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March 14, 2017


One hazard is passing the bosses scrutiny, and it even happens to the self-unemployed.  I don’t like what I’m seeing now.  I made the orbiter longer to eliminate the fairing, and it looks a bit thin.  This may not be good for a glider!  We have some ideas about what works from our earlier models.


The center vehicle is our first model, a balsa and foam glider.  When I planned the R/C model on the left I wanted more wing span to carry the added weight of plywood, fiberglass, and electronics.  Both had successful first flights and helped confirm the concept and CG locations.  Now this new design on the right went for a larger booster to deliver most of the launch energy.  It looks like I need to consider more wingspan again.

The R/C model on the left never got the first stage built because we had an airplane that could test launch it.  That was a good flight and eased my concerns about the low aspect ratio delta wing.  Even being overweight it made the flight.  The last flight was not so good.  The pilot took the blame, but I know that piggy back configuration was top-heavy.  We stage in-line now for good reasons.




When I compare the new vehicle to the original Concorde I see that we may be a little short on the length of the strake.  So increasing the orbiter’s span may get us back on target for the combined stages on the takeoff run.  There is enough wingspan to allow a good flight for the orbiter at lower speeds too.


This shows how the new orbiter more closely matches the previous models.  Now we have the same upper stage aspect ratio that we saw working even on un-powered gliders.


While this design is smaller than the Concorde, we should be clean enough to see high supersonic speeds in the atmosphere.  Once this reaches higher altitudes the rockets may be able to contribute up to 5,000 mph towards the needed orbital velocity.  If we can see 50 miles and 5000 mph it is an improvement over 5 miles and 500 mph.  New air breathing engine technology may put this in reach.

Now that I got the outline revised I get to go back and re-do all the other parts that used to fit!  This revision has opened the door on a lot of other fixes that will all help.  There is a lot more room for fuel onboard now too.  It just burns my clock to be a perfectionist!


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