I’ve got the first of the Patreon-supported “PDF Reviews” up over at the APR Blog.

A ginormous glider designed and patented by Burt Rutan carrying a space launch rocket on  its back, towed by a jetliner and performing some interesting maneuvers to assure positive separation.


For $10 patrons on my Patreon campaign, a new message should appear there asking you to vote on what I’ll release in August (two documents and one large format diagram). For those who are $10 patrons, here’s a partial list anyway… if you see something there and you really want to make sure it becomes available, well, the obvious thing to do is sign on and vote!


Drawing: fairly detailed 3-view of Lunar Roving Vehicle (as actually flown to the moon)

Drawing: “Plans for Scale Model Construction of the Honest John Surface-to-Surface Missile” by McDonnell-Douglas, 1971 (does anyone know of more of these???)

Document: “Douglas Aircraft Company: An Overview,” 60+ page brochure showing existing and proposed jetliners, by McDonnell-Douglas, ca. 1980

Art: a vintage lithograph of the Lockheed L-2000 SST in flight, w/3 view on the back.

Document: “CT-39 International Sabreliner,” a Rockwell International booklet/brochure describing the multipurpose utility jet

Document: “Air Force Expeditionary Catapult,” a truly massive billet of paper serving as a proposal from the All American Engineering Company for the System 300 Catapult, 1955. This was to be a turbojet-powered cable launching system for jet fighters which could be easily transported and set up in the field. (NOTE: this one counts as two reports, as it’s fairly gigantic)

Document: Aeroassisted Flight Experiment Nonadvocate Review, 1989, NASA

Document: Pocket Data for Rocket Engines, 1953, Bell

Document: SAM-D Air Defense Weapon System, 1973, US Army

Document: Pilots Handbook of Operation XLR11-RM-3 & XLR11-RM-5, liquid Rocket Engines, 1950, Reaction Motors

Art: X-15 lithograph (date unknown)

Document: The Centaur Program, 1961, Convair

Document: Orbiter Vehicle Structures, Rockwell

Document: An integrated Moonmobile-Spacesuit Concept, 1961, Aerojet

Document: The Intercontinental Stratoliner 707-320, 1955, Boeing

Document: Douglas DC-8 Design Study, 1953, Douglas

Document: Transport Weight Comparison Based on Lockheed 49-10, 1943, Lockheed

Document: ETR Launch Operations Plan for Cenaur on Shuttle, 1979, General Dynamics

Diagram: MD-11 wing diagram, six-feet long: McDonnel-Douglas, 1995

Document:  A Lockheed presentation on the GL-224 Turbo-Jet VTOL Aircraft, 1958

Document:  A Project RAND report on the GG-2 all-wing bomber, 1949

Document:  A small Rockwell brochure on the “common core” concept for a fixed-wing subsonic B-1 variant, 1979 4) A presentation on the Douglas “Skybus,” 1944

Document: A NAA report on a turboprop-powered F-82E for ground attack, 1949

Document:  A Curtis report on the twin engined F-87C, 1948

Document:  A Vertol report on VTOL transport aircraft, showing several very different configurations, 1956

Document:  A Lockheed presentation to the AIAA on the history of the Fleet Ballistic Missile, 1978

Document:  A collection of Manned Spacecraft Center Space Shuttle orbiter concepts, 1972

Document:  A Convair collection of design drawings of an Assault Seaplane, 1948 (NOTE: this one counts as two reports, as it’s fairly gigantic)

Document:  A Vought report on the Regulus II missile with detailed diagrams, 1955

I’m about $21 short of the next milestone, which will result in two “PDF reviews” per month of little-known online aerospace history resources. So if that idea appeals… consider signing up (and telling all your friends who have a few dimes to rub together).

Also: in August there will be three documents/large format diagrams released, along with three CAD diagrams. The documents/LFD’s are yet to be chosen (the $10 patron will get to vote on this in the next week or so), but the CAD diagrams are underway. One is already basically complete: the first accurate and clean, large 3-view diagram of the Northrop Tacit Blue demonstrator. The second will be of a proposed launch vehicle. The third is still up in the air.


Two pages from a B-58 pilots manual stitched together into a single illustration showing the various bits and pieces.


A brief video of  a snake on a Vomit Comet. With nothing to wrap around and hold onto, it just sorta balls itself up and bounces around inside its enclosure.

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By a Russian “Buk” missile, reportedly. Fingers being pointed at the pro-Russian separatists. Plane had 295 souls on board, all dead now.

BBC: Ukraine airliner ‘crash’ updates

CNN: Report: Malaysia Airlines flight crashes in Ukraine

The “Buk” missile is a substantial weapon, launched from an armored vehicle. Somewhat akin to the Patriot missile the Buk is capable of reaching aircraft at an altitude of 25 km… well above the 33,000 foot cruising altitude of the jetliner.

UPDATE: Below is a twitter feed showing a number of photos of wreckage on the ground. Be warned, though… some of the wreckage used to be alive. The fall from 33,000 feet, and especially that sudden stop at the end, does the human body no favors. So if Ogrish and Rotten were your websites of choice back in the day, here ya go (not directly linking because, well, if ya want it, what, are your fingers broke?)


This one might prove to be a bit heartbreaking for a few hundred families:


UPDATED update: Another interesting Twitter feed:



Oh, it’s on now:

Reuters World @ReutersWorld  ·  22m

#BREAKING: Number of dead from crash of #MH17 more than 300, includes 23 U.S. citizen: Interior Ministry adviser, quoted by Interfax


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From the early 1960′s. Very likely *not* representative of an actual design, rather just artistic license.

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Specifically, I’m looking for high quality large format *accurate* Lockheed diagrams of the C-130 (any version). Not looking for magazine 3-views or fan-made plans, but  precision Lockheed diagrams of the plane or perhaps subscale models of the C-130, that sort of thing. Help appreciated!

The first month of my Patreon thingie is up and running now. Available – until next month, when they’ll be replaced by the next set of stuff – are the following:

1) A large format diagram of the B/J-58, a Convair concept for a two-engine tactical B-58

2) A PDF document, “Manned Space Stations and Alternatives” which covers Gemini and Dyna Soar-based small MOL-like station concepts, and includes info on the Gemini satellite inspector/interceptor

3) Two CAD diagrams, one of the McDonnell-Douglas Model 192 ISINGLASS hypersonic rocket-powered recon platform, the other comparing the Titan IIIC with the Titan IIIC/Dyna Soar and the Titan IIIM/MOL.

If you’d be interested in helping me dig up and release this sort of obscure aerospace historical material, or if you want to get in on the rewards, please consider joining my Patreon.


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