Jun 212013

A little-known and poorly-documented proposed variant of the Titan family of launch vehicles, the Titan IIIG used an increased-diameter core with 156-inch diameter solid rocket boosters. The late-1960’s Titan IIIG would have been capable of launching 100,000 pounds, and seems to have been focused on USAF missions. McDonnell Douglas appears to have considered it for use in launching the Big Gemini logistics capsule. Beyond that, not much is known. The McD illustration below is one of the few I’ve come across, and does not seem likely to be terribly accurate. Also depicted here are the Titan IIIM, a launch vehicle composed of a cluster of four 156-inch solids topped by an S-IVb stage (a McD product), a 260-inch solid topped by an S-IVb, and external tank arrangements for reusable launch vehicles such as the ILRV (integral Launch and Recovery Vehicle), a predecessor to the Space Shuttle. McD’s entry to the ILRV study was a derivative of their generic Model 176 concept.



 Posted by at 7:40 am
  • How is this still a Titan variant? Was this name just some accounting gambit or was there actually some parts commonality with the ICBM?

    • Anonymous

      The larger diameter core was derived from Titan engines & other parts. It might be built up – as suggested in an article at the time – by starting with the large diameter core, with a standard TIII second stage and standard 120-inch solids, and progressively swapping out bits. In the end… the old gag about the farmer who’s had the same axe for 50 years, only replaced the handle four times and the head twice.

      • Hah!
        Yeah, though come to think of it Saturn 1 was way different from Saturn 5. Was there a greater commonality between them given the Saturn 1s second stage and C-5s third?