1968.

So we have MHTV's from Lockheed, McDonnell (not sure of the date) and North American where Lockheed and
North American are discussing MHTV in the later 1960's (1966-1968).

And we have a McDonnell AF contract number.

So seems like if MHTV is just a popular term, that it is adopted in at least 4 aerospace concerns including NASA
(the NASA quote from my earlier search).

So sounds to me like there may be other MHTVs from other companies from around the same period.

I would bet Republic had one. Probably others too.
 

Orionblamblam

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Keep in mind, "Manned Hypersonic Test Vehicle" is just about as generic and descriptive a label as you can get. So it could well be that a bunch of companies had MHTV concepts, all to different requirements over a span of years, all unrelated.
 

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Could be a generic term yes, I said that above, but in reality they would be very similar in purpose,
namely, develop a winning manned hypersonic test vehicle bid. Or, develop a MHTV for a company
funded R&D effort to develop the technology to be able to successfully bid the next contract that
needed such technology. Lockheed has a history of such things. Maybe that Rene Francllon bump
in the night was a MHTV !
 
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