Apr 212015

Along with the knowledge that you’re helping support the cause of preserving and spreading aerospace history, if you become an Aerospace Projects Review patron you get the first crack at stuff that might be of interest. For example… a little while back I sold off some one-off test prints, and more recently 85 or so old issues of Analog/Astounding science fiction magazines dating from the 1940’s into the 1970’s.

APR Patreon patrons get not only the first crack at these things (more such sales are coming, including a whole bunch of aerospace books), but also get them at a discount. The $10-level patrons have the opportunity at first dibs, followed by $4 and up patrons.

If interested, check out the APR Patreon HERE.

Image1s Image2V Image4F


More stuff will be coming soon…


 Posted by at 7:25 pm
Apr 142015

Vincent Burnelli was an aircraft designer who specialized in lifting-fuselage aircraft… instead of a cylindrical tube, his fuselages were fat unswept wing cross-sections. The thinking was that this would reduce drag and increase lift and make the vehicles more structurally sound in the event of a crash; while in some cases testing did show some occasional advantages, on the whole these designs did not provide much if any aerodynamic advantage; and once aircraft started flying high enough to require pressurization, the non-circular cross section made pressurization difficult to achieve cost effectively. Sadly, any advantages these designs may have had have been overshadowed by the largely unhinged conspiracy theories that have sprung up around why they haven’t been adopted.

One of the last of Burnellis designs (from about 1962) was the “GB-888,” a supersonic jetliner of unusual configuration. Artwork reproduced below seems to date from the 1980s; here the SST has been relabeled an “aerospaceplane.” The idea, apparently, was to ride the coattails of the X-30 National Aero Space Plane, which had a *vaguely* similar lifting fuselage configuration. As drawn, of course, the GB-888 would make a terrible ASP… the windows on the sides would be melt nicely on re-entry; the sharp edges would concentrate aerothermal heating loads to a fantastic degree; and putting then engines on the top surface would do a fantastic job of getting them out of the airflow, assuring that the engines would not perform very well at all. Still, it’s interesting art.

Burnelli GB-888

I have made the high-rez of this illustration available for $4-level patrons at the APR Patreon.

 Posted by at 9:29 am
Apr 102015

I saw this on ebay. Thought it might be of interest to some…


skycycle 1 skycycle2 skycycle3 skycycle4 skycycle5

The Skycycle was about the oddest manned vehicle to ever take flight. This is not at overall vehicle design blueprint, but instead a description of the pilot extraction and parachute system. Still, I’d plunk down 20 bucks for it, maybe even $50…


Ah. Nevermind.


 Posted by at 10:47 am
Apr 072015

Here’s a photo of a C-130 in-flight refueling two CH-53 helicopters, each helicopter carrying two Hummers. Now, if each Hummer had two dirt bikes, and each dirt bike was equipped with two small hand-launched drone aircraft…


More photos of this kind can be found HERE.

 Posted by at 11:58 am
Apr 062015

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

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.




Also available:US Transport Projects #03.

Included in this issue:

  • Lockheed “Environmentally Responsible Aviation” box-wing jetliner
  • Martin Commercial Twin-Hull concept from 1942
  • North American Aviation NAC-60 SST competitor
  • McDonnell-Douglas Cargo Spanloader
  • Boeing Model 763-058 “New Large Airplane”
  • BoMi Passenger Transport Rocket
  • Lockheed L-152-1 early jet transport with unusual inlets
  • Aerial Relay System: for when crazy is preferred

USTP #03 can be purchased for download for only $4:




Please note: APR Patreon patrons can get 10% to 20% off all APR/USXP/air&space drawings & documents. See HERE for details.

 Posted by at 9:19 am
Mar 272015

I have made some adjustments to the Aerospace Projects Review Patreon campaign. The first is that I’ve reduced the number of rewards levels, which I was informed was previously Too Many. More importantly, I have added some new rewards: if you become a patron at $5 or more per month, you receive 10% off all future purchases of APR, US Aerospace Projects and downloadable Documents and Drawings. If you become a patron at $10 per month, you will receive 20% off any such purchases. Check of the APR Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=197906

Additionally, the campaign has reached the point where the rewards are now *three* aerospace documents, one high-rez historical diagram and one all-new CAD diagram per month. This is in addition to the random “Extras” I throw in for $4 and up patrons. The most recent extra is a full-rez restoration of a three-view diagram of a 1978 McDonnell-Douglas concept for modifying Skylab to be serviced by the Space Shuttle. You can see a smaller-rez version of that here: http://www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/blog/?p=2153

If you sign up now you will get the latest rewards which include:

  • A Bell Aircraft presentation on the SR-126 Bomber Missile, a manned ICBM predecessor of the Dyna Soar
  • A Lockheed paper on the history of the Polaris to Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile
  • A large poster illustrating the missiles and rockets of the Orbital Sciences Corporation
  • An all-new CAD diagram detailing the 10-meter Orion nuclear pulse propulsion vehicle designed by General Atomic for the USAF
 Posted by at 6:36 pm
Mar 262015

Germanwings Co-Pilot Deliberately Crashed Airbus Jet, French Prosecutor Says

After a review of the cockpit voice recorder:

1) The pilot and copilot conversed normally until the plane reached cruising altitude and the pilot left

2) The copilot (one Andreas Lubitz, German 28 years old) was heard breathing normally from then on, but remains otherwise silent

3) When the pilot tries to get back into the cockpit, he has been locked out. The door is normally locked, but the crew have keypads to get in… but the pilot had been *intentionally*

4) Passengers can be heard screaming just before the crash

There are no indications that this was religious terrorism. The copilot remained silent during the 8 minutes he was alone; if it was terrorism, you’d expect the pilot to be babbling something akin to “Surt if Awesome” before murdering the plane. Additionally, you’d kinda wonder, if it was terrorism, why the pilot aimed for a mountain rather than, say, a city. But if it wasn’t terrorism… just what was it?

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Mar 162015

Another ebay auction presents a display model of a transport version of the McD Model 260 VTOL from the 1970’s:

s-l1600a s-l1600b s-l1600c s-l1600d s-l1600e s-l1600f s-l1600g s-l1600h s-l1600i s-l1600j

A great many Model 260 variants were designed, all based on the same basic concept: an aircraft shaped much like a corporate jet, featuring a pair of turbofan engines of very high bypass ratio located in shrouds which could unfold to direct the thrust downward for vertical lift and hover. Unlike the Rockwell XFV-12, the Model 260 could probably have worked, but it was never built.

 Posted by at 1:42 pm
Mar 162015

The rules of flying on a jetliner are generally pretty simple. You’re stuck in a small space with a bunch of other people, with minimal room to move around for *hours.* So what should you do? Be quiet, try not to stink, behave yourself. Just spend a few hours trying to get along with the strangers stuck there with you.

Or… screw it. Do like this woman:

Go on a bizarre loud political rant and light up a cigarette. That’ll win you friends among those seated near you. Even  better… when the flight attendants come along to tell you to stop smoking, blame it on the poor schmoe sitting next to you:

According to this purported eye witness, the rant went on for half an hour or so. And, shockingly, there was booze involved. This was even *before* the plane took off, so the police had the opportunity to come aboard and hustler her off.

And finally a mugshot:


She is *reportedly* a sociology professor at a Pennsylvania university.

UPDATE: She is Dr. Karen Bettez Halnon, Associate Professor of Sociology, Penn State, Abington. You want some irony? Well, I got ya covered:

Halnon, K. B. (1995). Women’s agency in Hysteria and its Treatment. Boston College Dissertations and Theses, AAI9613827.

And here is the entirely unsurprising areas of her expertise:

Research and Teaching Areas: racial and ethnic inequality; capitalism and class; White and Black poverty; empire and imperialism; Central or Latin American studies; consumption; music scenes and subcultures; liberation theology; revolution; stigma; symbolic interaction; women and madness; marijuana; sociology of deviance; Marxist theory; postmodernist criticism; ideology

This is why a STEM education is important:

1) If a math or engineering professor gets likkered up before a flight, he/she is very unlikely to go on a rant on the plane about the importance of Poisson’s Ratio or the transcendental nature of Pi.

2) If a physics or electronics professor holds whackadoodle leftist garbage beliefs like this sociology professor… they are unlikely to form a major portion of the classroom curriculum.

It seems to be the libarts where exterior crazy becomes syllabus-mandatory.

Additionally: this is one of those cases where a little bit of room to stretch out might have been handy. When you add booze, cramped conditions and progressive professorial privilege to the reduced oxygen environment of an aircraft, wacky things like this are not unlikely. Perhaps the problem would be lessened by using aircraft with a lower passenger density. For US Transport Projects #3, one of the aircraft described would have been somewhat slower than a standard jetliner, but it would also have provided several square meters of floorspace per passenger. (It was also wholly insane as an operational concept…) With room to stretch out or even sack out, perhaps Crazy Lady here could have simply slept off her issues.

 Posted by at 9:51 am