Secret winged spacecraft projects


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8 October 2008
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Greetings: Those interested may wish to acquire my three articles in Quest The History of Spaceflight Quarterly; secret boost-glider projects of the Cold War in the 2006 issues, Martin-Bell Alternate 1958 Dyna Soar I studies revealed for the first time, in the first 2008 Quest issue, and current issue presenting the Orbital X-15A & B vehicle proposals. It's my area of greatest interest and knowledge, although Pole, Vaulters, Alaska Aircraft Salvage, and the Alaska Hawks articles appeared in previous issues of Air Enthusiast are credited to me. I also write for AAHS Journal ( Charlie Forty Six history, Canadensis in Alaska). My large collection of boost-glider projects material is now paying off in a first book manuscript concerning Bell's secret boost-glider projects instigated by Dr. Dorny, and their Dyna Soar gliders that competed against Boeing for the DS contract.

Second book will focus upon detailed Boeing DS I and later vehicles. So far, my quite large collection where declassified DS I, II, and II, project material is concerned, reveals many details not known to numerous authors, including R. Godwin who wrote a Dyna Soar book. There was a modified Lunar Dyna Soar vehicle for circumlunar flypast and return, another simply wicked looking Dyna Soar design not originating in Boeing design offcies, and a double-Dyna Soar twin glider specifically designed for a flight to Mars! Shades of von Braun? Yea, verily, and shucks readers, others aso applied boost-glider designes for Martian expeditions too.

Is there a way to acquire the French Magazine article concerning Dyna Soar? I'll learn French whatever it takes.

Also, for the individual wondering about satellite interceptors, be advised that there were two competing and parallel projects involving sat inspector/killer vehicles.

Saint I; robotic weapon carrying inspector and possible killer sat. I have only one file proposal.

Saint II; piloted winged and updated boost-gloider or lifting-body type vehicle designed to perform Saint I's tasks. However, an undated, unidentified but Saint Project mimo-report describes Saint and invited "lenticular-shaped re-entry" vehicles qualifying for USAF consideration. See NASA Langley NIX or GRIN imagery and see model of Bell's "modified lenticular re-entry" vehicle that Bell engineered for the Saint Specs, There is a top view of the model, and a wind-tunnel photo of a test model, both displaying butterfly style fin-rudders. Bell's design was a 2-man glider. Sooo, there be you; enjoy some fascinating insights into such projects except Saint, by checking out the cited articles Im Quest; you will be surprised and pleased. Good day.
Dave - nice to have you here.
Hullo and thank you for the welcome.

Concerning Bell's System 118P, not NAA's but the Bell study. Should interested parties read the Martin-Bell alternate DS I studies back in 1958 in the QUEST Vol 15, #1, 2008, a few facts on 118 Papa emerge, but a puzzling aspect as well. The APR's editor and myself, possess photos of an aircraft, not the boost-glider. To explain; 118 Papa may have been (may have because the USAF DD 613 File Card describing the project's parameters to contractors, is not available. I reference in my alternate DS I design studies from a previous Bell MX-2276 BoMi Report, that USAF approached Bell, and requested a specific and extremely short study contract be performed for what they called WS 118P, and further, that Bell apply analytical methods to apply their BoMi and Brass Bell research to create an advanced vehicle and the words used were...boost-glider.

Many Brass Bell aka H-Fi Recce, and 118 Papa Docs, that is company reports are still classified today. This is what...53 years after the fact! I conclude that 118 Papa was either a two-part or split contract, the first a "higher, faster, farther," intra-atmospheric and super high-speed reconnaissance aircraft, and the other part of the study was an actual boost-glider study. In either case, it appears to me that the intra-atmospheric bird may have faded, but...readers may remember the original Bell XP-59 Airacomet jet fighter project, that was not only highly classified but also, their XP-59 twin-boom pusher fighter was applied as a classification cover for the jet fighter Airacomet. Why even bother with the intra-atmospheric bird when BoMi/Brass Bell research was actually progressing quite well, and bled over and into the next study. RoBo.

The cover story for Airacomet was indeed necessary, because next door to the Bell briefing room where progress meetings, and photos and films were shown, was the Russian Military Mission. And the cover and classification did indeed, fully cover the the first jet fighter on this side of the pondwithout that mission's spies discovering it! In early 1944., when the Airacomet made newspapers, magazine articles, etc., the Russian Colonel or General in charge of the mission scolded Larry Bell, telling Larry, that he was "supposed to know everything that occurred within the company." Talk about Brass Gonads. Anyway, utilizing this dual-project study if that is the reason for it, effectively covers the elusive 118 Papa boost-glider, I'm still looking to see.

Further. many documents concerning Brass Bell and 118 Papa gliders are still unavailable to us silly-vilian researchers but are indeed, available to qualified U.S. DoD personnel to peruse. Having once worked with one leg within the "wilderness of mirrors," handling their material, the only reason for continued classification of such material is that a cross between Bomi-Brass Bell possibly formed the basis for an advanced reconnaissance glider. This is high speculation but possbily spot-on as you folks might say, at a time when no rocket booster existed, so the few birds that may have been constructed were air-launched from perhaps a gutted ex "featherweight" reconn B-36 Mom-ship. Yes, there are some Bell drawings showing a converted B-36 with a huge area of the bomb-bay missing, and probably, the area round that huge open space was strengthened along the spine, so a boost-glider and a strap-on booster could be attached, ala X-1. I believe that instead, a heavy pylon ala X-15 and Dyna Soar was attached to the starboard wing between fuselage and inboard engine, and walla attach existing strap-together booster rockets to the glider, and one may reach sub-orbital flight.

This is just speculation, but perhaps the sharper individuals reading this site can see the logic and physical possibility here. Sometimes, this is beyond fun!

This probably more than enough blabbing about boost-gliders for now.

Have a good day.
Hi Dave,

Do you have a link where we might be able to se all of this goodness.


To Moonbat and others who enjoy historic of exotic space projectry. Having worked for several Defense Contractors my work was deep within the USAF NORAD Space Survillance/SPADATS/NAVSPUR system that was in full operation when I came aboard in 1963. My initial secret winged spacraft projects message lists the published articles in QUEST; the History of Spaceflight Quarterly magazine! Scott's insights? He's on top such subject matter, and we have traded material, so he knows I've been on a 7-8 year research of the subject. The QUEST articles cited, you can acquire from QUEST's website I believe. Please be advised that my QUEST military editor wrote his Doctoral thesis on Dyna Soar. Although his was a political write, we agree that my writes are inclined toward the nuts n' bots aspects of such vehicles, and he is familiar with the winged projects that I write about too. Furhermore, he approves or disapproves of anything questionable or marginal in my writes.

Good ole Scott, the engineer, freely roams the countryside terrifying museums, archives and such, and literally "vaccums" for your edification, all space projects, wild aircraft schemes and such that never reached fruition. He possesses more goodies than I do, but I have some nice and subtle surprises to be inserted in the Bell book manuscript, and the Boeing Dyna Soar book when I start it. His funding allows him to elude capture and collect loads of material, while I must use any resource available untill I earn funds to travel too. I being a licensed A&P and an aerial vehicle driver as well for many years, possess hands-on maintenance of aerial vehicles and fully concur that numerous engineers should first be apprenticed into the field, and experience maintenance in its raw form under desert, arctic and duck-soup (rain, folks, rain like in Seattle winters), weather conditions; to work on their production aircraft with minimum of standard tools, no field support numbers to call, minimum parts access and in all weather conditions and to fully understand the meaning of the quite stretched term "easily maintained under all conditions in the field," such as the Evangel twin bush plane was offered. Scott should see the "twisted, warped, wierdly fasioned open end and box wrenches modified by torch to reach near impossible hidden accessory places for R&R!

Simply put, he may pee higher on the tree that me what with his vast collection, but my my deep interest and understanding allows me to present quality history. In other words, I do a quality pee on that same tree, but not in a headwind! That means, no BS. people.

When I suggested that a possible Bell designed boost-glider project may have existed as a flight vehicle, I meant what I deeply suspect. even though methods of acquiring soft-eivdence my be somewhat unorthodox but assist in understanding sometimes ambiguous printed words in files, reports, etc.

Several retired Boeing people directly involved hands-on in building Dyna Soar wind tunnel models, forming and working its exotic airframe parts that I personally interviewed, agree that my nuts n' bolts writing is pretty much on the mark, plus my military editor recognize my ability to translate technical jargon into interesting and readable form to the average interested reader. I expect to further hone this ability in writing the Bell secret projects book now underway. In all three of my QUEST articles, you will find interesting feetnotes, ok? Nuff said. When you read the articles, then your personal secret boost-glider lightbulb will brighten up with previously unknown data-bits.

I must confess to the vicarious body-electric charge...maybe its those electric brain-synapes, out of utilizing the actual aerospace terms from the period of time when the projects were being created. I have caught my military editor completely off-guard with the legal aeropspace term "beast," the rocketeer term for fully fueled and ready to fire rocket or missile. This should clear the air wot mates? Have fun and enjoy the ride.


To locate the QUEST Magazine articles from Bomiwriter, contact;


You will find the secret boost-glider projects of the Cold War

The Martin-Bell alterniate Dyna Soar I studies

The Manned Scramble to Orbit, the Navaho and X-15B Plan.

Great stuff Bomiwriter - thanks!

The link I found is:

Archives -

The Manned Scramble to Orbit, the Navaho and X-15B Plan - Volume 15 - No.3

Martin-Bell's Alternate 1958 Dyna-Soar I Studies Revealed - Volume 15 No.1

Secret Boost Glider Projects of the Cold War (part II) - Volume 13 - No.4

Secret Boost Glider Projects of the Cold War - America's Winged Space Plane Studies of the 1950s - Volume 13 No.2

HTH! Mark
Wow! And I thought I'd not have much to comment on in this forum. Now I'm afraid I could wear out my welcome.

The painting appearing on page 6 of Quest Vol 3, No. 4 (Winter 1994) is one of a series of paintings I did for a talk I gave to a local group about the X-20 program. (Despite what the credit says, it is an acrylic, not an oil.) I think Mark Nankivil currently has my slides of those paintings to scan for me. If anyone is interested I'll see if I can get those posted here some time.

Now, I should say that I had no connection with that program, I'm just fan of the Dyna Soar.

Duh...hullo this is a real walnut cracking day, I swear. Got a new password, the cypher lock on the door won't open and the stainless steel 3-inch thick door will not. I see somebody found my QUEST articles. The latest one is driving me stark raving foam-at-the-face madddd.

The QUEST article on U.S. Orbital Weapons of the Sputnik and post-Sputnik era is nearly complete, as long asmy asprin supply holds out! Say, I held several very, high security clearances during my SPADATS, Civil Def Contractor days,, so what does it take to gain a T.S. clearance around here,. anyway??

Also, is there anybody.....aannyyybooodddyyy who might have a line into Russia? I have some Russian grainy drawings of Mya project 46, 47, 48, some other boost-gliders or raketoplanes, and other items but no good model photos, 3-views, artist draiwngs. I have loads of stuff to trade for some of this material. Any suggestions? Happy New Year. Check with Orian you know who for my Bell orbital saucer story he plans to print in APR.

Re: Secret winged spacecraft projects....SORTIE

:) Greetings:

I use a library computer for Internet so sometimes don't have time to complete a lengthy description, but here goes.


ADSLV, 3-wstage robot or unmanned vehicle with 9 engines, Liquid Hydrogen-Liquid Oxygen. RSI Thermite proteciton system, graphite polymide honeycomb.

Inline stage...the large bulbous fuel tank or the alternate was the V-shaped saddle tanks.

SORTIE would do a once around misison, unmanned though I have a drawing of a manned variant but totally different looking. Robotic bird auto lands at any military base. Also have drawings of the shuttle type booster with SORTIE pick-a-back, and my material has no security stamps so anybody wanting this material, and going through military records archives to obtain it may well find it to be under a security classification.

Have fun gents.
Looks very interesting as I'm into this type of space projects. Looks like I will have to order the 4 back issues for my reference library.

Thanks for the heads up.

Hey Dave,

If you're looking for Russian info, try this site:

I think the Mya 48 is actually the Myasishev 48.


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