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National AeroSpace Plane (X-30)

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Penwal X-30 concept model

I bought several X-30 concepts from a Pratt & Whitney engineer and this is a duplicate. As a part of a five-company team, Pratt & Whitney pursued propulsion technologies for the National Aerospace Plane (NASP); the prototype aircraft was designated X-30. This model was made sometime in the 1980’s by Penwal, one of the companies founded by Topping Models alumni (Walt Hyatt with Jerry Pennington) after Topping’s closing in 1965. It is in excellent shape, with the tiniest bit of yellowing that should clean up nicely with Novus #2 cleaner/polish (although I would just leave it). But there are no chips, breaks, dings, scrapes, flakes, or any other flaws anywhere. Never broken, never repaired--it’s in excellent condition. The fuselage is just over 16” long and the wingspan is 4 inches. The model is made of a solid, heavy and hard injection-molded material and is exceptionally well finished. There are red and blue markings running the length of the fuselage and up the vertical stabilizer. The cockpit windows are gray, the nose is black. Small American flags mark the left wing and each side of the stabilizer. The words “United States of America” run along both sides of the fuselage. The model sits firmly on the stand via two deep pins but is easily removed. The like-new base is a richly finished custom wood faceted triangle with black Plexiglas upright. There is a small Pratt & Whitney eagle logo on it, and a gold nameplate with “X-30 National Aerospace Plane” printed in black. Underneath is a mint label bearing Penwal’s name, logo, and Chino address.The three original protective felt dots are like new. Model will be fastidiously packed with insurance and tracking included.
 

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DSE

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flateric

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DSE, thanks for these rarities
 

DSE

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flateric said:
DSE, thanks for these rarities
You're welcome. I was doing some cleaning up and came across these. I'd even forgotten I had the HYTEST brochure.
 

flateric

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Six Copper Canyon/NASP tunnel entries were completed in the 16’TT between 1984 and 1993. Hypersonic technology development in the 16’TT actually started prior to the NASP program with an air breathing launch vehicle study in 1974 and continued up to facility shutdown in 2004 with nine Pegasus/X-43 entries.
The photograph shows a front view of one of the early Copper Canyon NASP configurations mounted in the 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel. The configuration was a winged cone (forebody/truncated cone (afterbody) with a ring of air-breathing supersonic combustion ramjets (or scramjets) completely circling the body.
http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/16-Foot_Transonic_Tunnel
 

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DSE

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flateric said:
Six Copper Canyon/NASP tunnel entries were completed in the 16’TT between 1984 and 1993. Hypersonic technology development in the 16’TT actually started prior to the NASP program with an air breathing launch vehicle study in 1974 and continued up to facility shutdown in 2004 with nine Pegasus/X-43 entries.
Hmmm, not sure why they stopped with the history at that point. The final test was also related to hypersonic airbreathing propulsion. The NASP 5B powered model was retested to get vehicle nozzle data to verify the methods being to predict the aftbody performance for the ISTAR vehicle in the transonic regime. Predicting where the overexpanded engine flow shocks back up to ambient is a tough problem especially when doing less than full up hi-res 3-D CFD during configuration development studies. In some cases the simpler methods didn't even get the sense of the pitching moment correct.
 

DSE

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DSE said:
Hmmm, not sure why they stopped with the history at that point. The final test was also related to hypersonic airbreathing propulsion. The NASP 5B powered model was retested to get vehicle nozzle data to verify the methods being to predict the aftbody performance for the ISTAR vehicle in the transonic regime. Predicting where the overexpanded engine flow shocks back up to ambient is a tough problem especially when doing less than full up hi-res 3-D CFD during configuration development studies. In some cases the simpler methods didn't even get the sense of the pitching moment correct.
Well, I'm wrong. I guess the NGLT mention was this last test. Note that ISTAR was also the rbcc variant of X-43B. Ugly newspaper clipping:
 

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flateric

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I just wonder how funny Boeing's 'Conical Accelerator' NASP configuration would look resting on its - quite trickily designed I assume - landing gears.
 

shockonlip

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flateric said:
I just wonder how funny Boeing's 'Conical Accelerator' NASP configuration would look resting on its - quite trickily designed I assume - landing gears.
The government baseline?

I don't think I've ever seen it with landing gear.
 

flateric

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nope
that one in Langley WT
other clues are
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg44404.html#msg44404
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5238.msg41501.html#msg41501
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg2636.html#msg2636

According to Hypersonic Revolution Vol.III by Larry Schweikart -

Two Boeing design studies were completed, one was 'winged body', so-called government baseline, i.e. scaled-up duPont design, so basically all published illustrations if refered to this study is not far away from truth.
Later Boenig shifted to Langley-promoted (sic!) conical accelerator, but entered a serious problems as result was VERY long vehicle with myriad stability/engine control problems. Boeing was downselected from competition.
 

quellish

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The original du Pont design had no landing gear:
"To save weight, duPont’s concept had no landing gear. It lacked reserves of fuel; it was to reach orbit by burning its last drops. Once there it could not execute a controlled deorbit, for it lacked maneuvering rockets as well as fuel and oxidizer for them. DuPont also made no provision for a reserve of weight to accommodate normal increases during development."

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg33427.html#msg33427
 

DSE

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quellish said:
The original du Pont design had no landing gear:
"To save weight, duPont’s concept had no landing gear. It lacked reserves of fuel; it was to reach orbit by burning its last drops. Once there it could not execute a controlled deorbit, for it lacked maneuvering rockets as well as fuel and oxidizer for them. DuPont also made no provision for a reserve of weight to accommodate normal increases during development."
More humorous was the contention that one engine design had "no moving parts." It was the "airframe" surface that moved. I can't remember if that was the duPont or Billig design.
 

DSE

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flateric said:
I just wonder how funny Boeing's 'Conical Accelerator' NASP configuration would look resting on its - quite trickily designed I assume - landing gears.
How much different would this had been than DC-X?
 

flateric

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Well, duPont baseline 3-view in last edition of Jay Miller's 'X-Planes' (source unknown, labelled among with two other drawings in collage - last ones are definitely from official papers - as 'from Armand Chaput collection) - has some fimsy landing gear wheels position shown (say, MLG struts should be too high and dangerously close to fuselage CM counting vehicle shape and weight of powerplant).
 

flateric

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DSE said:
How much different would this had been than DC-X?
Delta Clipper was a honest Heinlein-style VTVL rrrocket from my childhood books, and bad things happen to her when she tried to laid in its back (the thing what Conical Accelerator NASP should have done repeatedly in standart mode) ;)
 

mz

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Maybe you would have had much less trim problems with the conical accelerator design.

Everybody interested in NASP should read the book listed by flateric, it's freely available online.

Well, basically anybody interested in large government programs.
 

shockonlip

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flateric said:
nope
that one in Langley WT
other clues are
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg44404.html#msg44404
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5238.msg41501.html#msg41501
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,250.msg2636.html#msg2636

According to Hypersonic Revolution Vol.III by Larry Schweikart -

Two Boeing design studies were completed, one was 'winged body', so-called government baseline, i.e. scaled-up duPont design, so basically all published illustrations if refered to this study is not far away from truth.
Later Boenig shifted to Langley-promoted (sic!) conical accelerator, but entered a serious problems as result was VERY long vehicle with myriad stability/engine control problems. Boeing was downselected from competition.
OK I thought after I posted that you may have meant that escape
capsule design vehicle. That design looks like it may block some of the
inlet flow on the top of the vehicle at positive angles of attack.
Not sure how serious that design was or whether it was just something
to show to work out the escape capsule idea.

Flateric, there have been A LOT of conical hypersonic vehicles
that have been analyzed.

Besides the ones you mentioned, a few more that come to mind:
- Tony Ferri's famous conical design he proposed with thermal compression
and held up by his GASL guys during NASP as something to look at.
- At least two (maybe a few more) from Republic that I have that are not
in a good enough form to share.
- NASA Langley's RBCC Generic Accelerator Wind Tunnel model that Bill Escher
talks about in some of his RBCC papers.
- Bill Escher's Synerjet
- USAF cone shaped vehicle in Sweetman's Aurora book shown taking off (concept).
It's like from USAF XD Dept. or something like that, at Wright Patterson.

I'm sure there are many more.

I agree it would be nice to know what the actual NASP contractor proposals
were, but when I read "Hypersonic Revolution", first, it's like a program
management book, not a technical book, and the feeling I'm left with
is that nobody knew what to build and that there was a lot of posturing.

To build this bird you don't throw billions at it, make an impossible goal,
and give it to airframe and engine companies who don't believe in it because
the textbook on how to do it isn't on their shelves. You give some resources
to the guys that are passionate about it and have done the work on it up to
that point. You assign an airframe and engine contractor to offer advice. But
basically get out of the f----- way! Would you have gone SSTO? Probably not,
but you would have gotten to mid-teens Mach with a few research vehicles.
And that would have been AWESOME !!
 

shockonlip

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I do have some interest in this, but find the size of the verticals to
be a bit excessive.
 

flateric

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sincere thanks for this!
 

Stargazer2006

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Dronte said:
the HALO (High Altitude Launching Option) proposed by Lockheed and dedicated to a preliminary exploration of the aerodynamic concepts implied in the X-30.
It was projected to be an airship of 17.7 meters that would be thrown by a SR-71 modified and it would reach speeds from Mach 10-12 to a altitude of 44200 meters.
Just a thought: could this HALO be related to the one that was supposed to be a secret British stealth aircraft in the 1990s? Here is an article found online and especially translated for this post:

The HALO

The HALO (High Altitude, Low Observable) is said to be a secret aircraft of triangular shape tested in United Kingdom skies. Rumours have it that the HALO is an unmanned prototype that might prefigure the next generation of stealth reconnaissance aircraft and play down the technology of the F-117A and the B-2 bomber. The HALO may be supersonic and fly to speeds up to 3000 mph. It is said to be developed at British Aerospace's Warton, Lancashire, facility.

The HALO has already been mentioned several times in British press. The January 5, 1997 edition of the Sunday Mirror reported: « Rumours about a possible British stealth aircraft by the name of HALO (High Altitude, Low Observable) have suddenly gained more credibility when a Lancashire photographer accidentally took a picture of one of those aircraft while he was busy shooting landscapes. The triangular aircraft mysteriously appeared on one of his pictures. "The strangest thing about it is how silent the aircraft is", said the photographer, who prefered to remain anonymous ».

Ufologist McAndrew explains that « hundreds of triangular UFOs have been spotted in England, especially over Lancashire. ». Such sightings were so numerous that the UFO received the nickname « Silent Vulcan ».

« Witnesses describe a 30-ft triangular silvery object, with no visible wings or engines » McAndrew said. « Others have observed these UFOs escorted by two Tornado jets ». The objects flies like nothing else. It can stop to a standstill then pass by and rush away at alarming speed. ».

The United Kingdom possesses numerous airbases capable of hosting and testing such aircraft. From 1992 to 1994, £100 million were spent on developing stealth technology in England. This included, for instance, the building of a Research & Development Complex in Warton in 1995. Researchers generally consider that the following two airbases are involved in stealth projects:

RAF MACRIHANISH - It is located at the top of the Kintyre peninsula on the west coast of Scotland, and was previously used by U.S. SEALS. In the 1980s, some F-117s were tested on that base. The alleged Aurora is said to use this base in Europe.

RAF WEST FREUGH - Also located on the west coast of Scotland, this could be host to the HALO aircraft.

Source of the article is disputable since it is a French website devoted to UFO sightings. Also the translation being done from the French (which itself relied heavily on initial English language material) I do not guarantee that the quotes included are word-for-word equivalents of the originals.

Source: http://quelquechosedansleciel.wordpress.com/plasma-springs/
(also in PDF form)
 

flateric

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Stargazer2006 said:
Just a thought: could this HALO be related to the one that was supposed to be a secret British stealth aircraft in the 1990s?
no way
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Funny you should mention the HALO concept. I was just thinking about that the other day. I used to have the PM article on it waaaay back when. Don't know what happened to it. My folks tossed out a lot of stuff after I left for the service.
 

ozmosis

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Funny you should mention the HALO concept. I was just thinking about that the other day. I used to have the PM article on it waaaay back when. Don't know what happened to it. My folks tossed out a lot of stuff after I left for the service.
Popular Mechanics - January 1993 - First Scramjet Could Piggyback On Blackbird
 

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and a conical incarnation, uhmmm Gov't Baseline, cica 1980. Thanks to sferrin for jogging the addled brain matter.
 

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sferrin

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Oh yeah, add "X-30" to the list.
 

flateric

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it's not 'conical', it's Government baseline derived vehicle, no?
 

DSE

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flateric said:
it's not 'conical', it's Government baseline derived vehicle, no?
Been a long two weeks. I believe you are correct as this image is circa 1980. My bad.
 
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