US Lifting Bodies Studies - START (ASSET/PRIME), FDL, X-24, etc.

Archibald

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The lifting body program was one of the highlight of the NASA in the 60's. Various machines flew (HL-10, X-24, M2F series)
This program only consisted of atmospheric tests...well, that's the "offcial" version
But there's two mysteries
- 1 Aparently, modified HL-10 were send into suborbital flight, but unmanned (around 1971) More precisions about these flights?
- 2 There was a follow on to the X-24A/B, a kind of 70's Aurora ;D
The X-24C. Any detail about that?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Lockheed X-24C project here:

http://www.geocities.com/xplanes2000/L301.html
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Martin X-24C desktop model from beautiful Chad Slattery site http://home.earthlink.net/~chadslattery/
© 2008 Chad Slattery
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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X-24C model undergoes basic aerodynamic testing and evaluation in Arnold Engineering Development Center's 16-foot transonic propulsion wind tunnel in 1974.

http://www.arnold.af.mil/aedc/systems/74-1551.htm
 

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elmayerle

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I know Martin did some studies of lifting bodies, to be launched by Titan III LVs, in the 1960s and they were of similar configuration to the HL-10. As a matter of fact, I understand this factual background provided a lot of the background for the rescue lifting body vehicle seen in the film version of Marooned, which in turn inspired the ASTP and eventually common docking lugs on all manned US and Russian spacecraft.
 

Woody

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There are numerous references on the net (Global Security.org, Above Top Secret, Wikipedia etc.) saying how the X-24B and even X-24C were based on the shape of the FDL-8 (Flight Dynamics Laboratory-8). I've had a bad picture of the FDL-5 for ages but finding images of the the rest of the series is proving tough. It was supposed to be a top secret military programme in the sixties between the X-15 and the X-24. I know there was a -6 but that's all, and a commercial space plane called 'Silver Dart' is apparently being built based on the -7 but what about -1 through -4? Any pictures or information on any of them would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers, Woody
 

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kitnut617

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There's reference to the X-24's in David Myhra's book (Schiffer) about the Ta.183. It says the the X-24A/B were the design of Hans Multhopp (Focke Wolf's Chief Designer during the war) when he worked at Martin and after he had designed the XB-51. There's a photo of him holding a wind tunnel model of the X-24B IIRC. The photo of the fellow in the picture above looks like an older version of him.
 

flateric

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Extracts from NASA paper
NASACR14S2Z
CONFIGURATION DEVELOPMENT STUDY OF THE X-24C HYPERSONIC RESEARCH AIRPLANE /EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
H.G. Combs, ,et al, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation Advanced Development Projects, October 1977
I don't remember where I got this pdf, AFAIR it's readily aviable at NTRS server.

BTW, numerous rumors exist in communities far more serious than AboveTopSecret forum members that X-24C actually was built and flown
 

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flateric

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more from dusty partitions of my HDD
 

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GTX

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what about -1 through -4? Any pictures or information on any of them would be greatly appreciated.

This may be of a little use.

Regards,

Greg
 

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Woody

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That's fantastic Greg. Do you know more accurately which is which and whether any of them actually flew? I was always disappointed by how slow the HL-10 and X-24s were compared to the X-15, did any of this lot do any better?
Cheers, Woody
 

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flateric

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Woody, I said 'rumors'.

Rumors are say that Lockheed had a crewed vehicle with an air-breathing propulsion that went somewhere to Mach 6 to 8 in mid-1970s...
The engine was built by Marquardt.

Interestingly that such an aircraft was mentioned in Preface of first edition of "Lockheed Aircraft" by Rene Francillon (I can't check it up as I have second edition) ....this mention was taken out completely in the 2nd edition...

Rene Francillon declined to comment the removal being asked several times back in the mid-1990s. Usually very friendly and helpful correspondent, he didn't want to talk about it.
 

Archibald

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flateric said:
Woody, I said 'rumors'.

Rumors are say that Lockheed had a crewed vehicle with an air-breathing propulsion that went somewhere to Mach 6 to 8 in mid-1970s...
The engine was built by Marquardt.

Maybe the engine could be this fabulous "supercharged ejector ramjet" proposed in June 1969 (on a modified
X-15)
Comme par hasard, a subscale model of the RJ-176 engine had been tested successfully in the late 60's...
 

elmayerle

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I can't help but wonder how a X-24C compares in size and mass to a D-21. If they're reasonably close, I could see a modified M-21 or NASA's "YF-12C" serving as a launch vehicle for a higher starting point.
 

Matej

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I don't think its the good idea. Two manned planes at so high speed.... And also remember how one M-21/D-21 ended.

X-24C internal view from AWST Sept. 17, 1973, pg. 85
 

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Archibald

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I really think that a mach 4 -mach 5.5 , ramjet powered vehicle was feasible with late 70's technology.
- The X-15s structure resisted to 200 flights up to mach near mach 7
- high-speed ramjets had been mastered since the early 60's (the ONERA Stataltex had pushed their speeds up to mach 5.5)
- turboramjets and their derivatives (such as the SERJ mentioned above) worked quite well...
- Convair was able to proposed a mach 4.2 vehicle in the late 50's (even a compromised design), and its research kept on all along the 60's...

They had more or less all the elements needed to build such a machine... but its speed would have been limited to mach 6 at best, as scramjets were (are,) still in the limbos today...

X-24C or Aurora!!!
 

hesham

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Hi,

The McDonnell Douglas Model-176 was hypersonic spacecraft,but when
I search about it I found a Models of hypersonic aircraft not known,
see the picture,
 

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Firefly 2

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hesham said:
Hi,

The McDonnell Douglas Model-176 was hypersonic spacecraft,but when
I search about it I found a Models to hypersonic aircraft not known,
see the picture,

From Bill Sweetman- Aurora: the Pentagon's secret hypersonic spyplane

Second pick: described as being the Lockheed FDL 5 fitted with conformal collar tanks. To be airlaunched by B52. This was to be a hypersonic research aircraft.

Third pick shows all the shaped considered in the FDL hypersonic study.
 

Dew

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Bottom pic left to right, top row: (1) FDL-8, (2) WADD II, FDL-6, unknown, (10) FDL-6, ( 8 ) MDF-1, (7) HLD-5, (5) X-20, (6) unknown
middle row: FDL-5A, FDL-8, (9) PRIME/SV-5, (4) FDL-7
bottom centre: (3) ASSET

Identified by Stephane Cochin of Stratosphere Models.

There's some info about the FDL-5 MA here...

http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/models/stratosphere/fdl5_announce.html
 

Trident

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http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?&verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0390193
 

zhuravlik

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Lovely plane, i'd like to do an R/C model of that.
Surely would require a pitch gyro.
Meanwhile look at this beautiful scratchbuilt model:
http://hyperscale.com/features/x24cpb_1.htm
by"Bondo" Phil brandt.
I love those lifting bodies...

Best regards

Zhuravlik
 

Sentinel Chicken

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"Bondo" Phil does some great work. Several years ago his scratch built 1/72 scale Boeing XB-55 could be seen at the annual ScaleFest events here in the DFW area.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Lockheed X-24C desktop model from beautiful Chad Slattery site http://home.earthlink.net/~chadslattery/
© 2008 Chad Slattery
 

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Michel Van

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I don't remember where I got this pdf, AFAIR it's readily aviable at NTRS server.
there are very good PDF about X-24C study

19790008668_1979008668.pdf
"CONFIGURATION DEVELOPMENT STUDY OF THE X-24C HYPERSONIC RESEARCH AIRPLANE- PHASE II"

19790007769_1979007769.pdf
"CONFIGURATION DEVELOPMENT STUDY OF THE X-24C HYPERSONIC RESEARCH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY"

and HL-10 Program
"FULL-SCALE WIND-TUNNEL INVESTIGATION OF THE HL-10 MANNED LIFTING BODY FLIGHT VEHICLE"
19710070745_1971070745.pdf

source
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp
 

borovik

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Little additional info from: "Aurora. The Pentagon's Secret Hypersonic Spyplane" B.Sweetman
 

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archipeppe

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I enclose my personal contribution about this matter...
 

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dickie

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flateric said:
Interestingly that such an aircraft was mentioned in Preface of first edition of "Lockheed Aircraft" by Rene Francillon (I can't check it up as I have second edition) ....this mention was taken out completely in the 2nd edition...

Rene Francillon declined to comment the removal being asked several times back in the mid-1990s. Usually very friendly and helpful correspondent, he didn't want to talk about it.

well, if the first edition was published in 1982, its available on half.com for a paltry sum and may shed some light on your quest...

http://product.half.ebay.com/Lockheed-Aircraft-Since-1913_W0QQprZ4648431QQitemZ340464578391QQtgZvidetails
 

hesham

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Hi,

I think it was early Martin X-24C concept.
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1963/1963%20-%201715.html
 

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flateric

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I sure it was not.
 

flateric

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Identifying: one of zillion Martin lifting-body orbiter projects from 1963.
 

Orionblamblam

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flateric said:
I sure it was not.

Somewhere in my pile (not as vast as Miller's, but vast enough) I have a scrap from a technical paper that shows that particualr design. It was a modification of an FDL design; a minor study, no more.
 

flateric

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Nice ASSET photo
 

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cat-shot

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hesham said:
Hi,

I think it was early Martin X-24C concept.
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1963/1963%20-%201715.html
It is the Martin SV-25, designed by Hans Mullthop. Total length of this spacecraft is 38ft.
 
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