A commonly discussed bit of aerospace artwork is a North American Aviation painting of a scramjet-powered research vehicle that seems to bear some faint resemblance to the X-15. This is something I’ve personally been looking for more info on for some years, basically without result. All i’ve found on it is a high-quality copy of the painting itself from the Boeing archive… and a three-view of extremely dubious provenance that purports to be a 1/72 scale drawing of the beast. However, I suspect that the drawing is in fact “fan art” produced by someone looking at that same painting. Still, it’s all I’ve found.
I’ll probably have an expanded APR article on this and related Saturn carriers, but in the meantime here’s a Lockheed drawing of an airplane designed to take a Saturn I first stage. It utilises C-130 componants such as wings, tail surfaces, landing gear and engines, but completely replaces the fuselage.
A few APR subscribers (and former subscribers) have complained that they don’t care for the electronic version, that they liked the paper version better. Hey, I agree. I vastly prefer reading an actual paper honest-to-Odin book to text on a screen. However, confirmation that sometimes electronic is better came yesterday when I had the three most recent issues of APR printed off at a print shop. These were printed single-sided, with pages with color being printed in color, and 11X17 pages printed on 11X17 pages. Total price? More than $40. And there wasn’t even binding, never mind postage. A full years worth would, after switching to double-sided and with volume discounts, likely still cost more than $60 simply to print off. For a while I’ve been contemplating having a few copies made of Volume 1 printed complete and bound, but with binding and whatnot, the selling price would have to be on the order of $100. And who the hell would pay *that?* Sure, it’d be more than 500 pages (damn, that’s a lot when I think about it) and probably technically worth it… but a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.
Now, if anyone is actually interested in a bound version of Volume 1, let me know.
The next issue of APR will have an article on Project Pluto (aka SLAM – Supersonic Low Altitude Missile), a nifty and entirely evil concept for a cruise missile with a nuclear ramjet engine. A cutaway painting was commissioned from Damon Moran to help illustrate this article. But it’s so good that I’m currently planning on releasing it as a poster, in one or more formats. First, there’s the “standalone” version, which will measure 10 inches by 26 or so:
And there’s a 20X24 inch version featuring an additional inboard profile:
I’ll soon have a few test prints made, and will likely scribble all over ’em as I figure out what to tinker with. I’m currently guesstimating prices in the $20-$30 range, though smaller versions may also result. Stay tuned for more info.