It looks like Purdue University in Indiana has the canopy from a McDonnell-Douglas A-12 Avenger II, and they’ve put it up for auction. Only a few hours left, so if this is what you’ve been needing to finish that A-12 in the garage… here ya go.

Jet Fighter Canopy

Thought to be from the canceled McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II project, this canopy was obtained through the acquisition of a trailer to which the canopy was mounted. This is a wiki link to the failed A-12 II project:

Included is the canopy as pictured and a small box of miscellaneous parts. The large plastic wrapped item visible in some of the pictures is not part of the canopy and is not included with this auction.

Bidders may inspect the property prior to bidding.

A North American Rockwell design from March of 1971 for a Phase B Shuttle design. The Orbiter and the External Tank are certainly recognizable, but the solid rocket boosters are here replaced with a single liquid propellant booster located underneath the external tank. Equipped with four uprated F-1 rockets engines, it had the same tank diameter as the S-IC stage from the Saturn V. The Orbiters engines would ignite after first stage separation.  With a gross liftoff weight of 5,274,000 pounds, payload was 40,000 pounds into polar orbit. Splashdown weight of the booster was 460,000 pounds.

A piece of concept art from McDonnell-Douglas showing an early design for the F-15.

The most obvious difference from the final design is the wholly different main wing planform. Almost as obvious is the pointier nose. Less obvious, at this stage the design had two fairly substantial ventral fins directly under the dorsal vertical stabilizers… and the engine nozzles were 2-dimensional vectoring nozzles much like those in use on the F-22.

Sitting next to the YF-23 at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH (or at least it was a few years ago) is an example of the General Electric YF120. The YF120 was in competition with the Pratt & Whitney YF119; both the YF-23 and the YF120 lost their respective competitions. The YF120 was an advanced engine, capable of efficient operation at low speed as well as supersonic. As shown here, it was equipped with a vectoring nozzle providing pitch axis control. Thrust was around 35,000 pounds.

A photo of a display model of a Vought transport aircraft using the ADAM (Air Deflection And Modulation) system for vertical thrust. Note six small turbojets – two in the forward fuselage, four in wingtip pods – drive four large fans embedded in the wings. Process essentially the same as the V-460 design.

Thanks to Mark Nankivil.

Lockheed F-35B takeoff/landing tests on board the USS Wasp. Some pretty spiffy footage of vertical landings and short takeoffs… pay special attention to the effect of the jet blast on the water.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt


Passengers on plane from India to Birmingham forced into £20k whip-round for fuel after they’re told ‘pay up or you won’t get home’

Let me translate that from Brit-gibberish into good ol’ American:

Passengers, who had already paid their tickets for a flight from India to England, were forced to come up with £20,000 in cash in Vienna because their airline had not paid its bills. Without the cash, their 757 would not have been able to  get the fuel it needed. So the passengers were escorted off the plane into the airport to the nearby ATM’s to withdraw cash to pay up.

That’s a paddlin’.

Three basic liquid boosters for the Shuttle… a flyback booster based on the Saturn V first stage, a simple but heavy pressure-fed recoverable ballistic “lobber,” and ballistically recovered pressure-fed “strap on” boosters.

XCOR Aerospace and the Southwest Research Institute will award a research flight on board the XCOR Lynx suborbital spaceplane to one paid registrant at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference. This conference will be held February 27-29, 2012, in Palo Alto, California.

The contest rules are HERE.

I bet these guys are going to be in the running:

Of course, they’d better keep an eye out for someone trying to game the system…

The “Lego” approach…

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