Feb 222016

Just brought Raedthinn home from the vet. He is, it seems, All Better… but that came at a substantial cost. In fact, two days at the vet cost more than a months work on USFP01 and USVP01 brought in. Behold:


So… time for another sale. For the next day or two or three, I’m running another Downloadable Stuff Sale. This applies to all APR’s and articles, USxPs, Air & Space Drawings & Documents, ANED01. As per usual… make your purchase using the Paypal buttons, and I’ll refund the sales difference.

Up to $50: 10% off

From $50.01 to $75: 15% off

More than $75: 20% off

UPDATE: Sale has ended as of 2/24/2016


And as always, feel free to toss something into the Tip Jar if’n yer of a mind to:

Feline Tip Jar

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Dec 252015

It dawns on me that today is a holiday of some note. It also dawns on me that I have bills to pay. So, until midnight-ish (mountain time), I’m running a sale on all US Aerospace Projects and Aerospace Projects Review downloadable issues. Still can’t run a convenient Paypal “coupon” or any such thing, so as with previous sales, you buy something and I’ll refund you the difference.

So, for the duration of the sale, get 20% off all APR and USXP orders of $10 or more. And get 25% off for all orders over $100.

Sale has ended.

 Posted by at 3:07 pm
Dec 072015


Issue 03 of US Launch Vehicle Projects is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #03 includes:

  • Juno V/Titan/Nomad: A 1958 concept for a space launcher using an ICBM for upper stages
  • Convair ATE Nova: A 1963 idea for winged airbreathing boosters
  • B-70/Gemini: Using a bomber as a booster
  • Phase II VTOHL Orbit-On-Demand: a 1985 concept for a relatively small two stage to orbit spaceplane
  • NASA Lewis Saturn Ib/Centaur/Kick Stage: a high energy upper stage
  • NASA MSC 042B/Titan IIIL6: a straight-winged orbiter atop a large Titan derivative
  • Heavy Lift Titan: A large diameter Titan core with three Shuttle boosters
  • Escher “Unshackled”: An unconventional idea for a lunar rocket

uslp03ad2 uslp03ad1

USLP #03 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:



Large format USBP drawings, Issues 10-12

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 10-12 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Boeing Model 464-34-3, Republic mach 7, Lockheed CL-1301-1, Convair WS-125A, Boeing 484-415, Martin Model 223-10, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar, Martin Model 192-5, Boeing Model 464-40, Boeing Model 701-218, Northrop Nuclear flying wing, North American D118, Martin Model 223-11, North American Model 705-00-04, Bell/Martin 464L, Boeing B-1, Boeing Big Bird BB 6800, Boeing Model464-41, Douglas MX-2091-E, Boeing Model 701-238, Martin Model 223-12, Northrop Nuclear Flying Wing, Rockwell MRCC, Lockheed CL-820-8


USBP11x17-10-12 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


Large format USBP drawings, Issues 13-15

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 13-15 collects the diagrams created for issues 10, 11 and 12, including:

Ryan Model 162, Boeing Orbital bomb, Northrop Atomic Wing, Consolidated Vultee High Speed Flying Boat, Martin Model 189, Boeing Model 464-046, Curtis F-87C, Boeing Model 701-247, Lockheed WS 464L Dyna Soar, McDonnell WS 464L Dyna Soar, North American WS 464L Dyna Soar, Republic WS 464L Dyna Soar, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar I, Convair WS 464L Dyna Soar II, Douglas WS 464L Dyna Soar, Northrop N206 WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 814-1010 Dyna Soar II, Bell/Martin WS 464L Dyna Soar, Boeing Model 2050E Dyan Soar, Boeing Dyna Soar/ Titan IIIc, Bell D2001 TS-149, Lockheed Harvey; Convair Model 35, Rockwell D661-27, Boeing Model 464-49, Boeing Model 988-123, Boeing Manned Orbital Bomber, Boeing Model 701-251


USBP11x17-13-15 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:


 Posted by at 2:35 pm
Dec 042015

The Space Launch System continues to meander ahead. This surprises me; I thought sure it would’ve been cancelled by now. But forward it goes. Proof of that progress comes in the form of NASA recently signed a $1.16 billion dollar contract with Aerojet Rocketdyne (seriously, how depressing is it that this is now one company, rather than two vibrant competitors?) to restart production of the RS-25 rocket engine. Four of these engines will power the core of the SLS launcher.

misc-038 SLS-Model

Diagram showing the Saturn I, Space Shuttle, SLS and Saturn V to scale

The RS-25 was also  – and better – known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine. It’s an incredibly complex, fabulously expensive engine, because it tries to squeeze every last erg of performance from the hydrogen and oxygen propellants, and because it’s a man-rated engine that *cannot* be allowed to self-disassemble, and because it’s reusable.

Except… the new RS-25s will be tossed away with each SLS flight. Every time the rocket goes up, four RS-25s will be dumped into the drink.

misc-116 SSME-Model

Seems just a little bit of a waste.

As part of the new contract, the RS-25’s will be modernized; since there’ll be no reusing them, manufacturing processes are to be streamlined and parts count will be reduced. That’s good, but unless the parts count drops a *lot,* the price per engine will remain painfully high.

Interestingly, this is kinda the same/kinda the reverse of the history of the H-1 engine used on the Saturn I. The Thor and Jupiter MRBMs used the LOX/RP-1 S-3 engine; it was the right size for the new Saturn I, but was terribly expensive. So Rocketdyne engineers took the S-3 apart, figured out what they needed and what could be simplified, reduced parts count by (IIRC) more than 90%, and produced the H-1 engine. Lighter, cheaper, more powerful and, as it turned out, reusable without even really trying.

Throwing away the RS-25s after each flight is not necessarily necessary. Many, many Shuttle-derived launch vehicles have been designed over the decades that used SSMEs but didn’t throw them away. Anywhere from one to four (and probably more) SSMEs would be mounted at the tail of the launcher, built into a “capsule” that would separate from the booster after burnout and return the engines to the Earth (generally via ocean splashdown) where they would be recovered and reused. The design below (from US Launch Vehicle Projects #2) is a Martin Marietta concept from 1984 that put three SSMEs into a lifting body module that hung off the side of the booster. This position was chosen so that the booster could be launched from an unmodified Shuttle pad. The SLS mounted the engines directly below the core, necessitating a whole new launch pad. But since the Shuttle is no more, that’s not a big deal.

uslp 02-007-Model

 Posted by at 6:47 pm
Nov 082015

Raedthinn has suffered an injury requiring surgery tomorrow (managed to break his jaw – I think on the basement stairs – and it needs to be wired together). This has turned a “blah” Sunday into a rather dark time.

This won’t be cheap. So, if you’ve wanted to buy all the US Aerospace Projects publications, here’s your shot: all 18 Bomber Projects, all four Transport Projects, all three Spacecraft Projects, all two Launch Vehicle Projects. Normally $115, but until I say otherwise, lets say… $75. Slightly more than 1/3 off. Or if you just want to help with the Raedthinn Restoration, click on the “Tip Jar” and help till your significant other hurts you.

WP_20151108_015 WP_20151108_010

UPDATE: Raedthinn is back; sale has ended.

Raedthinn, like most cats, seemed to take his damage in stride. I saw him several times this morning, looking perfectly normal and content, even though his jaw must’ve been broken; I’m guessing he must’ve bit down on something this AM while I was out getting some grub and shoved the broken bit of jaw out of place. But even so, when I came home about noon, he was laying calmly on the bed and just gave me a look like “Sup.” I saw the tooth, checked him out, promptly freaked, called the emergency vet and dashed off.

I suggested to the vet that if he could be patched up so the tooth stayed like that, Raedthinn would look the utter badass. Sadly, the tooth is still firmly attached to a bit of jaw… a bit of jaw that has busted off and need to be put back in place. It appears his lower mandible is in three distinct pieces just now. How *exactly* Raedthinn accomplished this I’ve no good idea other than late last night he went bugnuts and dashed up the basement stairs, banging into everything on the way. I don’t know if the broken jaw is a result of the mad dash, or the mad dash was a result of the broken jaw.

 Posted by at 1:46 pm
Jul 072015

Now available… three new additions to the US Aerospace Projects series.

US Bomber Projects #15

USBP#15 includes:

  • Bell D2001: A 1957 eight-engined Bell VTOL strike plane for the Navy
  • Lockheed “Harvey”: AKA the Hopeless Diamond, Lockheeds first design for what became the F-117
  • Convair Model 35: An early push-pull concept for the B-36
  • Rockwell D661-27: A nuclear powered strategic bomber
  • Boeing Model 464-49: The penultimate major design in the development of the B-52
  • Boeing Model 988-123: A highly agile stealthy strike fighter
  • Boeing Orbital Bomber: An early concept for a Dyna Soar derivative with eight nukes
  • Boeing Model 701-251: A twin engined concept on the road to the XB-59

USBP#15 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.




US Transport Projects #4

USTP#4 includes:

  • Boeing Model 473-13: An early twin-engine jetliner
  • ICARUS Troop Transport: 1,200 marines, anywhere, anytime
  • Republic Model 10 SST: A little known SST competitor
  • Lockheed CL-593: A giant, if slow, logistics transporter
  • Boeing 763-059 NLA: A whole lotta passengers in one place
  • Fairchild M-534: A B-36 converted into a vast cargo carrier
  • Lockheed CL-1201: Probably the largest aircraft ever designed
  • Oblique All-Wing Supersonic Airplane: A supersonic variable-orientation flying wing

USTP#4 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.




US Launch Vehicle Projects #2

USLP#2 includes:

  • Juno V, 4 stage: An early design that became the Saturn rocket
  • Boeing “Space Freighter”: a giant two-stage spaceplane for launching solar power satellites
  • Boeing NASP-D: A rare look at an operational National Aerospace Plane derivative
  • LLNL Mockingbird: The smallest SSTO ever designed
  • Boeing Model 922-101: A fully reusable Saturn V
  • NAR Phase B Space Shuttle: a fully reusable two-stage concept
  • Martin Marietta Inline SDV: A Shuttle-derived heavy lifter
  • Scaled Composites Model 351: The Stratolaunch carrier aircraft

USLP#2 can be purchased for downloading for the low, low price of $4.



 Posted by at 11:48 pm
Jun 112015

I have three “US Aerospace Projects’ publications in the works. Two are virtually finished, the third about halfway through. I’m finding that the going goes slower these days, for reasons that are unclear; early on I thought I might be able to put out an issue a week, but it has been since April since I last released an issue. I’d like to think that I’m doing a better, more thorough job, and that takes more time. But then I’d also like to think that riches are mere days away.

So, what would you like to see come out soon? Options include:

  1. US Bomber Projects
  2. US Transport Projects
  3. US Launch Vehicle Projects
  4. US Spacecraft Projects
  5. US Fighter Projects
  6. US VTOL Projects
  7. American Nuclear Explosive Devices #2


Perhaps equally importantly… anything you have *zero* interest in?

Also: I’ve got a burning desire to scribble fiction (as may have been obvious from my “After The End” post yesterday), but fiction doesn’t pay anything. So spending a lot of time on it for no money would be a bit silly; spending a lot of time on it for no money *and* no general interest would be fricken’ stupid. I’ve got a half-assembled history of the *first* nuclear war in the “Pax Orionis” series, the one that set the US off on the direction of building up a major Orion program. It’s taken me a while to figure out just *how* to structure this historical background; I think I’ve finally got it. It’ll be a chapter from the memoirs of one of the Orion crew. He’s going over the history of the Orion program in a conversational way… not as a historian, with charts and graphs, but as Just A Guy describing how he got to where he got.

 Posted by at 10:53 pm