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Stratolaunch

steelpillow

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"the sharply swept delta wing aircraft shares the same 28-ft. wingspan and 11.3-ft. length."

I think those might be the other way round, dear Aviation Week people.

Looking at the published graphics, it is obviously a waverider design similar to research studies I have seen. Its profile is contrived to produce an attached sonic shockwave, with a high-pressure "bubble" inside it beneath the wings. This relieves the wing of traditional lift and its associated induced drag.

But I do wonder how they intend to stop that sharp leading edge on the nose from melting.
 

Grey Havoc

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Black Ice

Are the new owners William Gibson fans, by any chance?
 

Hobbes

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The Black Ice project was unveiled in 2018.

Starting in 2022, Stratolaunch plans to utilize their in-house Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV). The PGA powered MLV offers 3,400 kg to Low Earth Orbit. A tri-core version, the MLV Heavy, will offer up to 6,000 kg to LEO.

These vehicles would be in the small to medium lift class, outlifting Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur-C and Arianespace’s Vega launchers.

Stratolaunch is also studying the possibility of launching a reusable space plane that would initially launch cargo, followed by launching crew to orbit. This concept does not yet have an expected payload capacity or launch date.
 

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RanulfC

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Whiners... "The planet's too big, it's too small, it's to hot, it's too cold" Yeesh...

Randy

We have a whiner here (lame pun 1.0)

Would you like any cheese with this whine (lame pun 2.0, but I like this one).

The second one I'll grant as LP 1.5 but it's not fresh enough for a 2.0 rating ;)

Except they weight 2700 kg when Stratolaunch can drop 250 000 kg. So they could carry 91 of them on a single flight, not three. :p
this of course is completely stupid, it just mean to say that Roc is grossly oversized for the job.

Actually the triple carry is likely Talon Z's rather than A's and while at around 65,000lbs/29,483kg each you'd still have about 162,000kg carry capacity to 'spare' IF the end product is supposed to still be the Black Ice spaceplane then it's not all that important what the 'intermediate' payloads are, right?

Assuming something similar to the DeLong proposed design up-thread, (380,000lb/173,000kg) Roc's about right.

Randy
 

RanulfC

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I see the presentation was NOT where I thought it was so maybe...

And model:
Spaceplane.jpg
 

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Archibald

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I see the presentation was NOT where I thought it was so maybe...

And model:
View attachment 630169

The attached document is fantastic, because it has a detailed weight breakdown of the Space Shuttle, against weight breakdown of DeLong own vehicle. This is extremely important because too often, rocketplanes, spaceplanes, SSTOs and TSTOs are build on paper numbers rather than existing vehicles made of solid metal.
While the Shuttle was not a very successful vehicle, at least it existed and allowed to quantify weights for undercarriage, delta wings, payload bay doors, and plenty others spaceplane elements. Well even today it remains one of the very few RLVs in existence.
We know that a Shuttle orbiter the size of a 737 weighed around 200 000 pounds of late 70's era tech level, and even today it remains a significant benchmark.
 

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Flyaway

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View: https://twitter.com/stratolaunch/status/1309150838653411329


Testing components of the @Stratolaunch Talon-A aerodynamic design at @UW Kirsten Wind Tunnel. One step closer to advancing high-speed tech through innovative design, manufacturing and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles. #Stratolaunch #TLGAero #ThinkBig #BreakingBarriers

View: https://twitter.com/stratolaunch/status/1309658766573363202


Another day, another successful test! This successful Pitch Test just got Roc and her crew that much closer to getting back in the air. More test on the way! #stratolaunch #ThinkBig #BreakingBarriers
 

blackstar

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A behind the scenes peek at the "Impossible Engineering" episode featuring - Stratolaunch. The episode is due to air on The Science Channel September 2 at 9:00 p.m. Such fun filming, can't wait to watch. #THINKBIG #BreakingBarriers #stratolaunch


Has this aired in the US yet? I cannot find any indication that it has.
 

TomS

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A behind the scenes peek at the "Impossible Engineering" episode featuring - Stratolaunch. The episode is due to air on The Science Channel September 2 at 9:00 p.m. Such fun filming, can't wait to watch. #THINKBIG #BreakingBarriers #stratolaunch


Has this aired in the US yet? I cannot find any indication that it has.

Looks like the Science Channel is breaking up the season of Impossible Engineering into little chunks, blending them in with Impossible Railways, and showing them more or less at random.
 

blackstar

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A behind the scenes peek at the "Impossible Engineering" episode featuring - Stratolaunch. The episode is due to air on The Science Channel September 2 at 9:00 p.m. Such fun filming, can't wait to watch. #THINKBIG #BreakingBarriers #stratolaunch


Has this aired in the US yet? I cannot find any indication that it has.

Looks like the Science Channel is breaking up the season of Impossible Engineering into little chunks, blending them in with Impossible Railways, and showing them more or less at random.

Thanks. I could not find it on my cable's "on demand" or search options, and the internet is pretty much useless for this (it shows up listed on various sites, but without much logic or information). All I can guess is that at The Science Channel they spilled coffee on their computer and that messed up any logic in their schedule.
 

blackstar

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Not coffee... cat. A cat played havoc with their keyboard.

When it comes to programming some of these cable channels, I have this vision in my head of a young intern coming into the programming chief's office with a notepad and pen. "You need to produce the schedule for next week's programming, sir."

The exec is disheveled, his tie undone, hair a mess. He looks like he's just come off a bender. His desk is covered with papers, cigarette butts, and piles of DVDs. He reaches into the pile and pulls out a handful of DVDs. "Here's Monday..." he grabs at some more "and here's Tuesday." He shoves them into the intern's hands. Then he looks around. There are a couple more DVDs on the floor and he picks them up, then notices another one that he's been using to prop up his wobbly desk. After a bit of struggle, he pulls that one loose and the desk bangs to the floor. He hands them all to the kid. "Here's Wednesday thru Friday. That's enough for now. Come back later."

As the intern leaves with the pile of DVDs for next week's programming, he notices the exec reaching into his desk and pulling out a bottle of bourbon...
 

blackstar

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Now keep in mind that this is how TV programming is done now...

Back in the 70s, a TV exec would do a line of coke and then say "I have this idea for a show about a truck driver and his companion, a chimpanzee named 'Bear'..."
 

blackstar

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A behind the scenes peek at the "Impossible Engineering" episode featuring - Stratolaunch. The episode is due to air on The Science Channel September 2 at 9:00 p.m. Such fun filming, can't wait to watch. #THINKBIG #BreakingBarriers #stratolaunch


Has this aired in the US yet? I cannot find any indication that it has.

Looks like the Science Channel is breaking up the season of Impossible Engineering into little chunks, blending them in with Impossible Railways, and showing them more or less at random.

Checking again, I still find no evidence that this has shown in the US yet. I think it was originally planned to show over the summer, then slipped to early September. Still no indication of when it will happen. I'm losing my enthusiasm for watching it.
 

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View: https://twitter.com/stratolaunch/status/1318600964450840578


The manufacturing of the Stratolaunch Talon-A reusable hypersonic vehicle has begun. The upper skin layup tool and prototype upper skin are giving us a peak at what’s to come. One. Step. Closer #Stratolaunch #onestepcloser #ThinkBig #BreakingBarriers

Good to see that Talon-A has entered the production stage and is no longer just a concept, I cannot wait to see it fly.
 

kitnut617

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Isn't this a bit like putting the cart before the horse --- I mean, Stratolaunch has only flown once. I'd have thought a few more flights were needed just to make sure the first one wasn't a fluke --- they did have some problems landing it ---
 

blackstar

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Isn't this a bit like putting the cart before the horse --- I mean, Stratolaunch has only flown once. I'd have thought a few more flights were needed just to make sure the first one wasn't a fluke --- they did have some problems landing it ---

They're chasing the money. A lot of money started flowing into hypersonics in the past few years. They're going after that, even if it makes no sense to use their big airplane for that kind of work. Now whether they have existing contracts to fund it, or they are trying to get some, I don't know. But they're trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
 

steelpillow

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They're chasing the money. A lot of money started flowing into hypersonics in the past few years. They're going after that, even if it makes no sense to use their big airplane for that kind of work.

If you have a media magnet of a mothership lying around a few yards away, it probably does make sense to use it for the initial test flights, if nothing else. As a bare minimum, just stick every prototype and mock-up you have under its wings and go for a photoshoot on the tarmac. It all helps that funding keep flowing in.
 

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