Sep 212017
 

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues. Cover art was provided by Rob Parthoens, www.baroba.be

US Bomber Projects #20:XB-59 Special

US Bomber Projects #20 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #20 collects all the previously published articles and diagrams of the XB-59 antecedent designs and updates them. Additionally, more antecedent designs have been included as well as several designs that followed along after the XB-59. The biggest USXP publication yet!

USBP 20 includes twenty nine unique aircraft concepts (the usual issue of USXP has eight designs) from Boeing Models 484 and 701 showing how Boeing evolved the XB-59, their competitor to the Convair B-58 “Hustler.” Beginning with subsonic flying wings, the concept saw concepts both conventional and unconventional before eventually settling on Model 701-299-1, the final XB-59 design. This issue includes a half dozen Model 701 designs that followed along after the cancellation of the XB-59 program.

 

USBP #20 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $8:

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US Launch Vehicle Projects #04

US Launch Vehicle Projects #04 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #04 includes:

  • Space Carrier Vehicle: A US Army lunar rocket with 8 F-1 engines
  • Convair Reusable Helios: A stage-and-a-half monster with a gas core nuclear engine
  • Boeing Model 896-111: A 1980’s two stage transatmospheric vehicle
  • Project RAND Satellite Rocket 3-Stage: A 1947 satellite launcher
  • Convair Saturn V-R: An idea on how to make a fully reusable Saturn V first stage
  • Lockheed STAR Clipper: A 1968 stage-and-a-half lifting body Space Shuttle
  • Shuttle-C: The Shuttle derived vehicle design that came closest to being built
  • Titan III Growth/156-inch boosters: A more powerful version of the Titan III for Dyna Soar launch

 

USLP #04 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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Also recommended, these previous Specials:

US Bomber Projects #14: System 464L Special

USBP#14 brings together the competitors to Weapon System 464L, the first major effort in the Dyna Soar program. These designs were previously shown individually in prior issues of USBP; here they are brought together, with some updates, as well as a few extra diagrams and a section of diagrams formatted for 11X17 printing. This issue includes info and diagrams of the Lockheed, Republic, General Dynamics, McDonnell, Boeing, Douglas, Northrop, North American and Martin-Bell entries as well as their various booster systems. Also included are detailed diagrams of the ultimate Dyna Soar design, the 2050E.

USBP#14 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $6.

usbp14ad2


US Bomber Projects #16: The B-52 Evolution Special

Boeing Model 444 A: A late war turboprop heavy bomber
Boeing Model 461: An early postwar turboprop heavy bomber
Boeing Model 462: A large six-turboprop ancestor of the B-52
Boeing Model 462-5: A six-turboprop B-52 ancestor
Boeing Model 464-17: 1946 four-turboprop strategic bomber, a step toward the B-52
Boeing Model 464-18: a reduced-size version of the 464-17 turboprop strategic bomber
Boeing Model 464-25: a modification of the 464-17 turboprop bomber with slightly swept wings, among other changes
Boeing Model 464-27: a slightly-swept turboprop B-52 progenitor
Boeing Model 464-33-0: A turboprop B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-34-3: A turboprop B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-40: The first all-jet-powered design in the quest for the B-52
Boeing Model 464-40: The first all-jet-powered design in the quest for the B-52
Boeing Model 464-046: A six-engined B-52 predecessor
Boeing Model 464-49: The penultimate major design in the development of the B-52
Fairchild M-121:A highly unconventional canard-biplane
Convair B-60: A swept-wing turboprop-powered derivative of the B-36
Douglas Model 1211-J: An elegant turboprop alternative to the B-52
With additional diagrams of the B-47, XB-52 and B-52B

USBP#16 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $6.

 

 

 Posted by at 7:53 am
Jul 162017
 

Every month, patrons of the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon campaign are rewarded with a bundle of documents and diagrams, items of interest and importance to aerospace history. If you sign up, you get the monthly rewards going forwards; the “back issues” catalog lets patrons aid the APR cause by picking up items from before they signed on. The catalog, available to all patrons at the APR Patreon, has been updated to include everything from the beginning of the project back in 2014 on up to February, 2017.

Below are the items from 2016 (and the first two months of 2017):

 

If you are interested in any of these and in helping to fund the mission of Aerospace Projects Review, drop by the APR Patreon page and sign up. For only a few bucks a month you can help fund the procurement, scanning and dissemination of interesting aerospace documentation that might otherwise vanish from the public.

 Posted by at 12:52 am
Jun 292017
 

I’ve been working away on the first several of hopefully a sizable series of CAD models that will be turned into 1/24 scale model kits. The theme of the series: large and entertaining bombs. This series of models will be produced by and available through Masterpiece Models.

The first model, which I’m very nearly finished working on, is the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, a.k.a. MOAB, the “Mother Of All Bombs.” This one is to be made available not only in 1/24, but also 1/48 and 1/72 for use with available C-130 kits. Here are some renders of the CAD model. Colors indicate parts breakdown (subject to some revision):

The MOAB model will come with grid fin parts for display as either stowed or deployed. The cradle is also to be supplied.

The second model, which I’m less finished with, is the thermonuclear AN602 “Tsar Bomb,” designed for 100 megatons, tested at around 50. This one is likely to be released solely in 1/24 scale.

Other bombs currently planned include the BLU-82 “Daisy Cutter,” the Mk 17 hydrogen bomb (America’s heaviest nuke at 42,000+ pounds, yield of about 15 megatons) and the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

What other Large Bombs would you like to see in 1/24 scale? The US Mk 41 (most powerful US nuke at 25 megatons)? The British Tallboy and/or Grand Slam? The US T-12 Cloudmaker (because Grand Slam was just too petite)? The Tarzon guided bomb? Feel free to make suggestions.

 Posted by at 10:53 pm
Jun 292017
 

For years I’ve been trying to find a cost effective way to create a convincing “gold” surface finish on models… not “gold colored,” or “gold paint,” but something that actually looks like gold. Chrome can be adequately taken care of with Alclad and a few other high end paints, and there is a complex system available that seems to do a damn fine job of laying down an actual thin layer of silver, but gold remains elusive.

One substance I recently tried, and was unsurprised to find didn’t work, is the Rustoleum “Mirror effect” paint. If you spray either the gold or silver onto a surface, the sprayed surface just looks like gold or silver paint. but here’s the selling point: if you spray it onto glass, the *other* side should actually look like a mirror. Kind of a neat trick, but not something I generally have much use for… the *outside* of a model is what matters to me, and I hardly need to fill my house with mirrors.

But I did try it out on a few sheets of acetate (or maybe mylar), just to see what the result was… and I was surprised to see it’s actually pretty spiffy. The sheets in question are 12X18 transparencies, printed with black-line diagrams; these were intended for use in creating cyanotype blueprints. But these sheets were abandoned for various reasons… the cyanotypes looked unimpressive, or the subject didn’t seem all that great, whatever. And so they’ve been sitting forgotten over the years. And they were sitting where the cats could get on ’em and scratch ’em up, so they were of no particular use to me. But then I sprayed them with the silver (and the F-1 diagram with the gold) and the results are really quite impressive.

They look perhaps not so much like mirrored glass as really, really polished stainless steel. The scratches and scuff marks – some in the shape of cat paws, because I guess cat paws are rough enough to scratch acetate – actually add a little something to them. Take a look at let me know if this sort of thing seems appealing and worth $10-$20 each for. I honestly don’t know, but they do look pretty interesting to my eye.

These are just the sheets I had sitting around that I’d written off. Obviously I’d do other subjects… the ones on the cyanotype catalog, of course, along with others. The Apollo 11 plaque seems like it’d be pretty snazzy done this way. Seems maybe maps might be interesting done this way. Put into some sort of production, the sheets would of course be newly printed, pristine and printed in reverse, so that the mirroring paint would go on the same side as the black-line ink. This paint is pretty fragile (low-tack tape designed to not pull up paint pulls this stuff right up), so that might mean that large format prints which would have to be shipped rolled might be impossible.

 Posted by at 7:35 pm
May 112017
 

Selecting images from the recent trip and stitching together panoramas is an ongoing effort, and will be for a while yet. The panoramas range from the “artistic: that looks great” to the “useful for references: that looks kinda odd.” Many of them have missing sections, but so long as the panorama captured the aircraft I was after, having a corner missing is ok.

The combination of a telephoto lens with a 24 megapixel sensor has led to some *monstrous* panoramas. For example:

This “partial” panorama of the X-15 is 40,700 pixels wide. At 300 dpi (pretty much the standard for photo printing), that’s 135 inches wide. That’s 11.3 *feet* (or 3.45 meters) wide.

Another partial, this time of the XB-70. At 300 dpi, this one would be 14.75 feet long. If you look just behind the cockpit side window you can just make out some markings.

Well… this is a crop of the full-rez panorama showing just those markings:

Balcony panorama at the SAC Museum in Nebraska:

 

Balcony overview panorama of the Cold War gallery at the USAF Museum:

XB-70, X-15, lifting bodies, Gemini B:

Balcony overview panorama of Building 4 at the USAF museum:

The “Valkyrie cafe” at the USAF museum has a large mural painting of the XB-70. It’s several dozen feet wide and impossible to photograph straight-on (not only is there stuff in the way, it’s too huge for the space available). But there is one spot where you can get the whole thing. So, a number of photos were stitched together then “warped” to get it back into rectangular format. And the end result is pretty spiffy, and at 300 dpi it’d print out at 53 inches long. Needs some color correction.

These images have of course been scaled waaaaaay down to fit on the blog. Those who signed up for the DVD will of course get the full rez versions (though some compromises may be needed… that ginormous XB-70 panorama is over 800 megabytes).

 Posted by at 12:06 pm
Apr 152017
 

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues:

US Transport Projects #07

US Transport Projects #07 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #07 includes:

  • Lockheed L-279-9: an early SST
  • Convair HST – Phase II Variable Sweep Configuration: A mid-1960’s hypersonic transport
  • Lockheed CL-1373: a short-haul turboprop liner
  • Boeing Model 702-134(4): a large nuclear-powered logistics hauler
  • McDonnell-Douglas Swept Wing Spanloader: a heavy cargo carrier
  • Lockheed Hybrid Wing Body: a current design for an efficient military transport
  • NASA Cut-Down 747 SCA: a 1973 idea for a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
  • Rockwell Boost Glide Transport: An early 1970’s rocket transport

 

USTP #07 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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Also available, the first in a new series:

US Recon and Research Projects #01

US Recon & Research Projects #01 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #01 includes:

  • General Dynamics “FISH”: 1958 concept for Mach 4 parasite
  • NACA-Langley X-Tail X-15: early hypersonic rocket plane concept
  • “Jake’s Jeep”: WWII-era motorjet design
  • Lockheed “Archangel”: The first step on the road to the SR-71
  • Boeing Model 853-21 “Quiet Bird”: A 1961 stealth platform
  • Northrop Tacit Blue: Operational version of the early stealth experiment
  • Convair Pilotless Airplane I-40 Inhabited: WWII-era design of a manned test for a flying bomb
  • Lockheed CL-278-1-1: a proto-U-2

 

USRP #01 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:

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 Posted by at 11:45 am
Apr 022017
 

I’m essentially done with the drafting portion of the exercise. Now to finish the writing. I had planned on releasing ll five at once, but due to external factors I’ll almost certainly have to split this up. So… which ones do people want more? The publications forthcoming are Fighters, Bombers, Transports, Launchers and Recon & Research. Comment below…

 Posted by at 11:07 pm
Mar 102017
 

Coming soonish: the return of USXP publications. Five are under current development and are mostly done. There is a new title in the bunch… USRP. Strictly speaking it should probably be USR&RP… United States Research and Recon Projects. Perhaps Recon and Research aren’t necessarily the most obvious categories to link together into a single title, but apart from the vitally important alliteration, there is this important fact: compared to, say, Bombers, there aren’t that many Recon and Research projects out there.

If there are specific proposals, or general categories you’d like to see in future publications, feel free to comment below.

 Posted by at 9:46 am
Oct 302016
 

I’ve been running the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon project for a bit over two years now. Every month, Patrons get rewarded with sets of aerospace history stuff… currently, one large-format diagram or piece of artwork, three documents and, depending on level of patronage, an all-new CAD diagram of an aerospace subject of interest. More than two dozen such packages have been put together so far and distributed. Given that you can get in on this for as little as $1.50 a month (for 125-dpi scans… $4/month for full-rez 300 dpi scans) and you get at least four items, that’s a pretty good bargain compared to the individual aerospace drawings and documents.

Patrons who signed up after the process got underway can now get “back issues” of the previously released rewards packages. A catalog of more than the first years worth has just been posted; each month will see an updated catalog posted for Patrons to order from. So if you are interested, check out the APR Patreon page to see how to sign up; if you are already a patron, check out the catalog here.

 Posted by at 2:58 pm