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LONG AGO IN A GALAXY FAR AWAY…

September 21, 2011

A LITTLE HISTORY HERE:

I am a draftsman dreamer; a space CAD-ette.  I volunteered my (free!) drafting services to X-Prize teams many years back.  As a participant on two teams I had a pit pass rather than a bleacher seat.  Our first venture was the somewhat wistful Cerulean Freight Forwarding Service of the late Dr James Victor Hugo Hill.  I had many questions, and suggested some improvements which were never used.  Later I went off on my own design exploration before making a small contribution to another team.

The Kitten

CFFC Kitten X Prize entrant

I suggested some tweaks to the design:

Orion 1A

Then discovered the X-34 and considered a version of it:

Orion 6C

Notice the somewhat airfoil form of the fuselage, a little Burnelli flavor developing here.  Then I began testing home CAD systems for the next revisions:

Orion in CAD model

Discovering how to blend the airfoils into the fuselage provoked a radical departure renamed “Tigre”:

Tigre Suborbital Spaceplane

Now you see the first blended wing body, a little Northrop, Horten, and Burnelli all mixed in.  I was a little hesitant about disturbing the airfoil with engine inlets though.  I did explore structures and systems along the way this time.

Tigre Internal views

Seeking Hybrid rockets connected me to Bill Colburn who advised re-sizing the engines in a new package that evolved into this Sub Orbital Aircraft Rocket Stage, or SOARS.

SOARS I

SOARS II

One partner suggested investigating orbital operations which provoked a revival of a radical old notion; in-line staging of aircraft.

Horizontal Staging experiment

THIS DESIGN PROTECTED UNDER US PATENT 8,528,853 B2

More work was needed for a structural junction and balancing.  This became the goal of our “2Space” project, coming up for our next blog discussion.

David Luther

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From → NEW SPACE

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