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Navy inflatable, ram-jet powered Ox-cart proposal?

jstar

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Anyone have any information or drawings of the US Navy proposal for a balloon launched, ram-jet powered, inflatable rubber recon aircraft, as part of the project that led to the A-12/SR-71?
 

Michel Van

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never heard about this

only i know is that US Navy in 1960s

Tested small inflatable rubber aircraft
for Navy pilot how bail out over Enemy territory

the idea that it could be used by the military as a rescue plane to be dropped
in a hardened container behind enemy lines
after landing the Pilot on fold and inflate It and take of back home...
like this

is this was you looking for ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyear_Inflatoplane
 

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flateric

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jstar said:
Anyone have any information or drawings of the US Navy proposal for a balloon launched, ram-jet powered, inflatable rubber recon aircraft, as part of the project that led to the A-12/SR-71?

Still classified. I think that some have bits of info on it, but it would be rather good material for possible, far future publication, than throwing it here.

Michel Van - there are a good documentary of Goodyear inflatable projects from the Discovery Channel Strange Planes Series, episode name is Rubber Planes. jstar, in his turn, looking for *ramjet* powered SR-71 contender, inflatable and launched from the giant balloon, that hardly can be on the photo that you've posted (when will you learn to use attachment?)

Go to the http://www.foia.cia.gov/a12oxcart.asp, and read A-12 project story.
 

Michel Van

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*ramjet* powered SR-71 contender, inflatable and launched from the giant balloon

one moment, this is a REAL classified C.I.A. Program !?

for the Goodyear Plane, my mistake sorry
i always beliefed this
"*ramjet* powered SR-71 contender, inflatable and launched from the giant balloon"
is a Internet myth :-\


but
this "Aircraft" can only fly subsonic with rubber skin...
or is the inflatable rubber part for the Balloon ?

flateric said:
Michel Van ... (when will you learn to use attachment?)
Go to the http://www.foia.cia.gov/a12oxcart.asp, and read A-12 project story.

did i forgot url /url part again ? :(
thanks for the Link Flateric
 

flateric

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Following extended discussions with Bissell on the subject of a supersonic successor to the U-2, Lockheed's Kelly Johnson began designing an aircraft that would cruise at Mach 3.0 at altitudes above 90,000 feet. On 23 July 1958, Johnson presented his new high-speed concept to Land's advisory committee, which expressed interested in the approach he was taking. At the same meeting, Navy representatives presented a concept for a high-altitude reconnaissance vehicle that examined the possibility of developing a ramjet-powered, inflatable, rubber vehicle that would be lifted to altitude by a balloon and then be propelled by a rocket to a speed where the ramjets could produce thrust. Richard Bissell asked Johnson to evaluate this concept, and three weeks later, after receiving more details from the Navy representatives, Kelly Johnson made some quick calculations that showed that the design was impractical because the balloon would have to be a mile in diameter to lift the vehicle , which in turn would need a wing surface greater than one-seventh of an acre to carry the payload. (Clarence L. Johnson, "Development of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird", Studies in Intelligence 26 (Summer 1982) :4 (U): Johnson, "Archangel Log" 23 July 1958, 14 August 1958.)

Damn rubber aircraft could fly into orbit in dreams of GoodYear designers - look at that inflatible lifting body military spaceplane concept.
 

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Michel Van

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OK they can build a inflatable, rubber supersonic airplane

but why ?
stealth true rubber ?
or put folding in Small box in Aircraft carrier ?

don't tell me, this design is from GoodYear ???
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
Following extended discussions with Bissell on the subject of a supersonic successor to the U-2, Lockheed's Kelly Johnson began designing an aircraft that would cruise at Mach 3.0 at altitudes above 90,000 feet. On 23 July 1958, Johnson presented his new high-speed concept to Land's advisory committee, which expressed interested in the approach he was taking. At the same meeting, Navy representatives presented a concept for a high-altitude reconnaissance vehicle that examined the possibility of developing a ramjet-powered, inflatable, rubber vehicle that would be lifted to altitude by a balloon and then be propelled by a rocket to a speed where the ramjets could produce thrust. Richard Bissell asked Johnson to evaluate this concept, and three weeks later, after receiving more details from the Navy representatives, Kelly Johnson made some quick calculations that showed that the design was impractical because the balloon would have to be a mile in diameter to lift the vehicle , which in turn would need a wing surface greater than one-seventh of an acre to carry the payload. (Clarence L. Johnson, "Development of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird", Studies in Intelligence 26 (Summer 1982) :4 (U): Johnson, "Archangel Log" 23 July 1958, 14 August 1958.)

Damn rubber aircraft could fly into orbit in dreams of GoodYear designers - look at that inflatible lifting body military spaceplane concept.

You forgot the best part, "That's a hell of a lot of hot air." ;D
 

LowObservable

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The really, really interesting thing about this project is that everything we know about it is (essentially) everything we knew about it 25 years ago when the existence of the A-12 was officially declassified.
 

flateric

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Perhaps, it's so classified because...egrh...it was such a shame.
 

sferrin

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flateric said:
Perhaps, it's so classified because...egrh...it was such a shame.

I don't know, I've seen some pretty absurd ideas out there. ;)
 

amsci99

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Michel Van said:
never heard about this

only i know is that US Navy in 1960s

Tested small inflatable rubber aircraft
for Navy pilot how bail out over Enemy territory

the idea that it could be used by the military as a rescue plane to be dropped
in a hardened container behind enemy lines
after landing the Pilot on fold and inflate It and take of back home...
like this

is this was you looking for ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodyear_Inflatoplane

On another note, there was an article on the Goodyear Inflatoplane in the April 96 (I hope I remember this correctly) issue of the US magazine, 'Kitplanes' for those who are interested.
 

dickie

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According to the Wikipedia article on KINGFISH, there was a second inflatable entry entered by Boeing? Or am I not reading that correctly...
 

Orionblamblam

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*Might* be related. Convair designs, 1958, for a US Navy manned satellite with an inflatable re-entry configuration.
 

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dickie

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thanks, according to paul crickmore's blackbird book, a lot of people were thinking about inflatable stuff around that time and not much came from any of it. :p
 

Skybolt

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Well, if can make an inflatable shell surviving reentry, probaby you can do the same for sustaining Mach 3 for some amount of time.
 

shockonlip

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Some of Leik Myrabo's Lightcraft designs use structures that
resemble inflatable structures, due to the need of very efficient structures. See his book:
"Lightcraft Flight Handbook LTI-20: Hypersonic Flight Transport for an Era Beyond Oil."

Very interesting reading!

Also I recall a mention., in that book, with refs, of a previous proposal for an inflatable
rescue pod or suit from orbit back to earth.

A cool design project would be a suit for personal reentry. With a parachute for decel.,
leading to a deployment of a jetpack from Martin Aircraft (actually a turbofan exoskeleton
you fit into). Starship troopers here we come! I'll take an Invader Suit please !!
 

Grey Havoc

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shockonlip said:
Also I recall a mention., in that book, with refs, of a previous proposal for an inflatable
rescue pod or suit from orbit back to earth.

A cool design project would be a suit for personal reentry. With a parachute for decel.,
leading to a deployment of a jetpack from Martin Aircraft (actually a turbofan exoskeleton
you fit into). Starship troopers here we come! I'll take an Invader Suit please !!

I'd probably prefer a drop pod myself. ;D
 

royabulgaf

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don't tell me, this design is from GoodYear


Nah, Trojan ;)

But seriously, folks- I wonder if these inflatable supersonic aircraft studies were the source of the "giant stealth blimp" rumors.
 

Clioman

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Re: Project Champion, a Navy inflatable, ram-jet powered Ox-cart proposal?

There's as much coverage as anywhere in Paul Suhler's From Rainbow to Gusto (AIAA, 2009) on pp.103-106. The Project Champion proposal was apparently submitted by Goodyear in the summer of 1958; Kelly Johnson was asked to make an analysis of the concept that August. Getting the thing aloft via (huge) balloon was one thought. Another was to tow it to 80,000 ft. with a 'mother' airplane, and the third was to use a low-thrust rocket booster. Johnson concluded that an inflatable wing and tail surfaces could not be built and pressurized for the speeds and altitudes proposed, and that a metal surface could be built for 80% of the inflatable wing's weight for the same mission profile. It simply wasn't doable, or worth doing. Suhler's text includes 3-views of the proposed mother and the vehicle itself, along w/sketches from Johnson's notebook. Here's the vehicle 3-view:
 

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Orionblamblam

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Clioman

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Scott, have been meaning to give you a big "attaboy" for reworking Suhler's imagery. Why AIAA didn't go the extra mile and make them available on CD is a mystery. They had done for so for earlier titles along this line...
 

Orionblamblam

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Clioman said:
Scott, have been meaning to give you a big "attaboy" for reworking Suhler's imagery. Why AIAA didn't go the extra mile and make them available on CD is a mystery. They had done for so for earlier titles along this line...

I hesitate to give away the details, but the drawings essentially came from two sources: Lockheed, and a private collection. Neither source wanted public redistribution of the images beyond the illustrations in the book; I got special dispensation for the Lockheed released drawings for the explicit purpose of redrawing them and *not* releasing them in any other way. The other drawing source would not permit even that, so I redrew where possible from the book illustrations... with a few text-based bits of advice for the fuzzy bits.

So, AIAA went as far as they had permission to go. They did release a whole bucket of other stuff as a download, just not the drawings.

As I said, at some point in the nearish future there will be some news regarding all this.
 

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Orionblamblam said:
Clioman said:
Scott, have been meaning to give you a big "attaboy" for reworking Suhler's imagery. Why AIAA didn't go the extra mile and make them available on CD is a mystery. They had done for so for earlier titles along this line...

I hesitate to give away the details, but the drawings essentially came from two sources: Lockheed, and a private collection. Neither source wanted public redistribution of the images beyond the illustrations in the book; I got special dispensation for the Lockheed released drawings for the explicit purpose of redrawing them and *not* releasing them in any other way. The other drawing source would not permit even that, so I redrew where possible from the book illustrations... with a few text-based bits of advice for the fuzzy bits.

So, AIAA went as far as they had permission to go. They did release a whole bucket of other stuff as a download, just not the drawings.

As I said, at some point in the nearish future there will be some news regarding all this.

Just out of curiosity, why do you think that Lockheed is unwilling to have 50 year old drawings related to a retired airplane published - just a reflex by the legal staff?
 

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taildragger said:
Just out of curiosity, why do you think that Lockheed is unwilling to have 50 year old drawings related to a retired airplane published - just a reflex by the legal staff?

I guess the conspirationist mind in us all would like to think that there must be something still worthwhile and relevant for today's technology in those old designs, but I'm more of the idea that it's simply a reflex from the legal staff, or maybe an over-cautious attitude for fear of doing wrong...
 

Orionblamblam

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My *guess* is that it's simply a matter of wanting to control their "intellectual property." Note that Lockheed didn't mind posting detailed drawings of the Super Hustler online; they just did so in *their* way.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
I guess the conspirationist mind in us all would like to think that there must be something still worthwhile and relevant for today's technology in those old designs, but I'm more of the idea that it's simply a reflex from the legal staff, or maybe an over-cautious attitude for fear of doing wrong...

Orionblamblam said:
My *guess* is that it's simply a matter of wanting to control their "intellectual property." Note that Lockheed didn't mind posting detailed drawings of the Super Hustler online; they just did so in *their* way.


Alternative, but less likely explanation: some sort of relationship to some of the concepts studied back in the '80's during the early part of the SDI for airborne sensor platforms.
 
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Grey Havoc said:
Alternative, but less likely explanation: some sort of relationship to some of the concepts studied back in the '80's during the early part of the SDI for airborne sensor platforms.
And Per Lindstrand consulted on some of those, but I couldnt coax more details out of him....
 

Orionblamblam

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Grey Havoc said:
Alternative, but less likely explanation: some sort of relationship to some of the concepts studied back in the '80's during the early part of the SDI for airborne sensor platforms.

*Substantially* less likely. It is *extremely* unlikely that any of these designs would have been recycled decades later for some wholly different purpose, as they were designed to fit specific roles, using technologies that would be outdates in the 80's. Their general performance characteristics - go real, real fast in a straight line for a limited duration - would have been wholly at odds with an airborne missile-detecting platform.
 
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