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Unidentified Lifting Body Space Shuttle (1962/63)

Graham1973

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NOTE: If this duplicates something already on the forum please merge with that topic.

I found this lifting body shuttle design on the NTRS, the design appears to incorporate boost-glide design principles. The launch booster is not described in any detail, but seems to be a custom design rather than a Saturn or Titan.

Aerodynamic Characteristics For A Booster-Launched Folding-Wing Entry Vehicle Suitable For Sustained Operation As A Supersonic Aircraft (January 1963)
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700078267_1970078267.pdf
 

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BAROBA

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Is the one-man-version armed?
The 1. and 2. seems to indicate that is a fighter of some kind...
Strange bird :)

Nice find btw.
 

Graham1973

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BAROBA said:
Is the one-man-version armed?
The 1. and 2. seems to indicate that is a fighter of some kind...
Strange bird :)

Nice find btw.

Yes, 3. indicates the one-man version is armed but the document provides no clues as to what kind of weapon was considered beyond the weight. Similarly the atmospheric engines are left undetailed. I'm assuming what I've found is a preliminary study that didn't go beyond the wind tunnel stage.
 

Graham1973

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I've been doing some thinking on the armament for the 'fighter' version.

The weight given for the armament, less ammo is 200 lb (around 93kg), two Colt Mk 12 20mm cannon weigh around 92kg. (Anyone got any idea how many rounds of 20mm ammuntion add up to 300lb(around 140kg)?).

Now that armament is actually masked by the heat-shield during orbital flight and only becomes useable after it's jettisoned during the re-entry process, which makes it less of a space fighter than a space capable fighter, though figuring out the probable doctrine is almost impossible.

I'm wondering if this is in some way a distant ancestor of the 'Kestrel' in Storming Intrepid...
 

Michel Van

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Graham1973 said:
I've been doing some thinking on the armament for the 'fighter' version.

The weight given for the armament, less ammo is 200 lb (around 93kg), two Colt Mk 12 20mm cannon weigh around 92kg. (Anyone got any idea how many rounds of 20mm ammuntion add up to 300lb(around 140kg)?).
if this is Colt Mk 20, it use 20×110mm USN ammo what weight 1700 grain or 110 gram (with belt links?).
Makes 1272 bullets


Graham1973 said:
Now that armament is actually masked by the heat-shield during orbital flight and only becomes useable after it's jettisoned during the re-entry process, which makes it less of a space fighter than a space capable fighter, though figuring out the probable doctrine is almost impossible.

I'm wondering if this is in some way a distant ancestor of the 'Kestrel' in Storming Intrepid...
I think it's this not a Space fighter, but a Supersonic long range interceptor launch by rocket booster !
 

Graham1973

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Michel Van said:
I think it's this not a Space fighter, but a Supersonic long range interceptor launch by rocket booster !

You could be right, from the Introduction of the report:

It may be considered desirable from several viewpoints to develop a rocket-boosted vehicle suitable for atmosphere entry from near-satellite speeds and also suitable for sustained cruise flight following entry. Such a vehicle would be capable, for military purposes, of rapid deployment for immediate operations to any point on the earth, or would provide for relatively sophisticated satellite or space-ferry capabilities.
 

Graham1973

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Grey Havoc said:
Sub-orbital capability in other words.

Rather frustratingly it seems that the document may be incomplete. There seems to be a set of references missing. I've searched the NTRS for related documents around the 1961-63 timeframe, but I haven't located anything yet.
 

Orionblamblam

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Every few years from 1944 or so into the 1990's the idea cropped up to put a fighter on top of a rocket booster for vertical launch. The tremulis "zero fighter," a Boeing twin-ramjet design and a North American concept from the tail end of WWII, the various ZEL concepts, this one, the Rockwell MRCC and arguably an X-37/X-40 concept. The German Fi-166 (?) also looked at this. I imagine the Soviets also looked at this.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Scott,

Do I smell an APR special issue coming soon :eek: ? Sold!!! I'll take it!

All those projects, in the context of this thread, have my undivided attention. The Boeing and NA projects don't ring a bell, though. So now I'm interested.
 

flateric

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Orionblamblam said:
I imagine the Soviets also looked at this.
yes. Lozino-Lozinsky had such a study while being at MiG
 

Michel Van

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Orionblamblam said:
Every few years from 1944 or so into the 1990's the idea cropped up to put a fighter on top of a rocket booster for vertical launch. The tremulis "zero fighter," a Boeing twin-ramjet design and a North American concept from the tail end of WWII, the various ZEL concepts, this one, the Rockwell MRCC and arguably an X-37/X-40 concept. The German Fi-166 (?) also looked at this. I imagine the Soviets also looked at this.
yes it's the German Fi-166
 

XP67_Moonbat

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I'd love to see that! So, is a 'space fighters' special issue of APR even a mere glimmer of a possibility? :D
 

Orionblamblam

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XP67_Moonbat said:
is a 'space fighters' special issue of APR even a mere glimmer of a possibility? :D

I think so. Perhaps not "space fighter" article per se, but a "fighter launched into the fight with a dedicated rocket booster" article. Not sure if the ZEL designs would be appropriate.

I know there are other designs like this, but I'd have to do a fair amount of research and digging.
 

flateric

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Orionblamblam said:
There was also something about an SU-27 atop a Soyuz or Proton rocket, wasn't there?
if you are talking of this rendering - launcher and fighter were taken only as 'placeholder' images for representation of concept. real configuration is still classified
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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I'll buy that article Scott. As for the Su-27 atop the rocket, I had no idea. ;)
 

flateric

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Lozinsky was at MiG before he came to Molniya. he was one of the key men in MiG-31 design
 

Michel Van

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Orionblamblam said:
I think so. Perhaps not "space fighter" article per se, but a "fighter launched into the fight with a dedicated rocket booster" article. Not sure if the ZEL designs would be appropriate.

ZEL was "get the aircraft so fast as possible into the air", but what we here discuss is:
A rocket launch fighter to supersonic speed over long-range, reenters atmosphere near target and fly the mission at sonic speed, then lands on "Neutral" airport or aircraft carrier.

Orionblamblam said:
flateric said:
Orionblamblam said:
I imagine the Soviets also looked at this.
yes. Lozino-Lozinsky had such a study while being at MiG

There was also something about an SU-27 atop a Soyuz or Proton rocket, wasn't there?

On MIG, i think it's a reuse of the MIG-105 design
But to put a SU-27 on rocket booster ?
the fighter need a supersonic/heatshield cover, but will survive the SU-27 fuselage this ordeal of launch and reentry?
 

archipeppe

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Michel Van said:
On MIG, i think it's a reuse of the MIG-105 design
But to put a SU-27 on rocket booster ?
the fighter need a supersonic/heatshield cover, but will survive the SU-27 fuselage this ordeal of launch and reentry?

Not only, the first question that come into my mind is why?
What kind of use could have a Su-27MK packed into a Soyuz launcher's fairing?
What kind of military advantage could have a single fighter put into orbit in this way?
 

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archipeppe said:
Michel Van said:
On MIG, i think it's a reuse of the MIG-105 design
But to put a SU-27 on rocket booster ?
the fighter need a supersonic/heatshield cover, but will survive the SU-27 fuselage this ordeal of launch and reentry?

Not only, the first question that come into my mind is why?
What kind of use could have a Su-27MK packed into a Soyuz launcher's fairing?
What kind of military advantage could have a single fighter put into orbit in this way?

Come on guys! For the n:th time: this design is not real! It is best described as a joke perhaps.

Lozinsky was at MiG before he came to Molniya. he was one of the key men in MiG-31 design

I know that. However I thought he came to Molniya to work on Buran, ie. in the late 1970s. Whereas from what I undestood from the buran.ru description the sub-orbital interceptor was designed in the 1980s?
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Scott mentioned a North American project earlier. Is this it?
http://www.up-ship.com/apr/extras/v2plane.htm
 

Graham1973

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Graham1973

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While searching the names of the authors of the document I linked to in the original post (Something I should have done at the time), I've found a further document in the form of a declassified NASA technical report dated August 1964. It would seem that the design concept originated with the 1961 article mentioned in the Horizons article.

Characteristics Of A Variable-Geometry Entry Vehicle At Mach Numbers From 10.5 to 21.0 (August 1964)

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700078294_1970078294.pdf
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Scott did a bang-up job on this new article. Now as those other project names he mentioned in that earlier post, inquiring minds wanna know!
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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flateric said:
Orionblamblam said:
There was also something about an SU-27 atop a Soyuz or Proton rocket, wasn't there?
if you are talking of this rendering - launcher and fighter were taken only as 'placeholder' images for representation of concept. real configuration is still classified

I remember thinking of such a thing as a kid. I'm not surprised to see it wasn't an original idea, though I envisioned something much bigger, shaped like an X-33 (along with a booster system) that could ballistically deliver multiple F-22s anywhere around the world within an hour. After reentering the atmosphere, and decelerating to a safe airspeed, the F-22s would be ejected (relatively) out the back using a small parachute to quickly deliver havok VERY DEEP within enemy airspace. The carrier craft was more or less a shell with only that which was necessary to deliver the fighters.

As outlandish as it sounds, there is some merit to the idea. The problem is IR and radar detection, as well as data gathering before fighter release (you don't want to be just thrown out into the fray blindly). Then you have egress. You may have the middle of the airspace in your hands, but you're effectively trapped, so you'll have to fight your way out possibly (though you could have another force specifically try to break the "wall". Then there is having the fuel for combat and egress.
 

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NUSNA_Moebius said:
As outlandish as it sounds, there is some merit to the idea. The problem is IR and radar detection, as well as data gathering before fighter release (you don't want to be just thrown out into the fray blindly). Then you have egress. You may have the middle of the airspace in your hands, but you're effectively trapped, so you'll have to fight your way out possibly (though you could have another force specifically try to break the "wall". Then there is having the fuel for combat and egress.

LORRAINE solved many of those problems, though very differently.
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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quellish said:
NUSNA_Moebius said:
As outlandish as it sounds, there is some merit to the idea. The problem is IR and radar detection, as well as data gathering before fighter release (you don't want to be just thrown out into the fray blindly). Then you have egress. You may have the middle of the airspace in your hands, but you're effectively trapped, so you'll have to fight your way out possibly (though you could have another force specifically try to break the "wall". Then there is having the fuel for combat and egress.

LORRAINE solved many of those problems, though very differently.

I'm sorry, what (or who perhaps?) is LORRAINE? I'm intrigued.
 

quellish

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NUSNA_Moebius said:
I'm sorry, what (or who perhaps?) is LORRAINE? I'm intrigued.

LORAINE was just a part of the system, but the name is often used to refer to the whole thing.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3054.0
 

XP67_Moonbat

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At Orion, I'm still curious about the Boeing twin-ramjet concept.

Also I did notice a similarity with the North American 1945 rocket fighter and the Fi-166. Interesting concept. Any chance that will pop up in a future Launcher Projects?
 

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