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RENDEZVOUS

November 19, 2011

“TIANGONG, MY LOVER, FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THIS MOMENT — WAIT FOR ME. I’M COMING,”

Romantic Chinese Space station related poetry

Rendezvous is the French term for meeting, used in romantic and orbital contexts.  It may provide in-space refueling, assembly, or relationships among entrepreneurs.  (200 mile high club?)  Did I mention that Enterprise is more than a star ship, it is a fellowship?  Oh yes, in a previous blog.

I understand that Florida and Virginia are fighting over government funding for launch facilities.  What government funding?  Folks the faucet has been turned off, we can’t pay the utilities.  The golden age of aviation flourished in the great depression because of private funding.  You may not find an angel who can develop a winged launcher that rivals the B-2 in size and development cost though.  So perhaps you can follow Xcor with small steps to big dreams.

If you only work with aerospace in your own state you may be missing out on valuable assets in other states.  It may not be about Space Florida or New Mexico or whatever spaceport you have now.  As a contract worker I experienced a wealth of opportunities all over these United States.  Are we still united?  Pork programs from congress may be destroying the new ventures that have the solutions we need today.  The big aero suppliers that contribute to the SLS offer parts of a failed system.  The Solid boosters are flawed by O-Rings and inability to shut down after launch.  The reusable orbiter has been abandoned because of damages that came from the first stage operation failures.  Moving the orbiter back on the stack may not be the only change needed.

Big aerospace employs people with the best credentials.  Many talented innovators do not have the best credentials, but earn respect for creativity.  They may not get recognition from traditional human resource methods and interviews.  But these are the rejects who find a way to get the light bulb to work.  They persevere through the thousands of ways not to build a light bulb.  Henry Ford had few credentials, but he made product that revolutionized every industry.  The captain of the Titanic had excellent credentials though.  We need the underemployed genius that hides in every state of the union.  Let’s stop shooting ourselves in the foot because the stray rounds are shooting the bystanders too.  Re-unite the United States in your business plans folks.

I listed many rocket builders who each pursue good ideas in a past blog.  Some will find niche applications while others may hit the mainstream and high volume business.  They are all of value and worthy of consideration.  I offer a possible savings on mass and drag, but face issues that require more advanced analysis.  Dan Raymer’s airplane design text does not walk me thorough all the analysis for transition from horizontal to space flight.  My father is a retired engineer and he says I need professional help.  Some aerospace professionals suggest I need a different kind of professional. 

Many professionals have considered horizontal launch and landing, and the proposals have come and gone for decades.  Boeing has a beautiful patent, NASA wants rail launch, and their ideas keep coming back.  Only Orbital Sciences (aided by Scaled Composites) has done aerodynamic assist with their Pegasus.  That company was started by three college students.  The horizontal launch notion must not be completely dead, and may only lack a key that one of you innovators can contribute.  I am slowly finding contributors with valuable assets, and we may be able to build that path to the stars. 

Allright, I want to present a few of the stars that are building that path to the stars.  Long ago I worked with expensive computer design tools.  For my hobby projects I wanted to let youth help the rocket builders with a cheap CAD tool.  Alibre was low cost, and delivered basic solid modeling and learning tools.  It is user friendly and I would not be sued for child abuse during the teaching process.  To my surprise the Alibre tools developed at the same pace as our aircraft designs.  Now I can find the center of gravity of large assemblies.  I have surfacing tools to make composite skins from complex compound curved bodies now.  The cost is still under $200 for the basic seat.  It is more than competitive against software costing over $5000 today.  You can investigate Alibre at www.alibre.com

If you need help getting your project going but lack time to learn CAD, consultants are available to design or pick up your overflow work.  Here in the Phoenix (oops-I got territorial for a moment!) I have an Alibre consultant available for such overflow.  Wertel Enterprises, LLC  http://www.wertel.pro/  

If I find an investor I may have a panic to get stuff built!  If I encounter high volume and high power CAD needs a former employer can absorb the big jobs too.  Jim Beaver is NOT in Arizona, so here is your cross country connection:  Best CAD Solutions http://www.bestcadsolutions.com/  offers almost any flavor of CAD program out there.

If you are building model airplanes or promotional displays we have a top model and museum display vendor nearby.  Their joy is in WWI models, but they list rocket and UAV interests as well.  Some value is added by having rapid prototypes, foam molding, laser, and water jet cutting capacity.  Metal spinning makes compound curves in aluminum which is another rare asset.  If we ever go to Oshkosh we should take a good display like the museum and display examples the show here.  Arizona Model Aircrafters http://www.arizonamodels.com/

To get my model to future production, an experienced jet model builder may be able to help fix my mistakes and keep customers happy.  I hope to license the staging method in return for labeling and links that identify my patent and services for larger projects.  I want to offer profits to the vendor in return for publicity needed for our bigger developments.  Oakdale aircraft and the partners linked on his site have provided my development vehicles:  http://www.oakdaleaircraft.com/index.htm

If you are developing propulsion you may need test facilities.  How about some wide open spaces in Wyoming?  You can hide your top secret work in a surplus Atlas missile silo at Frontier Astronautics.  They have top flight propulsion people on hand and lots of room for UAV flights as well: http://www.frontierastronautics.com/

For those of us for whom the wing is the thing, horizontal launch analysis is rare.  Orbital Sciences have not published a textbook yet.  But software and services may not be that hard to find.  If Texas continues to encourage private space, this venture may offer the sophisticated analysis for horizontal systems.  Triton Systems LLC is developing a launch vehicle and offers software and analysis tools.  http://www.stellar-j.com/index.html   Since we use the same CAD tools and share interests, I hope our firms may be able to collaborate more in the future.  I provide some low end labor of design services, and really need top end vehicle analysis.  Perhaps we can confirm that I don’t need psychoanalysis!

If investors and contracts motivate construction, we hope to offer redundant safety systems including a fly-back escape capsule.  Robert Talmadge of TAAS Systems in Georgia has patented such designs, and offers another option for emergency situations.  http://www.taascompany.com/index.html

I sold cars in Dallas, and learned my ABCs:  always be closing.  We all need to identify and attract the right investor.  I like a small step progress, but others need to find the Howard Hughes of our era.  I turn to SCORE for help locally:  http://www.scorearizona.org/   You can find your chapter at the national site:  http://www.scorearizona.org/  The MIT Venture Mentoring Service also comes recommended:  http://web.mit.edu/vms/about_vms.html  You have to have a sensible product, and a near term market in any case.  You may have to make your unique solutions visible to investors as well.

In aerospace one magnet draws people of every walk from all over the world.  The Experimental Aircraft Association produces an air show every year in Oshkosh Wisconsin.  http://www.airventure.org/  In my case participation in model airplane and rocket events may also be productive.  By selling the kits with advertising on board I may let those sold aircraft be our sales reps in the field of hobby builders.  U-Tube videos of the flights are another asset, along with possible X-Plane software sales.  http://www.x-plane.com/  Here is a sample of expert programs available for test flights: http://my-planes.com/my-planes/my-planes/my-planes.html  What could we do with all of these visual assets in a booth at the Airventure show?  If the right investor passes by, we may have the right stuff for the next step.

I believe Jeff Greason cautioned us that getting the funding is panic time for rocket guys.  Now we have to stop playing and work!  I did not reveal the whole path to funding here, but I hope you may consider some of the assets in your own efforts.  Perhaps one day we can bypass ITARS and do global ventures.  For now it may be helpful to unite these states again.  We may help the world with a national role model if we work the problem as they said about Apollo 13.

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From → NEW SPACE

One Comment
  1. chancwj permalink

    Thanks for your tip on Alibre CAD software. And for the notes on laser cutting plywood. I didn’t know that was an option or so reasonably priced.

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