Scaled Composites Proteus
The Scaled Composites Model 281 Proteus is a tandem-wing High-Altitude Long Endurance aircraft designed by Burt Rutan to investigate the use of aircraft as high altitude telecommunications relays. The Proteus is a multi-mission vehicle, able to carry various payloads on a ventral pylon. Scaled Composites Proteus has an efficient design, can orbit a point at over 19,800 m for more than 18 hours, it is owned by Northrop Grumman. Proteus has an all-composite airframe with graphite-epoxy sandwich construction, its wingspan of 77 feet 7 inches is expandable to 92 feet with removable wingtips installed. Proteus is an "optionally piloted" aircraft ordinarily flown by two pilots in a pressurized cabin. However, it has the capability to perform its missions semi-autonomously or flown remotely from the ground. Under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology project, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center assisted Scaled Composites in developing a sophisticated station-keeping autopilot system and a satellite communications -based uplink-downlink data system for Proteus' performance and payload data.
The Proteus wing was adapted for use on the Model 318 White Knight carrier aircraft, the launch system for Rutan's Tier One spacecraft and the DARPA X-37. Flight testing of the Proteus began with its first flight on July 26, 1998, at the Mojave Airport and continued through the end of 1999. In June, Proteus was deployed internationally for the first time, it was flown non-stop from Maine to Paris. During the week-long show, it flew each day, demonstrating its capabilities as a telecommunications platform; the Proteus is the current holder of a number of FAI world records for altitude, set in cooperation with NASA Dryden. The highest altitude achieved was 63,245 feet in October 2000. Proteus was included in the list of the "100 Best of 1998 Design," Time Magazine, December 21, 1998. Due to the multimission nature of the aircraft, it has been involved in a number of significant research projects and missions. Scaled Composites, a wholly owned Northrop Grumman subsidiary markets the aircraft as a research platform, has published a user's guide for planning proposed missions.
Proteus was conceived as a high-altitude, long operation telecommunications platform. Proteus was to be the first of a series of aircraft built by Scaled Technology Works of Montrose, Colorado; the aircraft was intended to carry a 14-foot antenna, flight tested in the autumn of 1999 and the summer of 2000, including the relay of a video conference while the aircraft orbited over Los Angeles. The project failed to move forward and the subsequent series aircraft were not built. A small Airborne Real-Time Imaging System camera, developed by HyperSpectral Sciences, Inc. under NASA's ERAST project, was demonstrated during the summer of 1999 when it took visual and near-infrared photos from Proteus while it was flying high over the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 99 Airshow at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The images were displayed on a computer monitor at the show. Proteus' first science mission was to carry the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Airborne Sounder Testbed - Interferometer instrument in March 2000 during the Cloud-Intensive Operating Period over the Department of Energy Cloud and Radiation Testbed site.
The flights, based out of Stilwell, encompassed 30 flight hours over a week and a half, characterizing cloud properties and validating the instrument. In September and October 2000, during the Water-Vapor Intensive Operating Period, Proteus and NAST flew validation flights studying upper tropospheric water vapor and performing underflights of the Terra satellite. In November–December 2000, Proteus flew as part of the DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program and their water vapor experiments. Flights were the same as was flown for the NAST Water-Vapor Intensive Operating Period validation flights; as part of the TRACE-P mission, Proteus once again carried the NAST pod during March 2001. The aircraft logged 126 flight hours, was variously based out of Alaska and Japan, gathering data in coordination with ground and satellite sensor packages over the North Pole in March 2001. Proteus took part in the NASA Chesapeake Lighthouse & Aircraft Measurements for Satellites program in July and August 2001, flying out of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.
The project used a number of different aircraft to develop methods of measuring ocean characteristics, estimates of aerosols. In February 2002, Proteus carried a 30-foot-long pod which served as a target for development of the Airborne Laser system; the pod housed an array of over 2000 small holes containing optical sensors to detect the laser system. Due to scheduling constraints with other Proteus customers, the Airborne Laser never conducted an actual flight test with the Proteus target system. A target system was designed and integrated into the NKC-135 Big Crow aircraft and used for the majority of Airborne Laser testing. In March 2002, NASA Dryden, in cooperation with New Mexico State University's Technical Analysis and Applications Center, the FAA and several other entities, conducted flight demonstrations of an active detect and avoid system for potential application to unmanned aerial vehicles out of Las Cruces, New Mexico; this was a part of the NASA ERAST Project. Proteus was flown as a surrogate U
Scaled Composites Catbird
The Scaled Composites Model 81 Catbird is a high-efficiency five-seat single-engine all-composite general aviation aircraft designed by Burt Rutan. It is unusual in that it incorporates both a small forward wing and a small conventional horizontal stabilizer on the tail; the Catbird was designed by Burt Rutan while his company, Scaled Composites, was owned by Beechcraft. The design was intended to replace the long-produced Bonanza; the financial situation of Beech at the time, competing projects, prevented consideration of commercial production. In 1988 Beechcraft sold Scaled Composites to the partnership of Rutan and the Wyman-Gordon Company, who acquired the rights to a number of the designs, including Model 81 Catbird; the aircraft was stored inverted from the ceiling of Scaled Composites' Mojave hangar until April 2011. The aircraft was restored to flying condition by Jim Reed and Mike Melvill. Catbird's second first flight was July 7, 2011. Catbird holds the world record for speed over a closed circuit of 5,000 km without payload of 334.44 km/h, set in 2014 in Category C-1c, Landplanes with take-off weights from 1000 to 1750 kg.
The aircraft won the CAFE Foundation's 1988 California CAFE 400 race flown by Mike Melvill, in which aircraft compete for performance efficiency, as measured by fuel consumption and payload. Piloted by Dick Rutan, it subsequently won the 1993 CAFE Challenge with a record score and a speed of 210.73 mph, fuel consumption of 20.15 mpg and a payload of 976.63 pounds. In 2014, the Catbird set another record, for speed over a closed 2,000 km course, from Mojave to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, with an average speed of 339.50 km/h. Data from EAAGeneral characteristics Crew: one Capacity: four passengers Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming TIO-360-C1A6D, 210 hp Performance Maximum speed: 238 kn.
The Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo is an air-launched suborbital spaceplane type designed for space tourism. It is manufactured by a California-based company owned by Virgin Galactic. SpaceShipTwo is carried to its launch altitude by a Scaled Composites White Knight Two, before being released to fly on into the upper atmosphere powered by its rocket engine, it glides back to Earth and performs a conventional runway landing. The spaceship was unveiled to the public on 7 December 2009 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. On 29 April 2013, after nearly three years of unpowered testing, the first one constructed performed its first powered test flight. Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes in a private passenger-carrying service and has been taking bookings for some time, with a suborbital flight carrying an updated ticket price of US$250,000; the spaceplane could be used to carry scientific payloads for NASA and other organizations. On 31 October 2014, during a test flight, VSS Enterprise, the first SpaceShipTwo craft, broke up in flight and crashed in the Mojave desert.
A preliminary investigation suggested the feathering system, the craft's descent device, deployed too early. One pilot was killed; the second SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, VSS Unity, was unveiled on 19 February 2016. The vehicle is undergoing flight testing, its first flight to space, VSS Unity VP03, took place on 13 December 2018. The SpaceShipTwo project is based in part on technology developed for the first-generation SpaceShipOne, part of the Scaled Composites Tier One program, funded by Paul Allen; the Spaceship Company licenses this technology from Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a joint venture of Paul Allen and Burt Rutan, the designer of the predecessor technology. SpaceShipTwo is a low-aspect-ratio passenger spaceplane, its capacity will be eight people -- two pilots. The apogee of the new craft will be 110 km in the lower thermosphere, 10 km higher than the Kármán line, SpaceShipOne's target, although the last flight of SpaceShipOne reached a one-time altitude of 112 km. SpaceShipTwo will reach 4,200 km/h.
It launches from its mother ship, White Knight Two, at an altitude of 15,000 metres, reaches supersonic speed within 8 seconds. After 70 seconds, the rocket engine cuts out and the spacecraft will coast to its peak altitude. SpaceShipTwo's crew cabin is 3.7 m long and 2.3 m in diameter. The wing span is 8.2 m, the length is 18 m and the tail height is 4.6 m. SpaceShipTwo uses a feathered reentry system, feasible due to the low speed of reentry. In contrast, orbital spacecraft re-enter at orbital speeds, closer to 25,000 km/h, using heat shields. SpaceShipTwo is furthermore designed to re-enter the atmosphere at any angle, it will decelerate through the atmosphere, switching to a gliding position at an altitude of 24 km, will take 25 minutes to glide back to the spaceport. SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two are roughly twice the size of the first-generation SpaceShipOne and mother ship White Knight, which won the Ansari X Prize in 2004. SpaceShipTwo has 43 and 33 cm -diameter windows for the passengers' viewing pleasure, all seats will recline back during landing to decrease the discomfort of G-forces.
The craft can land safely if a catastrophic failure occurs during flight. In 2008, Burt Rutan remarked on the safety of the vehicle: This vehicle is designed to go into the atmosphere in the worst case straight in or upside down and it'll correct; this is designed to be at least as safe as the early airliners in the 1920s... Don’t believe anyone that tells you that the safety will be the same as a modern airliner, around for 70 years. In September 2011, the safety of SpaceShipTwo's feathered reentry system was tested when the crew lost control of the craft during a gliding test flight. Control was reestablished after the spaceplane entered its feathered configuration, it landed safely after a 7-minute flight. SpaceShipTwo are built by The Spaceship Company formed as a joint venture between Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic bought out Scaled Composites' interest in TSC in 2012, TSC is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Galactic; the launch customer of SpaceShipTwo is Virgin Galactic.
The first SS2 was named VSS Enterprise. The "VSS" prefix stands for "Virgin Space Ship". VSS Enterprise was the first to fly; the build of VSS Unity was about 65 percent complete in early November 2014, Virgin Galactic expected it to be complete in 2015. It was unveiled in February 2016 and performed its first powered flight in April 2018; the third SpaceShipTwo was expected to commence construction by the end of 2015. SpaceShipTwo is launched from the WhiteKnightTwo launcher aircraft, which takes off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California during testing. Spaceport America, a US$212 million spaceport in New Mexico funded by the state government, will become the permanent launch site when commercial launches begin. On 28 September 2006, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson unveiled a mock-up of the SpaceShipTwo passenger cabin at the NextFest exposition at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York; the design of the vehicle was revealed to the press in January 2008, with
The Rutan Quickie is a lightweight single-seat taildragger aircraft of composite construction, configured with tandem wings. The Quickie was designed by Burt Rutan as a low-powered efficient kit-plane, its tandem wing design has one anhedral forward wing and one larger dihedral rear wing. The forward wing has full-span control surfaces and is thus similar to a canard wing, but is larger; the aircraft has unusual landing gear, with the main wheels located at the tips of the forward wing. The Quickie Aircraft Corporation was formed to produce and market the Quickie in kit form after 1978. Two years a two-seater variant of the same layout followed as the Q2; the original Quickie is one of several unconventional aircraft penned by Rutan for the general aviation market. The Quickie followed from Jewett and Sheehan's intention in 1975 for a low-cost, low-power, single-seat homebuilt aircraft; the first element to be found by Jewett and Sheehan was the engine, which – although low-powered – had to be reliable for aviation work.
With the help of Onan, a manufacturer of industrial four-stroke engines, they were able to procure a 70 lb engine that would deliver 18 hp at 3,600 rpm. Rutan was involved with the design. After a preliminary pusher canard configuration design had been discarded, his solution to the design issues of low drag without retractable undercarriage and a workable centre of gravity travel, was a tractor engine/tandem wing layout. Conversely to canard layout, the conventional front engine location put the pilot close to the centre of gravity, a key point for a light aircraft; the wheels were incorporated into wingtip fairings without much drag penalty and the tandem layout gave safe stalling characteristics. Rutan produced the first drawings in May 1977 and thereafter the three of them worked on the design drawings over the next two months with construction beginning in August After the first flights, Rutan spent more time with his Defiant design and other projects, it was Jewett and Sheehan who continued development of the design and market it for home-build use.
An agreement was reached that Rutan would fund the development and testing and once the design was complete they would pay Rutan back from future sales of the designs and kits. The Quickie is a tandem wing taildragger, having one rear wing. According to Rutan this layout was not new, having been used in aircraft such as the Mignet "Flying Flea"; as with other Rutan designs, the Quickie is constructed of glass resin over a foam core. The wings are foam blanks cut to shape with a hot wire before covering, the fuselage made up of 1 inch-thick foam slabs; the forward wing provides around 60% of the lift. The full-span control surfaces on the forward wing serve as combined flaps. Ailerons are located inboard on the rear wing, shoulder-mounted just aft of the pilot; the tandem layout provides positive lift from both pairs of wings. The Quickie has fixed main wheels faired into spats located at the tips of the forward wing; the absence of separate landing gear helps to reduce both weight and drag, such savings allowing a smaller engine and a smaller fuel tank.
Though the propeller is of small diameter, propeller clearance remains limited and the Quickie is rather vulnerable to ground strikes. Pilot controls include a throttle on the left. Rudder pedals are linked to the steerable tailwheel; the rather crude cable-operated brake comprises a cockpit lever operating steel tire-scrubbers on each main wheel. Construction of the prototype commenced in August 1977 at the Rutan Aircraft Factory; the prototype Quickie registered "N77Q" started its flight test program on November 1977. All three of the designers flew it on the first day; the prototype was modified during its test program. The span of both the canard and main wing were increased to improve lifting ability; these reduced shortened takeoff and landing distances. Designed with a fixed fin and only the faired tailwheel acting as the rudder, a conventional rudder was substituted; the steerable tailwheel allows directional control up to the point of liftoff, as the Quickie does not lift its tail during the takeoff run.
Although it takes off at around 55 mph and its maximum speed of 126 mph is impressive for its engine power, the rate of climb is "modest". The flight test program was completed five months after its first flight. In June 1978 a Quickie prototype was flown to the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual gathering at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh at Oshkosh, where the aircraft drew intense public interest and won the Outstanding New Design Award. In June 1978, only two months after the prototype's first flight and Sheehan formed the Quickie Aircraft Corporation to produce and sell complete aircraft kits. Production began in June 1978, by 1980 the Corporation had sold 350 kits. Other firms were granted marketing rights, some 1,000 Quickie kits were sold; the Corporation closed its doors in the mid 1980s. Canada Aviation and Space Museum Deutsches Museum EAA AirVenture Museum New England Air Museum Data from Flight International The Canard Pusher No. 16General characteristics Crew: one pilot Capacity: 20 lb lugg
McDonnell Douglas DC-X
The DC-X, short for Delta Clipper or Delta Clipper Experimental, was an unmanned prototype of a reusable single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle built by McDonnell Douglas in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative Organization from 1991 to 1993. Starting 1994 until 1995, testing continued through funding of the US civil space agency NASA. In 1996, the DC-X technology was transferred to NASA, which upgraded the design for improved performance to create the DC-XA. According to writer Jerry Pournelle: "DC-X was conceived in my living room and sold to National Space Council Chairman Dan Quayle by General Graham, Max Hunter and me." According to Max Hunter, however, he had tried hard to convince Lockheed Martin of the concept's value for several years before he retired. Hunter had written a paper in 1985 entitled "The Opportunity", detailing the concept of a Single-Stage-To-Orbit spacecraft built with low-cost "off-the-shelf" commercial parts and currently-available technology, but Lockheed Martin was not interested enough to fund such a program themselves.
On February 15, 1989, Pournelle and Hunter were able to procure a meeting with Vice-President Dan Quayle. They "sold" the idea to SDIO by noting that any space-based weapons system would need to be serviced by a spacecraft, far more reliable than the Space Shuttle, offer lower launch costs and have much better turnaround times. Given the uncertainties of the design, the basic plan was to produce a deliberately simple test vehicle and to "fly a little, break a little" in order to gain experience with reusable quick-turnaround spacecraft; as experience was gained with the vehicle, a larger prototype would be built for sub-orbital and orbital tests. A commercially acceptable vehicle would be developed from these prototypes. In keeping with general aircraft terminology, they proposed the small prototype should be called the DC-X, X for "experimental"; this would be followed by the "DC-Y", Y referring to pre-run prototypes of otherwise service-ready aircraft. The production version would be known as the "DC-1".
The name "Delta Clipper" was chosen deliberately to result in the "DC" acronym, an homage to the famous Douglas DC-3 aircraft, which many credit for making passenger air travel affordable. SDIO wanted a "suborbital, recoverable rocket capable of lifting up to 3,000 pounds of payload to an altitude of 1.5 million feet. DC-X Specifications: 12 m high, 4.1 m diameter at base, conical shape Empty mass: 9100 kg. Fuelled mass: With full load of propellants:18,900 kg Propellants: Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen Propulsion: Four RL10A5 rocket engines, each generating 6,100 kgf thrust; each engine throttleable from 30% to 100%. Each gimbals +/-8 degrees. Reaction Controls: Four 440-lb thrust gaseous oxygen, gaseous hydrogen thrusters Guidance and Control Avionics: Advanced 32 bit, 4.5 mips computer, F-15 Navigation System with ring laser gyros. F/A-18 accelerometer and rate gyro package. Global Positioning Satellite P code receiver. Digital data telemetry system. Radar altimeter. Hydraulic System: Standard hydraulic aircraft-type system to drive vehicle's five aerodynamic flaps and eight engine gimbal actuators.
Construction Materials: Aeroshell and base heat shield: Graphitic Epoxy composite with special silicone-based thermal protection coating. The vertical take off and landing concept was popular in science fiction films from the 1950s, but not seen in real world designs of Earth-bound vehicles, it would take off vertically like standard rockets, but land vertically with the nose up. This design used attitude control thrusters and retro rockets to control the descent, allowing the craft to begin atmospheric entry nose-first, but roll around and touch down on landing struts at its base; the craft could be refueled where it landed, take off again from the same position — a trait that allowed unprecedented turnaround times. In theory a base-first re-entry profile would be easier to arrange; the base of the craft would need some level of heat protection to survive the engine exhaust, so adding more protection would be easy enough. More the base of the craft is much larger than the nose area, leading to lower peak temperatures as the heat load is spread out over a larger area.
This profile would not require the spacecraft to "flip around" for landing. The military role made this infeasible, however. One desired safety requirement for any spacecraft is the ability to "abort once around", that is, to return for a landing after a single orbit. Since a typical low Earth orbit takes about 90 to 120 minutes, the Earth will rotate to the east about 20 to 30 degrees in that time. If the spacecraft is launched to the east this does not present a problem, but for the polar orbits required of military spacecraft, when the orbit is complete the spacecraft overflies a point far to the west of the launch site. In order to land back at the launch site, the craft needs to have considerable cross-range maneuverability, something, difficult to arrange with a large smooth surface; the Delta Clipper design thus used a nose-first re-entry with flat sides on the fuselage and large control flaps t
Continental Motors, Inc.
Continental Aerospace Technologies is an aircraft engine manufacturer located at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, United States. It was spun off from automobile engine manufacturer Continental Motors Company in 1929 and owned by Teledyne Technologies until December 2010; the company is now part of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, owned by the government of the People's Republic of China. Although Continental is most well known for its engines for light aircraft, it was contracted to produce the air-cooled V-12 AV-1790-5B gasoline engine for the U. S. Army's M47 Patton tank and the diesel AVDS-1790-2A and its derivatives for the M48, M60 Patton, Merkava main battle tanks; the company produced engines for various independent manufacturers of automobiles and stationary equipment from the 1920s to the 1960s. In 1929, the company introduced its first aircraft engine, a seven-cylinder radial designated as the A-70, with a displacement of 543.91 cu in that produced 170 hp. In August 1929, the Continental Motors Company formed the Continental Aircraft Engine Company as a subsidiary to develop and produce its aircraft engines.
As the Great Depression unwound, 1930 saw the company introduce the 37 hp A-40 four-cylinder engine. A follow-on design, the 50 hp A-50 was introduced in 1938 and was used to power the Taylor Cub and derivative Piper Cub; as the Second World War started in 1939 Continental commenced building aircraft engines for use in British and American tanks. Continental formed Continental Aviation and Engineering in 1940 to develop and produce aircraft engines of over 500 hp Continental ranked 38th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. During the late 1930s, early 1940s the Gray Marine Motor Company adapted Continental engines for maritime use. On 14 June 1944 the company was purchased by Continental for US$2.6 million. John W. Mulford, the son of one of Gray's founders was appointed general manager of Gray by Continental. Gray's continued to make marine engines in the post-war period until its closure by Continental in about 1967. During the 1950s, the A-65 was developed into the more powerful 90 hp C-90 and into the 100 hp O-200.
The O-200 powered a important airplane design milestone: the Cessna 150. By the 1960s turbocharging and fuel injection arrived in general aviation and the company's IO-520 series came to dominate the market. In 1969, Teledyne Incorporated acquired Continental Motors, which became Teledyne Continental Motors; that same year, the Continental Tiara series of high output engines were introduced, although they were dropped from the line after 1978. The company brought the TSIO-520-BE for the Piper PA-46 to market in 1984 and it set new efficiency standards for light aircraft piston engines. Powered by a liquid-cooled version of the IO-240, the Rutan Voyager was the first piston-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the world without refueling in 1986. NASA selected Continental to develop and produce GAP in 1997, a new 200 hp piston engine to operate on Jet-A fuel; this was in response to 100-octane aviation gasoline becoming less available as a result of decreased demand, due to smaller turboprop engines becoming more prevalent.
In 2008, Teledyne Continental's new president, Rhett Ross announced that the company was concerned about future availability of 100LL avgas and as a result would develop a diesel engine in the 300 hp range for certification in 2009 or 2010. By the fall of 2009 the company was feeling the effects of the economic situation and the resulting reduced demand for aircraft engines; the company announced that it would close its plant for two one-week periods in October 2009 and January 2010. Salaried employees would move to a four-day work week with one week vacations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the aim "to protect as much of our valuable employee base as possible". On December 14, 2010, Continental's parent Teledyne announced that Teledyne Continental Motors, Teledyne Mattituck Services, its general aviation piston engine business would be sold to Technify Motor Ltd, a subsidiary of AVIC International, for US$186 million in cash. AVIC is owned by the Chinese government. In May 2011, the transaction was reported as complete and the company renamed Continental Motors, Inc.
On 23 July 2013 the company bought diesel aircraft engine manufacturer Thielert from bankruptcy for an undisclosed sum. Thielert will become an operating division of Continental and will be renamed Technify Motors GmbH. In March 2019 the company name was changed from Continental Motors, Inc. to Continental Aerospace Technologies. R-545 A-70 I-1430 R-670 R-975 Continental T51 Continental T65 Continental T67 Continental T69 Continental T72 Continental TP-500 Teledyne CAE J69 Continental RJ35 Ramjet Continental RJ45 Ramjet Continental RJ49 Ramjet Lycoming Engines Rotax Foss, Christopher F.. Jane's Pocket Book of Armored Fighting Vehicles. Collier Books. Pp. 45–49. 73-15286. Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines, 5th Edition. Phoenix Mill, England, UK: Sutton Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7509-4479-X. Leyes II, Richard A.. The History of North American Small Gas Turbine Aircraft Engines. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 1-56347-332-1. Official website