new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged hypersonic jet

Since I was a small kid, the A-6 Intruder has always been my favourite aircraft.

The VL A-6L Super-Intruder is an Imperial Lego twin jet-engine, mid-wing carrier based attack aircraft built by Vila Disparador.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

The Super Intruder entered service with the Imperial Navy Aviation in 2020, replacing the original A-6I Intruder and serves alongside the VL-1000 Thanatos Stealth fighter. Since then, it’s the main Strike Bomber and anti-ship aircraft operated by the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers. Each Aircraft Carrier usually carries 50 A-6L Super Intruders, divided in two squadrons with 25 aircrafts each. The Super Intruder can operate in a much greater number of different roles than the more expensive Thanatos Stealth Fighter therefore, it will continue to serve on the Imperial Navy for at least 30 years more.

 

The Super intruder is largely a new aircraft compared with the previous A-6I Intruder. It’s slightly smaller, 1100kg lighter at empty weight but 4,800 kg heavier at maximum weight than the original Intruder I, thanks to the use of new alloys and the larger bombload. The Super Intruder carries 20 percent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 30 percent and endurance by 40 percent over the "Legacy" Intruder. The main differences between the old Intruder and the new Super Intruder are the wings and the engines. The Super Intruder uses a Variable-sweep wing design, with 6 hardpoints under the wings, versus four on the A-6I. With the new, much more powerful and economic V-434 jet engines, the Super Intruder can super-cruise and achieve a maximum speed of Mach 2,3 at high altitude. The A-6L is also extremely manoeuvrable and agile at low altitudes; therefore there is an increasing number of Super-Intruder ace pilots with over 50 confirmed victories. The addition of two automatic 37mm ENA-75 heavy cannons (one of the most powerful aircraft cannons ever flown), capable of destroying heavy tanks and aircrafts give the new aircraft a fearsome armament. The Super Intruder is currently considered the best anti-tank aircraft in the Imperial Lego Aerial Forces. Although the Super Intruder isn’t a stealth aircraft, the aircraft relies its “invisibility” by flying extremely low and using very advanced ECMs. The aircraft is also painted with the latest radar absorbing materials.

 

The Super Intruder has a total of 9 external hardpoints, six under the wings and three under the fuselage. The A-6L can carry and guide 5 hypersonic D.D.N. anti-ship missiles at once. Therefore, it’s a major threat to every enemy warship. It can also carry 5 heavy Standoff Land Attack Missiles. The aircraft is exceptionally tough. Since the previous A-6I wasn’t armoured, the Super intruder hull incorporates over 590 kg of armor and was designed with survivability as a priority, with protective measures in place which enable the aircraft to continue flying even after taking significant damage. Its strong airframe can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37 mm.One of the main advantages of the Super Intruder has always been its ability to carry a lot of ordnance, both tonnage and variety, to the target.

The aircraft can deliver forty 500kg bombs with pin point accuracy day or night. It also can deliver the Imperial Navy's entire arsenal of available weapons, from bombs to ground attack and air-to-air missiles.

The A-6L also has totally new avionics (including the AN-234 AESA radar) and multi-function cockpit displays – therefore, the Super Intruder can also operate and guide long-range air-to-air missiles like the AA-2042 “Empire´s Spear”. The A-6L still maintains the small, gyroscopically stabilized AR7 turret used on the previous Intruder, mounted under the nose of the aircraft, containing a FLIR boresighted with a laser spot-tracker/designator. With this small turret, the aircraft can make extremely accurate attacks, or use the sensors alone to attack without using the Super Intruder's radar (which might warn the target). The AR7turret also allows the Intruder to autonomously designate and drop laser-guided bombs. There is also an aerial refueling version, the KA-6L. Each aircraft carrier usually carries 3 or 4 of these aircrafts. The KA-6L can also operate defensive air-to-air missiles and perform electronic warfare missions. Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks.

 

The EA-6L Super Prowler electronic Warfare version is also operational with the Imperial Navy Aircraft Carriers. The aircraft is also armed with two 37mm cannons and it can be armed with defensive air-to-air missiles and Anti-Radar missiles.

Although the Navy and Imperial Marine pilots love the Super Intruder, the Imperial Lego Air Force never liked the aircraft. Although the Imperial Air Force had thousands of A-6 Intruders many decades ago, they currently replaced them with new and more advanced fighters and bombers. Today, Navy Pilots flying the Super Intruder are considered the best ground attack aircraft crews in the world.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

General characteristics: VL A-6L Super Intruder

Mission/Role: Medium Bomber, Precision Bomber, Anti-ship; Ground Attack, Anti-tank, Wild Weasel, Electronic Warfare, Escort, Forward Air Control, Low Altitude Reconnaissance, Aerial Refuelling Platform.

First flight: 21/08/2020

Operational: 21/03/2021

Crew: 2 (pilot, bombardier/navigator)

Length: 15.6 m

Wingspan: 16.1 m

Height: 4.65 m

Wing area: 51.1 m²

Empty weight: 11,530 kg

Useful load: 21,870 kg

Max. takeoff weight: 33,500 kg

Powerplant: 2 × V-434 jet engines, 121.4 kN each with afterburner;

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2,3

Range: 7,222 km

Service ceiling: 18,400 m

Rate of climb: 58.7 m/s

Armament

Hardpoints: 9 total: 6 wing and 3 fuselage with 21,170 kg total load;

Rockets:4 FS-1000 rocket pods with 18 90mm rockets each or 6 rocket pods with 4 152mm rockets each.

Missiles:Air-to-air missiles:2 or 4 AA-2020 Valkyria medium-short range missiles for self-defence. 8 or 10 AA-2040 “Empire’s Spear” medium-long range missiles

Air-to-ground missiles:3 (Max: 5) D.D.N. heavy anti-ship missiles; 11 D.D.B. medium anti-ship missiles;13 AT-2009 Imperium anti-tank missiles; 19 AT-2040 “Vulcan” air-to-ground tactical missiles; 5 LG-1000 munitions dispensers missiles; 4 AT-1500 “Titan” heavy air-to-ground tactical missiles;

Bombs:12 “Excalibur” Anti-runway bombs; 4 Valhalla Television-guided glide bombs; 40 500kg bombs;

Various unguided and Cluster bombs, Laser-guided bombs, Napalm, as well as tactical termo-nuclear bombs.

Others:ECM protection pod, Pave Spike Laser designator pod, Buddy refuelling pack or 5 Drop tanks for extended range/loitering time;

 

Hope you like!

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

Please Comment or fav!

 

Eínon

A hypersonic commercial jet concept. Whether or not it will fly is "up in the air." Designed in Alias and animated in KeyShot.

 

An absurdly fun sci-fi exercise in absurdity.

Since I was a small kid, the A-6 Intruder has always been my favourite aircraft.

The VL A-6L Super-Intruder is an Imperial Lego twin jet-engine, mid-wing carrier based attack aircraft built by Vila Disparador.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

The Super Intruder entered service with the Imperial Navy Aviation in 2020, replacing the original A-6I Intruder and serves alongside the VL-1000 Thanatos Stealth fighter. Since then, it’s the main Strike Bomber and anti-ship aircraft operated by the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers. Each Aircraft Carrier usually carries 50 A-6L Super Intruders, divided in two squadrons with 25 aircrafts each. The Super Intruder can operate in a much greater number of different roles than the more expensive Thanatos Stealth Fighter therefore, it will continue to serve on the Imperial Navy for at least 30 years more.

 

The Super intruder is largely a new aircraft compared with the previous A-6I Intruder. It’s slightly smaller, 1100kg lighter at empty weight but 4,800 kg heavier at maximum weight than the original Intruder I, thanks to the use of new alloys and the larger bombload. The Super Intruder carries 20 percent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 30 percent and endurance by 40 percent over the "Legacy" Intruder. The main differences between the old Intruder and the new Super Intruder are the wings and the engines. The Super Intruder uses a Variable-sweep wing design, with 6 hardpoints under the wings, versus four on the A-6I. With the new, much more powerful and economic V-434 jet engines, the Super Intruder can super-cruise and achieve a maximum speed of Mach 2,3 at high altitude. The A-6L is also extremely manoeuvrable and agile at low altitudes; therefore there is an increasing number of Super-Intruder ace pilots with over 50 confirmed victories. The addition of two automatic 37mm ENA-75 heavy cannons (one of the most powerful aircraft cannons ever flown), capable of destroying heavy tanks and aircrafts give the new aircraft a fearsome armament. The Super Intruder is currently considered the best anti-tank aircraft in the Imperial Lego Aerial Forces. Although the Super Intruder isn’t a stealth aircraft, the aircraft relies its “invisibility” by flying extremely low and using very advanced ECMs. The aircraft is also painted with the latest radar absorbing materials.

 

The Super Intruder has a total of 9 external hardpoints, six under the wings and three under the fuselage. The A-6L can carry and guide 5 hypersonic D.D.N. anti-ship missiles at once. Therefore, it’s a major threat to every enemy warship. It can also carry 5 heavy Standoff Land Attack Missiles. The aircraft is exceptionally tough. Since the previous A-6I wasn’t armoured, the Super intruder hull incorporates over 590 kg of armor and was designed with survivability as a priority, with protective measures in place which enable the aircraft to continue flying even after taking significant damage. Its strong airframe can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37 mm.One of the main advantages of the Super Intruder has always been its ability to carry a lot of ordnance, both tonnage and variety, to the target.

The aircraft can deliver forty 500kg bombs with pin point accuracy day or night. It also can deliver the Imperial Navy's entire arsenal of available weapons, from bombs to ground attack and air-to-air missiles.

The A-6L also has totally new avionics (including the AN-234 AESA radar) and multi-function cockpit displays – therefore, the Super Intruder can also operate and guide long-range air-to-air missiles like the AA-2042 “Empire´s Spear”. The A-6L still maintains the small, gyroscopically stabilized AR7 turret used on the previous Intruder, mounted under the nose of the aircraft, containing a FLIR boresighted with a laser spot-tracker/designator. With this small turret, the aircraft can make extremely accurate attacks, or use the sensors alone to attack without using the Super Intruder's radar (which might warn the target). The AR7turret also allows the Intruder to autonomously designate and drop laser-guided bombs. There is also an aerial refueling version, the KA-6L. Each aircraft carrier usually carries 3 or 4 of these aircrafts. The KA-6L can also operate defensive air-to-air missiles and perform electronic warfare missions. Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks.

 

The EA-6L Super Prowler electronic Warfare version is also operational with the Imperial Navy Aircraft Carriers. The aircraft is also armed with two 37mm cannons and it can be armed with defensive air-to-air missiles and Anti-Radar missiles.

Although the Navy and Imperial Marine pilots love the Super Intruder, the Imperial Lego Air Force never liked the aircraft. Although the Imperial Air Force had thousands of A-6 Intruders many decades ago, they currently replaced them with new and more advanced fighters and bombers. Today, Navy Pilots flying the Super Intruder are considered the best ground attack aircraft crews in the world.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

General characteristics: VL A-6L Super Intruder

Mission/Role: Medium Bomber, Precision Bomber, Anti-ship; Ground Attack, Anti-tank, Wild Weasel, Electronic Warfare, Escort, Forward Air Control, Low Altitude Reconnaissance, Aerial Refuelling Platform.

First flight: 21/08/2020

Operational: 21/03/2021

Crew: 2 (pilot, bombardier/navigator)

Length: 15.6 m

Wingspan: 16.1 m

Height: 4.65 m

Wing area: 51.1 m²

Empty weight: 11,530 kg

Useful load: 21,870 kg

Max. takeoff weight: 33,500 kg

Powerplant: 2 × V-434 jet engines, 121.4 kN each with afterburner;

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2,3

Range: 7,222 km

Service ceiling: 18,400 m

Rate of climb: 58.7 m/s

Armament

Hardpoints: 9 total: 6 wing and 3 fuselage with 21,170 kg total load;

Rockets:4 FS-1000 rocket pods with 18 90mm rockets each or 6 rocket pods with 4 152mm rockets each.

Missiles:Air-to-air missiles:2 or 4 AA-2020 Valkyria medium-short range missiles for self-defence. 8 or 10 AA-2040 “Empire’s Spear” medium-long range missiles

Air-to-ground missiles:3 (Max: 5) D.D.N. heavy anti-ship missiles; 11 D.D.B. medium anti-ship missiles;13 AT-2009 Imperium anti-tank missiles; 19 AT-2040 “Vulcan” air-to-ground tactical missiles; 5 LG-1000 munitions dispensers missiles; 4 AT-1500 “Titan” heavy air-to-ground tactical missiles;

Bombs:12 “Excalibur” Anti-runway bombs; 4 Valhalla Television-guided glide bombs; 40 500kg bombs;

Various unguided and Cluster bombs, Laser-guided bombs, Napalm, as well as tactical termo-nuclear bombs.

Others:ECM protection pod, Pave Spike Laser designator pod, Buddy refuelling pack or 5 Drop tanks for extended range/loitering time;

 

Hope you like!

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

Please Comment or fav!

 

Eínon

Since I was a small kid, the A-6 Intruder has always been my favourite aircraft.

The VL A-6L Super-Intruder is an Imperial Lego twin jet-engine, mid-wing carrier based attack aircraft built by Vila Disparador.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

The Super Intruder entered service with the Imperial Navy Aviation in 2020, replacing the original A-6I Intruder and serves alongside the VL-1000 Thanatos Stealth fighter. Since then, it’s the main Strike Bomber and anti-ship aircraft operated by the Imperial Navy aircraft carriers. Each Aircraft Carrier usually carries 50 A-6L Super Intruders, divided in two squadrons with 25 aircrafts each. The Super Intruder can operate in a much greater number of different roles than the more expensive Thanatos Stealth Fighter therefore, it will continue to serve on the Imperial Navy for at least 30 years more.

 

The Super intruder is largely a new aircraft compared with the previous A-6I Intruder. It’s slightly smaller, 1100kg lighter at empty weight but 4,800 kg heavier at maximum weight than the original Intruder I, thanks to the use of new alloys and the larger bombload. The Super Intruder carries 20 percent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 30 percent and endurance by 40 percent over the "Legacy" Intruder. The main differences between the old Intruder and the new Super Intruder are the wings and the engines. The Super Intruder uses a Variable-sweep wing design, with 6 hardpoints under the wings, versus four on the A-6I. With the new, much more powerful and economic V-434 jet engines, the Super Intruder can super-cruise and achieve a maximum speed of Mach 2,3 at high altitude. The A-6L is also extremely manoeuvrable and agile at low altitudes; therefore there is an increasing number of Super-Intruder ace pilots with over 50 confirmed victories. The addition of two automatic 37mm ENA-75 heavy cannons (one of the most powerful aircraft cannons ever flown), capable of destroying heavy tanks and aircrafts give the new aircraft a fearsome armament. The Super Intruder is currently considered the best anti-tank aircraft in the Imperial Lego Aerial Forces. Although the Super Intruder isn’t a stealth aircraft, the aircraft relies its “invisibility” by flying extremely low and using very advanced ECMs. The aircraft is also painted with the latest radar absorbing materials.

 

The Super Intruder has a total of 9 external hardpoints, six under the wings and three under the fuselage. The A-6L can carry and guide 5 hypersonic D.D.N. anti-ship missiles at once. Therefore, it’s a major threat to every enemy warship. It can also carry 5 heavy Standoff Land Attack Missiles. The aircraft is exceptionally tough. Since the previous A-6I wasn’t armoured, the Super intruder hull incorporates over 590 kg of armor and was designed with survivability as a priority, with protective measures in place which enable the aircraft to continue flying even after taking significant damage. Its strong airframe can survive direct hits from armor-piercing and high-explosive projectiles up to 37 mm.One of the main advantages of the Super Intruder has always been its ability to carry a lot of ordnance, both tonnage and variety, to the target.

The aircraft can deliver forty 500kg bombs with pin point accuracy day or night. It also can deliver the Imperial Navy's entire arsenal of available weapons, from bombs to ground attack and air-to-air missiles.

The A-6L also has totally new avionics (including the AN-234 AESA radar) and multi-function cockpit displays – therefore, the Super Intruder can also operate and guide long-range air-to-air missiles like the AA-2042 “Empire´s Spear”. The A-6L still maintains the small, gyroscopically stabilized AR7 turret used on the previous Intruder, mounted under the nose of the aircraft, containing a FLIR boresighted with a laser spot-tracker/designator. With this small turret, the aircraft can make extremely accurate attacks, or use the sensors alone to attack without using the Super Intruder's radar (which might warn the target). The AR7turret also allows the Intruder to autonomously designate and drop laser-guided bombs. There is also an aerial refueling version, the KA-6L. Each aircraft carrier usually carries 3 or 4 of these aircrafts. The KA-6L can also operate defensive air-to-air missiles and perform electronic warfare missions. Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks.

 

The EA-6L Super Prowler electronic Warfare version is also operational with the Imperial Navy Aircraft Carriers. The aircraft is also armed with two 37mm cannons and it can be armed with defensive air-to-air missiles and Anti-Radar missiles.

Although the Navy and Imperial Marine pilots love the Super Intruder, the Imperial Lego Air Force never liked the aircraft. Although the Imperial Air Force had thousands of A-6 Intruders many decades ago, they currently replaced them with new and more advanced fighters and bombers. Today, Navy Pilots flying the Super Intruder are considered the best ground attack aircraft crews in the world.

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

General characteristics: VL A-6L Super Intruder

Mission/Role: Medium Bomber, Precision Bomber, Anti-ship; Ground Attack, Anti-tank, Wild Weasel, Electronic Warfare, Escort, Forward Air Control, Low Altitude Reconnaissance, Aerial Refuelling Platform.

First flight: 21/08/2020

Operational: 21/03/2021

Crew: 2 (pilot, bombardier/navigator)

Length: 15.6 m

Wingspan: 16.1 m

Height: 4.65 m

Wing area: 51.1 m²

Empty weight: 11,530 kg

Useful load: 21,870 kg

Max. takeoff weight: 33,500 kg

Powerplant: 2 × V-434 jet engines, 121.4 kN each with afterburner;

Performance

Maximum speed: Mach 2,3

Range: 7,222 km

Service ceiling: 18,400 m

Rate of climb: 58.7 m/s

Armament

Hardpoints: 9 total: 6 wing and 3 fuselage with 21,170 kg total load;

Rockets:4 FS-1000 rocket pods with 18 90mm rockets each or 6 rocket pods with 4 152mm rockets each.

Missiles:Air-to-air missiles:2 or 4 AA-2020 Valkyria medium-short range missiles for self-defence. 8 or 10 AA-2040 “Empire’s Spear” medium-long range missiles

Air-to-ground missiles:3 (Max: 5) D.D.N. heavy anti-ship missiles; 11 D.D.B. medium anti-ship missiles;13 AT-2009 Imperium anti-tank missiles; 19 AT-2040 “Vulcan” air-to-ground tactical missiles; 5 LG-1000 munitions dispensers missiles; 4 AT-1500 “Titan” heavy air-to-ground tactical missiles;

Bombs:12 “Excalibur” Anti-runway bombs; 4 Valhalla Television-guided glide bombs; 40 500kg bombs;

Various unguided and Cluster bombs, Laser-guided bombs, Napalm, as well as tactical termo-nuclear bombs.

Others:ECM protection pod, Pave Spike Laser designator pod, Buddy refuelling pack or 5 Drop tanks for extended range/loitering time;

 

Hope you like!

Please watch this and many other fantastic creations here: www.flickr.com/photos/einon/

 

Please Comment or fav!

 

Eínon

Description (1961) NASA pilot Neil Armstrong is seen here in the cockpit of the X-15 ship #1 (56-6670) after a research flight.

 

A U.S. Navy pilot in the Korean War who flew 78 combat missions in F9F-2 jet fighters and who was awarded the Air Medal and two Gold Stars, Armstrong graduated from Purdue University in 1955 with a bachelor degree in aeronautical engineering. That same year, he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio (today, the NASA Glenn Research Center).

 

In July 1955, Armstrong transferred to the High-Speed Flight Station (HSFS, as Dryden Flight Research Center was then called) as an aeronautical research engineer. Soon thereafter, he became a research pilot. For the first few years at the HSFS, Armstrong worked on a number of projects. He was a pilot on the Navy P2B-1S used to launch the D-558-2 and also flew the F-100A, F-100C, F-101, F-104A, and X-5.

 

His introduction to rocket flight came on August 15, 1957, with his first flight (of four, total) on the X-1B. He then became one of the first three NASA pilots to fly the X-15, the others being Joe Walker and Jack McKay. (Scott Crossfield, a former NACA pilot, flew the X-15 first but did so as a North American Aviation pilot.)

 

Project Description:

The X-15 was a rocket-powered aircraft. The original three aircraft were about 50 ft long with a wingspan of 22 ft. The modified #2 aircraft (X-15A-2 was longer.) They were a missile-shaped vehicles with unusual wedge-shaped vertical tails, thin stubby wings, and unique side fairings that extended along the side of the fuselage. The X-15 weighed about 14,000 lb empty and approximately 34,000 lb at launch. The XLR-99 rocket engine, manufactured by Thiokol Chemical Corp., was pilot controlled and was rated at 57,000 lb of thrust, although there are indications that it actually achieved up to 60,000 lb. North American Aviation built three X-15 aircraft for the program.

 

The X-15 research aircraft was developed to provide in-flight information and data on aerodynamics, structures, flight controls, and the physiological aspects of high-speed, high-altitude flight. A follow-on program used the aircraft as testbeds to carry various scientific experiments beyond the Earth's atmosphere on a repeated basis.

  

For flight in the dense air of the usable atmosphere, the X-15 used conventional aerodynamic controls such as rudder surfaces on the vertical stabilizers to control yaw and movable horizontal stabilizers to control pitch when moving in synchronization or roll when moved differentially.

 

For flight in the thin air outside of the appreciable Earth's atmosphere, the X-15 used a reaction control system. Hydrogen peroxide thrust rockets located on the nose of the aircraft provided pitch and yaw control. Those on the wings provided roll control.

 

Because of the large fuel consumption, the X-15 was air launched from a B-52 aircraft at approximately 45,000 ft and a speed of about 500 mph. Depending on the mission, the rocket engine provided thrust for the first 80 to 120 sec of flight. The remainder of the normal 10 to 11 min. flight was powerless and ended with a 200-mph glide landing.

 

Generally, one of two types of X-15 flight profiles was used; a high-altitude flight plan that called for the pilot to maintain a steep rate of climb, or a speed profile that called for the pilot to push over and maintain a level altitude.

 

The X-15 was flown over a period of nearly 10 years -- June 1959 to October 1968 -- and set the world's unofficial speed and altitude records of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7) and 354,200 ft in a program to investigate all aspects of manned hypersonic flight. Information gained from the highly successful X-15 program contributed to the development of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo manned spaceflight programs, and also the Space Shuttle program.

 

The X-15s made a total of 199 flights, and were manufactured by North American Aviation.

 

X-15-1, serial number 56-6670, is now located at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC.

 

North American X-15A-2, serial number 56-6671, is at the United States Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. X-15-3, serial number 56-6672, crashed on 15 November 1967, resulting in the death of Maj. Michael J.

 

Image # ECN-89

Date: 1961

A VToL capable hypersonic jet based off of the aircraft from Yukikaze.

 

Folding/rotating wings, retracting landing gear, sliding cockpit pod, bleh.

 

A few reference images.

Like many X-series aircraft, the X-15 was designed to be carried aloft and drop-launched by a carrier aircraft. Several large planes were considered, such as the Convair B-36 Peacemaker and the Convair B-58 Hustler, but it was the Boeing B-52 that was coveted because of its lifting capacity and high airspeed. Unable to secure the X-15 in its bomb bay, the rocket-powered plane was hung from a pylon under the B-52’s massive wing. NACA secured two early B-52A production aircraft from the Air Force: NB-52A, “The High and Mighty One” (serial 52-0003, or “Balls 3”), and NB-52B, “The Challenger” (serial 52-0008, or “Balls 8”) served as carrier planes for all X-15 flights. The B-52s would climb to altitude in large circles. The release took place at an altitude of about 8.5 miles (13.7 km) and a speed of about 500 mph (805 km/h).

 

The X-15 pilot would enter the aircraft while it was on the ground with no other means of egress to the mother ship. The pilot would have to wait one and a half hours to reach altitude. While most flights went as planned, any malfunction would cause the mother ship to return to Edwards, making for a very long trip in a very small cockpit for the test pilot. Test pilots could also eject from the X-15 while it was attached to the B-52 in an emergency.

 

In this image, X-15-1 is carried to its drop point by NB-52B “Balls 8.” In order to fit the X-15 under the wing, a small trailing edge cutout was required to the starboard inboard flap and part of the wing. During the drop, the X-15 pilot had to keep the aircraft within a 20-degree roll to prevent the vertical stabilizer contacting the starboard wing.

Here is my interpretation of the North American X-15 hypersonic aircraft. It is built to minifig scale and has many articulating features. In the images that follow, I’ve represented the variants of the three production aircraft. As always, leave a comment if you wish. Check out my MOCpage site: www.moc-pages.com/home.php/107359. The LDD model of the X-15 variants is available on my Etsy site: www.etsy.com/ca/shop/KurtsMOCs.

One of the major redesign considerations of the X-15A-2 was that it would become a test bed for the experimental hydrogen-fueled, air-breathing scramjet engine that would push the aircraft to Mach 8. The 28-inch fuselage extension allowed for the inclusion of the scramjet’s liquid hydrogen tank. The external drop tanks carried 1,800 gallons of propellant that would extend the burn duration of the XLR99 from 90 seconds to 150 seconds.

 

Flights to Mach 8 necessitated a very different form of heat insulation that after considerable deliberation was a special ablative coating that would ‘burn’ away and remove the heated material. The MA-25S ablative coating was applied to a scrubbed down and extensively cleaned fuselage and then covered in a protective coating of white Dow DC90-090 aerospace sealant. The new, all-white aircraft was devoid of any national markings.

 

Also, a new elliptical cockpit window was installed. The ablative coating caused a problem for the pilot as residue would collect on the canopy windshield and obscure his vision. To combat this, the left-hand pane was fitted with a mechanical “eyelid” which could remain closed until the speed run had been completed. At this point, it would be opened and provide the pilot at least one clear window to use for approach and landing. The eyelid caused its own problems as when open, it generated a small canard effect, causing the aircraft to roll slightly.

 

In this image, X-15A-2 powers up for a high-speed run. Tests were conducted with a dummy scramjet in place to test handling characteristics. Note the new elliptical cockpit window on the model.

See more photos of this, and the Wikipedia article.

 

Details, quoting from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum | Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:

 

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world's fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird's performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

 

This Blackbird accrued about 2,800 hours of flight time during 24 years of active service with the U.S. Air Force. On its last flight, March 6, 1990, Lt. Col. Ed Yielding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida set a speed record by flying from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., in 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 20 seconds, averaging 3,418 kilometers (2,124 miles) per hour. At the flight's conclusion, they landed at Washington-Dulles International Airport and turned the airplane over to the Smithsonian.

 

Transferred from the United States Air Force.

 

Manufacturer:

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

 

Designer:

Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson

 

Date:

1964

 

Country of Origin:

United States of America

 

Dimensions:

Overall: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 55ft 7in. x 107ft 5in., 169998.5lb. (5.638m x 16.942m x 32.741m, 77110.8kg)

Other: 18ft 5 15/16in. x 107ft 5in. x 55ft 7in. (5.638m x 32.741m x 16.942m)

 

Materials:

Titanium

 

Physical Description:

Twin-engine, two-seat, supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft; airframe constructed largley of titanium and its alloys; vertical tail fins are constructed of a composite (laminated plastic-type material) to reduce radar cross-section; Pratt and Whitney J58 (JT11D-20B) turbojet engines feature large inlet shock cones.

The X-15 was based on a concept study from Walter Dornberger for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) for a hypersonic research aircraft. The requests for proposal were published on 30 December 1954 for the airframe and on 4 February 1955 for the rocket engine. Two manufacturers built the X-15: North American Aviation was contracted for the airframe in November 1955, and Reaction Motors was contracted for building the engines in 1956.

 

The X-15 fuselage was long and cylindrical, with rear fairings that flattened its appearance, and thick, dorsal and ventral wedge-fin stabilizers. Parts of the fuselage were heat-resistant nickel alloy (Iconel-X 750). The retractable landing gear comprised a nose-wheel carriage and two rear skids. The skids did not extend beyond the ventral fin, which required the pilot to jettison the lower fin just before landing. The lower fin was recovered by parachute.

 

The X-15 had a thick wedge tail to enable it to fly in a steady manner at hypersonic speeds. This produced a significant amount of drag at lower speeds; the blunt end at the rear of the X-15 could produce as much drag as an entire F-104 Starfighter. Side panels that could be extended from the tail to increase the overall surface area aided stability at hypersonic speeds, while also doubling as air brakes on landing.

 

In this image, the X-15 undergoes Phase 1 testing with NAA’s own test pilot Scott Crossfield at the controls. The X-15 test program was divided into nine phases. Phase 1 of the X-15 program schedule involved basic aircraft system and XLR-11 engine demonstrations by North American Aviation and its test pilot Scott Crossfield. Phase 2 was a series of customer flights by government test pilots would evaluate the aircraft with the interim XLR-11 engines. Phase 3 ran parallel to Phase 2 and would qualify back-up pilots (Peterson, McKay, Rushworth, and Armstrong). Phase 4 was a manufacturer demonstration of the capabilities of the more powerful XLR-99 rocket motor. Phase 5 was the government demonstration of flight capabilities with the new engine, taking over flight activities from the contractor. Phase 6 was the demonstration of the MH-96 flight control system to check it out on the X-15-3 for further capabilities within the flight envelope of the aircraft. Phase 7 ran the research program that would take the aircraft to its limits and present the X-15 to the high-altitude and high-speed flight regimes for which it had been designed. This phase would stretch its performance to provide a predictable set of flight capabilities for Phase 8. Phase 8 applied the aircraft to a series of scientific experiments, using the X-15 as a carrier and as a platform rather than as an experimental tool in its own right. Phase 9 was unplanned at the beginning of the program and resulted from the near catastrophic accident involving X-15-2, after which it was returned to NAA for a rebuild. During that time, and at the behest of the Air Force, it was extended in length and given extended burn duration for an attempt to get close to Mach 8.

The first serious crash of the program occurred on 9 November 1962. After dropping from the B-52 over Mud Lake, Nevada, NASA pilot Jack McKay advanced the XLR99’s throttle but found it unresponsive beyond 30% power. Unsure he could make it back to Edwards, McKay elected to make an emergency landing at the launch lake and although he jettisoned some propellant, the X-15 was still heavy as he lined up for landing. To compound the situation, the flaps failed to deploy and the aircraft came in faster and heavier than usual. After touching down, one of the aircraft’s main gear struts failed to cause the wing tip to dig into the lakebed and send the aircraft rolling. McKay had jettisoned the canopy knowing he may need to get out quickly, but as the aircraft rolled to a stop inverted, his head impacted the lakebed causing serious injuries and complicating attempts to get him out of the stricken vehicle. The remains of X-15-2 were returned to North American Aviation.

 

The aircraft was rebuilt as the X-15A-2 and became the fastest X-15 flown. The aircraft was lengthened by 2.4 feet (73 cm), had a pair of auxiliary fuel tanks attached beneath its fuselage and wings, and a complete heat-resistant ablative coating was added. The plane took flight for the first time on 28 June 1964 with Bob Rushworth at the controls. It reached its maximum speed of Mach 6.7, or 4,520 mph (7,274 km/h) on 3 October 1967 with pilot Major William “Pete” Knight on the U.S. Air Force in control. In this image, Knight takes the X-15A-2 to an altitude of over 100,000 feet. The large propellant tanks would be jettisoned after the propellant had been expended and parachute to the ground.

Scott Crossfield made the first powered flight of the program, reaching a tentative Mach 2.11. On his third flight on 5 November 1959, Crossfield dropped away from the B-52 and began the ignition sequence at which point one of the XLR-11 chambers exploded. Having to make an emergency landing, the aircraft was still heavy with propellant and came down hard, breaking the fuselage just behind the cockpit. The aircraft was sent back to NAA and repaired in 30 days, Back at Edwards on 11 February 1960, the aircraft flew several more flights before being sent back to NAA in September that same year for an engine upgrade to the XLR99.

 

Designing and building this model was challenging. There are several excellent Lego X-15 models out there and I didn’t want mine to be derivative. I strove to keep the proportions as close to the original design as possible, but to have functional landing gear, flaps, etc. meant sacrificing some aspects of the design, especially the nose and cockpit. In this image, you can see the slender lines of the aircraft as it streaks into the upper atmosphere.

Unfinished SR-71 Blackbird model in 1/72 scale and a 1930 / 1931 Duesenberg Dual Cowl Phaeton Model SJ (1/24th scale)

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

Three X-15s were built, flying 199 test flights, the last on 24 October 1968. The first X-15 flight was a captive-carry unpowered test by Scott Crossfield on 8 June 1959. Crossfield also piloted the first powered flight on 17 September 1959 and his first flight with the XLR-99 rocket engine on 15 November 1960. Twelve test pilots flew the X-15, among them were Neil Armstrong, later a NASA astronaut and first man to set foot on the Moon, and Joe Engle, later a commander of NASA Space Shuttle test flights.

 

There would be three kinds of flights: speed, altitude, and heating. For speed flights, it was NACA practice to increase speed by one half Mach number for each successive flight. For altitude flights, the pilots continued upward at a fairly steep angle and wither continued to engine burnout or shut the engine down at a predetermined speed or altitude. They would spend two to five minutes out of the atmosphere in a weightless condition and when above 200,000 feet, the aerodynamic controls had no effect. Pilots had to use the reaction control system for attitude control. Heating flights to test the effects of aerodynamic heating in hypersonic flight demanded the most piloting precision, especially in holding a precise angle of attack. These flights would be done at altitudes around 80,000 to 90,000 feet, at high speeds, and usually continued until engine burnout.

 

Each flight of the X-15 lasted around ten minutes but the flight would cross three states: Utah, Nevada, and California. NACA and the Air Force selected a test range beginning in Wendover, Utah and ending at Rogers Dry Lake that overflew a series of dry lakebeds that could be used for emergency landings. If the X-15 were able to reach maximum speed or maximum altitude, it would be able to glide 400 miles to Edwards for landing.

 

In this image, Neil Armstrong brings the X-15-1 back to Edwards after completing Flight 064 where he took the X-15 to Mach 5.74 and an altitude of 98,900 feet. Landing the unpowered X-15 involved entering a spiral descent from 28,000 feet at either a 30-45 degree bank. Here you can see the new XLR99 engine in place. X-15-1 was refitted with the new engine and was back for testing on June 10, 1961.

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

The Bell X-1 had taken mankind over the Mach 1 supersonic mark; subsequent X-1s and X-2s would reach Mach 2 and Mach 3, respectively. Yet as technology progressed, still faster speeds were made possible, and space travel was within reach. The problem was how to enable human beings to survive at speeds above Mach 3, and in the airless environment of space. German rocket designer Walter Dornberger had proposed a design for a hypersonic test aircraft, and this was adapted by North American Aircraft into a project commissioned by NACA (the forerunner of NASA) as the X-15.

 

By its very nature, the X-15 would have to be revolutionary. It would need to operate at speeds between Mach 4 and Mach 10, at the very edge of space. Paramount amongst the designers’ concerns was heat: at the speeds the X-15 was expected to regularly reach, temperatures along the nose and wings could exceed 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which would melt any then-known steel. Yet the aircraft still had to be light enough to fly at all. To solve both problems, North American used an airframe made of light, durable, heat-resistant titanium with a covering of a unique nickel alloy. To achieve speed and minimize drag, a long, flattened fuselage was designed, but this also presented a problem: at hypersonic speeds, the X-15 would be uncontrollable. A compromise was reached in which a wedge-shaped tail was added, which added enormous amounts of drag; small tailplanes could be extended in flight to either further stabilize the X-15 or act as speedbrakes.

 

To reach altitude and speed, and overcome the tail’s drag, the engine would need to be large: the Reaction Motors XLR-99 was chosen, a mammoth engine capable of 70,000 pounds of thrust—yet the XLR-99 could be controlled with a conventional throttle, a first in aviation design. Because the XLR-99 ate fuel quickly, the X-15 would be carried to launch altitude by a B-52 Stratofortress mothership. Once detached, the X-15 pilot would ignite the rocket and accelerate to the needed speed and altitude. Once there, at the very edge of space, the air would be so thin the X-15’s control surfaces would be useless, and the pilot would have to switch over to hydrogen peroxide nozzles in the nose and tail to maintain control, in exactly the same fashion as spacecraft. The X-15 would then be glided to a landing on a combination of a conventional nose gear and tail skids; the lower half of the tail, which would scrape the ground otherwise, was jettisoned before landing and recovered later.

 

Three X-15s would be built in various configurations, with the later aircraft carrying auxiliary fuel tanks beneath the wings to extend its miniscule range. The first aircraft (lacking at the time the XLR-99 engine) flew in June 1959. An absolute speed record of 4,520 mph (Mach 6.72) was achieved in October 1967, while its absolute altitude record of 67 miles above sea level was achieved in August 1963; the latter allowed the pilot, Joe Walker, to qualify for astronaut wings. The speed record stands to this day, whereas the altitude record was matched only in 2004 with the flight of the civilian SpaceShip One. The pilots that flew the X-15 read like a list of aviation pioneers and American heroes: Scott Crossfield, Robert White, Joseph Engle, Joseph Walker, and Neil Armstrong were among the best known X-15 pilots. Despite the highly dangerous working environment of the X-15, only one aircraft was lost, when test pilot Michael Adams went into an uncontrollable hypersonic spin and died when the X-15 broke up at 60,000 feet. Otherwise, the program was not marred by significant problems.

 

The X-15 did more than just achieve high speeds and altitudes: the research gained in the program led directly to innovations used in the Apollo moon program, including the peroxide thrusters and heat shielding, while flight profiles and other research led to the Space Shuttle. 199 flights were made before the program ended in October 1968, with the two survivors going on to the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of the USAF.

 

This is the first X-15 built, of three, on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I couldn't fit the whole thing in my camera--it's a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Behind the X-15 is the US' first jet aircraft, a Bell P-59 Airacomet.

This is just two months worth. I think I have a problem.

 

Star Wars:

AT-TE Walker

Clone Walker Battle Pack

UCS Death Star II

Imperial Dropship

Magnaguard Starfighter

Rebel Scout Speeder

Republic Attack Shuttle

Republic Gunship

V-19 Torrent

 

Exo Force:

Chameleon Hunter

Dark Panther

River Dragon

 

Mars Mission:

Crystal Hawk * 2 (but I merged them into one ship)

MT-101 Armored Drilling Unit

MT-201 Ultra-Drill Walker

MT-61 Crystal Reaper

MX-81 Hypersonic Spacecraft

(Not pictured are 6 EXT Alien Infiltrators, which I turned into MOCs; see my MOC set)

 

Creator:

Mini Jet *3

Fierce Creatures

 

Agents:

Mission 1: Jetpack Pursuit

Mission 3: Gold Hunt

Mission 4: Speedboat Rescue

Mission 5: Turbocar Chase

One in my series of photos of people taking photos of art.

 

《Replica Custom Evolution》 by Tetsuya Nakamura. “Replica” is a series of compelling car or jet-like life-size sculptures, whose appearance evoke the hypersonic. How does the surface evoke the sensation of speed? To what extent can one trust the appearance of an object?

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

In the late 1970s the Mikoyan OKB began development of a hypersonic high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. Designated "Izdeliye 301" (also known as 3.01), the machine had an unusual design, combining a tailless layout with variable geometry wings. The two engines fueled by kerosene were located side by side above the rear fuselage, with the single vertical fin raising above them, not unlike the Tu-22 “Blinder” bomber of that time, but also reminiscent of the US-American SR-71 Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft.

 

Only few and rather corny information leaked into the West, and the 301 was believed not only to act as a reconnaissance plane , it was also believed to have (nuclear) bombing capabilities. Despite wind tunnel testing with models, no hardware of the 301 was ever produced - aven though the aircraft could have become a basis for a long-range interceptor that would replace by time the PVO's Tupolew Tu-28P (ASCC code "Fiddler"), a large aircraft armed solely with missiles.

 

Despite limitations, the Tu-28P served well in its role, but the concept of a very fast interceptor aircraft, lingered on, since the Soviet Union had large areas to defend against aerial intruders, esp. from the North and the East. High speed, coupled with long range and the ability to intercept an incoming target at long distances independently from ground guidance had high priority for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Even though no official requirement was issued, the concept of Izdeliye 301 from the Seventies was eventually developed further into the fixed-wing "Izdeliye 701" ultra-long-range high-altitude interceptor in the 1980ies.

 

The impulse for this new approach came when Oleg S. Samoylovich joined the Mikoyan OKB after having worked at Suchoi OKB on the T-60S missile carrier project. Similar in overall design to the former 301, the 701 was primarily intended as a kind of successor for the MiG-31 Foxhound for the 21st century, which just had completed flight tests and was about to enter PVO's front line units.

 

Being based on a long range cruise missile carrier, the 701 would have been a huge plane, featuring a length of 30-31m, a wing span of 19m (featuring a highly swept double delta wing) and having a maximum TOW of 70 tons! Target performance figures included a top speed of 2.500km/h, a cruising speed of 2.100km/h at 17.000m and an effective range of 7.000km in supersonic or 11.000km in subsonic mode. Eventually, the 701 program was mothballed, too, being too ambitious and expensive for a specialized development that could also have been a fighter version of the Tu-22 bomber!

 

Anyway, while the MiG-31 was successfully introduced in 1979 and had evolved in into a capable long-range interceptor with a top speed of more than Mach 3 (limited to Mach 2.8 in order to protect the aircraft's structural integrity), MiG OKB decided in 1984 to take further action and to develop a next-generation technology demonstrator, knowing that even the formidable "Foxhound" was only an interim solution on the way to a true "Four plus" of even a 6th generation fighter. Other new threats like low-flying cruise missiles, the USAF's "Project Pluto" or the assumed SR-71 Mach 5 successor “Aurora” kept Soviet military officials on the edge of their seats, too.

 

Main objective was to expand the Foxhound's state-of the-art performance, and coiple it with modern features like aerodynamic instability, supercruise, stealth features and further development potential.

 

The aircraft's core mission objectives comprised:

- Provide strategic air defense and surveillance in areas not covered by ground-based air defense systems (incl. guidance of other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics)

- Top speed of Mach 3.2 or more in a dash and cruise at Mach 3.0 for prolonged periods

- Long range/high speed interception of airspace intruders of any kind, including low flying cruise missiles, UAVs and helicopters

- Intercept cruise missiles and their launch aircraft from sea level up to 30.000m altitude by reaching missile launch range in the lowest possible time after departing the loiter area

 

Because funding was scarce and no official GOR had been issued, the project was taken on as a private venture. The new project was internally known as "Izdeliye 710" or "71.0". It was based on both 301 and 701 layout ideas and the wind tunnel experiences with their unusual layouts, as well as Oleg Samoylovich's experience with the Suchoi T-4 Mach 3 bomber project and the T-60S.

 

"Izdeliye 710" was from the start intended only as a proof-of-concept prototype, yet fully functional. It would also incorporate new technologies like heat-resistant ceramics against kinetic heating at prolonged high speeds (the airframe had to resist temperatures of 300°C/570°F and more for considerable periods), but with potential for future development into a full-fledged interceptor, penetrator and reconnaissance aircraft.

 

Overall, “Izdeliye 710" looked like a shrinked version of a mix of both former MiG OKB 301 and 701 designs, limited to the MiG-31's weight class of about 40 tons TOW. Compared with the former designs, the airframe received an aerodynamically more refined, partly blended, slender fuselage that also incorporated mild stealth features like a “clean” underside, softened contours and partly shielded air intakes. Structurally, the airframe's speed limit was set at Mach 3.8.

 

From the earlier 301 design,the plane retained the variable geometry wing. Despite the system's complexity and weight, this solution was deemed to be the best approach for a combination of a high continuous top speed, extended loiter time in the mission’s patrol areas and good performance on improvised airfields. Minimum sweep was a mere 10°, while, fully swept at 68°, the wings blended into the LERXes. Additional lift was created through the fuselage shape itself, so that aerodynamic surfaces and therefore drag could be reduced.

 

Pilot and radar operator sat in tandem under a common canopy with rather limited sight. The cockpit was equipped with a modern glass cockpit with LCD screens. The aircraft’s two engines were, again, placed in a large, mutual nacelle on the upper rear fuselage, fed by large air intakes with two-dimensional vertical ramps and a carefully modulated airflow over the aircraft’s dorsal area.

 

Initially, the 71.0 was to be powered by a pair of Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans with a dry thrust of 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each, and with 152 kN (34,172 lbf) with full afterburner. These were the same engines that powered the MiG-31, but there were high hopes for the Kolesov NK-101 engine: a variable bypass engine with a maximum thrust in the 200kN range, at the time of the 71.0's design undergoing bench tests and originally developed for the advanced Suchoj T-4MS strike aircraft.

With the D-30F6, the 71.0 was expected to reach Mach 3.2 (making the aircraft capable of effectively intercepting the SR-71), but the NK-101 would offer in pure jet mode a top speed in excess of Mach 3.5 and also improve range and especially loiter time when running as a subsonic turbofan engine.

 

A single fin with an all-moving top and an additional deep rudder at its base was placed on top of the engine nacelle. Additional maneuverability at lower speed was achieved by retractable, all-moving foreplanes, stowed in narrow slits under the cockpit. Longitudinal stability at high speed was improved through deflectable stabilizers: these were kept horizontal for take-off and added to the overall lift, but they could be folded down by up to 60° in flight, acting additionally as stabilizer strakes.

 

Due to the aircraft’s slender shape and unique proportions, the 71.0 quickly received the unofficial nickname "жура́вль" (‘Zhurávl' = Crane). The aircaft’s stalky impression was emphasized even more through its unusual landing gear arrangement: Due to the limited internal space for the main landing gear wells between the weapons bay, the wing folding mechanisms and the engine nacelle, MiG OKB decided to incorporate a bicycle landing gear, normally a trademark of Yakovlew OKB designs, but a conventional landing gear could simply not be mounted, or its construction would have become much too heavy and complex.

 

In order to facilitate operations from improvised airfields and on snow the landing gear featured twin front wheels on a conventional strut and a single four wheel bogie as main wheels. Smaller, single stabilizer wheels were mounted on outriggers that retracted into slender fairings at the wings’ fixed section trailing edge, reminiscent of early Tupolev designs.

 

All standard air-to-air weaponry, as well as fuel, was to be carried internally. Main armament would be the K-100 missile (in service eventually designated R-100), stored in a large weapons bay behind the cockpit on a rotary mount. The K-100 had been under development at that time at NPO Novator, internally coded ‘Izdeliye 172’. The K-100 missile was an impressive weapon, and specifically designed to attack vital and heavily defended aerial targets like NATO’s AWACS aircraft at BVR distance.

 

Being 15’ (4.57 m) long and weighing 1.370 lb (620 kg), this huge ultra-long-range weapon had a maximum range of 250 mi (400 km) in a cruise/glide profile and attained a speed of Mach 6 with its solid rocket engine. This range could be boosted even further with a pair of jettisonable ramjets in tubular pods on the missile’s flanks for another 60 mi (100 km). The missile could attack targets ranging in altitude between 15 – 25,000 meters.

 

The weapon would initially be allocated to a specified target through the launch aircraft’s on-board radar and sent via inertial guidance into the target’s direction. Closing in, the K-100’s Agat 9B-1388 active seeker would identify the target, lock on, and independently attack it, also in coordination with other K-100’s shot at the same target, so that the attack would be coordinated in time and approach directions in order to overload defense and ensure a hit.

 

The 71.0’s internal mount could hold four of these large missiles, or, alternatively, the same number of the MiG-31’s R-33 AAMs. The mount also had a slot for the storage of additional mid- and short-range missiles for self-defense, e .g. three R-60 or two R-73 AAMs. An internal gun was not considered to be necessary, since the 71.0 or potential derivatives would fight their targets at very long distances and rather rely on a "hit-and-run" tactic, sacrificing dogfight capabilities for long loitering time in stand-by mode, high approach speed and outstanding acceleration and altitude performance.

 

Anyway, provisions were made to carry a Gsh-301-250 gun pod on a retractable hardpoint in the weapons bay instead of a K-100. Alternatively, such pods could be carried externally on four optional wing root pylons, which were primarily intended for PTB-1500 or PTB-3000 drop tanks, or further missiles - theoretically, a maximum of ten K-100 missiles could be carried, plus a pair of short-range AAMs.

 

Additionally, a "buddy-to-buffy" IFR set with a retractable drogue (probably the same system as used on the Su-24) was tested (71.2 was outfitted with a retractable refuelling probe in front of the cockpit), as well as the carriage of simple iron bombs or nuclear stores, to be delivered from very high altitudes. Several pallets with cameras and sensors (e .g. a high resolution SLAR) were also envisioned, which could easily replace the missile mounts and the folding weapon bay covers for recce missions.

 

Since there had been little official support for the project, work on the 710 up to the hardware stage made only little progress, since the MiG-31 already filled the long-range interceptor role in a sufficient fashion and offered further development potential.

A wooden mockup of the cockpit section was presented to PVO and VVS officials in 1989, and airframe work (including tests with composite materials on structural parts, including ceramic tiles for leading edges) were undertaken throughout 1990 and 1991, including test rigs for the engine nacelle and the swing wing mechanism.

 

Eventually, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 suddenly stopped most of the project work, after two prototype airframes had been completed. Their internal designations were Izdeliye 71.1 and 71.2, respectively. It took a while until the political situation as well as the ex-Soviet Air Force’s status were settled, and work on Izdeliye 710 resumed at a slow pace.

 

After taking two years to be completed, 71.1 eventually made its roll-out and maiden flight in summer 1994, just when MiG-31 production had ended. MiG OKB still had high hopes in this aircraft, since the MiG-31 would have to be replaced in the next couple of years and "Izdeliye 710" was just in time for the potential procurement process. The first prototype wore a striking all-white livery, with dark grey ceramic tiles on the wings’ leading edges standing out prominently – in this guise and with its futuristic lines the slender aircraft reminded a lot of the American Space Shuttle.

 

71.1 was primarily intended for engine and flight tests (esp. for the eagerly awaited NK-101 engines), as well as for the development of the envisioned ramjet propulsion system for full-scale production and further development of Izdeliye 710 into a Mach 3+ interceptor. No mission avionics were initially fitted to this plane, but it carried a comprehensive test equipment suite and ballast.

 

Its sister ship 71.2 flew for the first time in late 1994, wearing a more unpretentious grey/bare metal livery. This plane was earmarked for avionics development and weapons integration, especially as a test bed for the K-100 missile, which shared Izdeliye 710’s fate of being a leftover Soviet project with an uncertain future and an even more corny funding outlook.

 

Anyway, aircraft 71.2 was from the start equipped with a complete RP-31 ('Zaslon-M') weapon control system, which had been under development at that time as an upgrade for the Russian MiG-31 fleet being part of the radar’s development program secured financial support from the government and allowed the flight tests to continue. The RP-31 possessed a maximum detection range of 400 km (250 mi) against airliner-sized targets at high altitude or 200 km against fighter-sized targets; the typical width of detection along the front was given as 225 km. The system could track 24 airborne targets at one time at a range of 120 km, 6 of which could be simultaneously attacked with missiles.

 

With these capabilities the RP-31 suite could, coupled with an appropriate carrier airframe, fulfil the originally intended airspace control function and would render a dedicated and highly vulnerable airspace control aircraft (like the Beriev A-50 derivative of the Il-76 transport) more or less obsolete. A group of four aircraft equipped with the 'Zaslon-M' suite would be able to permanently control an area of airspace across a total length of 800–900 km, while having ultra-long range weapons at hand to counter any intrusion into airspace with a quicker reaction time than any ground-based fighter on QRA duty. The 71.0, outfitted with the RP-31/K-100 system, would have posed a serious threat to any aggressor.

 

In March 1995 both prototypes were eventually transferred to the Kerchenskaya Guards Air Base at Savasleyka in the Oblast Vladimir, 300 km east of Mocsow, where they received tactical codes of '11 Blue' and '12 Blue'. Besides the basic test program and the RP-31/K-100 system tests, both machines were directly evaluated against the MiG-31 and Su-27 fighters by the Air Force's 4th TsBPi PLS, based at the same site.

 

Both aircraft exceeded expectations, but also fell short in certain aspects. The 71.0’s calculated top speed of Mach 3.2 was achieved during the tests with a top speed of 3,394 km/h (2.108 mph) at 21,000 m (69.000 ft). Top speed at sea level was confirmed at 1.200 km/h (745 mph) indicated airspeed.

Combat radius with full weapon load and internal fuel only was limited to 1,450 km (900 mi) at Mach 0.8 and at an altitude of 10,000 m (33,000 ft), though, and it sank to a mere 720 km (450 mi) at Mach 2.35 and at an altitude of 18,000 m (59,000 ft). Combat range with 4x K-100 internally and 2 drop tanks was settled at 3,000 km (1,860 mi), rising to 5,400 km (3,360 mi) with one in-flight refueling, tested with the 71.2. Endurance at altitude was only slightly above 3 hours, though. Service ceiling was 22,800 m (74,680 ft), 2.000 m higher than the MiG-31.

 

While these figures were impressive, Soviet officials were not truly convinced: they did not show a significant improvement over the simpler MiG-31. MiG OKB tried to persuade the government into more flight tests and begged for access to the NK-101, but the Soviet Union's collapse halted this project, too, so that both Izdeliye 710 had to keep the Soloviev D-30F6.

 

Little is known about the Izdeliye 710 project’s progress or further developments. The initial tests lasted until at least 1997, and obviously the updated MiG-31M received official favor instead of a completely new aircraft. The K-100 was also dropped, since the R-33 missile and later its R-37 derivative sufficiently performed in the long-range aerial strike role.

 

Development on the aircraft as such seemed to have stopped with the advent of modernized Su-27 derivatives and the PAK FA project, resulting in the Suchoi T-50 prototype. Unconfirmed reports suggest that one of the prototypes (probably 71.1) was used in the development of the N014 Pulse-Doppler radar with a passive electronically scanned array antenna in the wake of the MFI program. The N014 was designed with a range of 420 km, detection target of 250km to 1m and able to track 40 targets while able to shoot against 20.

 

Most interestingly, Izdeliye 710 was never officially presented to the public, but NATO became aware of its development through satellite pictures in the early Nineties and the aircraft consequently received the ASCC reporting codename "Fastback".

 

Until today, only the two prototypes have been known to exist, and it is assumed – had the type entered service – that the long-range fighter had received the official designation "MiG-41".

  

General characteristics:

Crew: 2 (Pilot, weapon system officer)

Length (incl. pitot): 93 ft 10 in (28.66 m)

Wingspan:

- minimum 10° sweep: 69 ft 4 in (21.16 m)

- maximum 68° sweep: 48 ft 9 in (14,88 m)

Height: 23 ft 1 1/2 in (7,06 m )

Wing area: 1008.9 ft² (90.8 m²)

Weight: 88.151 lbs (39.986 kg)

 

Performance:

Maximum speed:

- Mach 3.2 (2.050 mph (3.300 km/h) at height

- 995 mph (1.600 km/h) supercruise speed at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)

- 915 mph (1.470 km/h) at sea level

Range: 3.705 miles (5.955 km) with internal fuel

Service ceiling: 75.000 ft (22.500 m)

Rate of climb: 31.000 ft/min (155 m/s)

 

Engine:

2x Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans with a dry thrust of 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each

and with 152 kN (34,172 lbf) with full afterburner.

 

Armament:

Internal weapons bay, main armament comprises a flexible missile load; basic ordnance of 4x K-100 ultra long range AAMs plus 2x R-73 short-range AAMs: other types like the R-27, R-33, R-60 and R-77 have been carried and tested, too, as well as podded guns on internal and external mounts. Alternatively, the weapon bay can hold various sensor pallets.

Four hardpoints under the wing roots, the outer pair “wet” for drop tanks of up to 3.000 l capacity, ECM pods or a buddy-buddy refueling drogue system. Maximum payload mass is 9000 kg.

  

The kit and its assembly

The second entry for the 2017 “Soviet” Group Build at whatifmodelers.com – a true Frankenstein creation, based on the scarce information about the real (but never realized) MiG 301 and 701 projects, the Suchoj T-60S, as well as some vague design sketches you can find online and in literature.

This one had been on my project list for years and I already had donor kits stashed away – but the sheer size (where will I leave it once done…?) and potential complexity kept me from tackling it.

 

The whole thing was an ambitious project and just the unique layout with a massive engine nacelle on top of the slender fuselage instead of an all-in-one design makes these aircraft an interesting topic to build. The GB was a good motivator.

 

“My” fictional interpretation of the MiG concepts is mainly based on a Dragon B-1B in 1:144 scale (fuselage, wings), a PM Model Su-15 two seater (donating the nose section and the cockpit, as well as wing parts for the fin) and a Kangnam MiG-31 (for the engine pod and some small parts). Another major ingredient is a pair of horizontal stabilizers from a 1:72 Hasegawa A-5 Vigilante.

 

Fitting the cockpit section took some major surgery and even more putty to blend the parts smoothly together. Another major surgical area was the tail; the "engine box" came to be rather straightforward, using the complete rear fuselage section from the MiG-31 and adding the intakes form the same kit, but mounted horizontally with a vertical splitter.

 

Blending the thing to the cut-away tail section of the B-1 was quite a task, though, since I not only wanted to add the element to the fuselage, but rather make it look a bit 'organic'. More than putty was necessary, I also had to made some cuts and transplantations. And after six PSR rounds I stopped counting…

 

The landing gear was built from scratch – the front wheel comes mostly from the MiG-31 kit. The central bogie and its massive leg come from a VEB Plasticart 1:100 Tu-20/95 bomber, plus some additional struts. The outriggers are leftover landing gear struts from a Hobby Boss Fw 190, mated with wheels which I believe come from a 1:200 VEB Plasticart kit, an An-24. Not certain, though. The fairings are slender MiG-21 drop tanks blended into the wing training edge. For the whole landing gear, the covers were improvised with styrene sheet, parts from a plastic straw(!) or leftover bits from the B-1B.

 

The main landing gear well was well as the weapons’ bay themselves were cut into the B-1B underside and an interior scratched from sheet and various leftover materials – I tried to maximize their space while still leaving enough room for the B-1B kit’s internal VG mechanism.

The large missiles (two were visible fitted and the rotary launcher just visibly hinted at) are, in fact, AGM-78 ‘Standard’ ARMs in a fantasy guise. They look pretty Soviet, though, like big brothers of the already not small R-33 missiles from the MiG-31.

 

While not in the focus of attention, the cockpit interior is completely new, too – OOB, the Su-15 cockpit only has a floor and rather stubby seats, under a massive single piece canopy. On top of the front wheel well (from a Hasegawa F-4) I added a new floor and added side consoles, scratched from styrene sheet. F-4 dashboards improve the decoration, and I added a pair of Soviet election seats from the scrap box – IIRC left over from two KP MiG-19 kits.

The canopy was taken OOB, I just cut it into five parts for open display. The material’s thickness does not look too bad on this aircraft – after all, it would need a rather sturdy construction when flying at Mach 3+ and withstanding the respective pressures and temperatures.

  

Painting

As a pure whif, I was free to use a weirdo design - but I rejected this idea quickly. I did not want a garish splinter scheme or a bright “Greenbottle Fly” Su-27 finish.

With the strange layout of the aircraft, the prototype idea was soon settled – and Soviet prototypes tend to look very utilitarian and lusterless, might even be left in grey. Consequently, I adapted a kind of bare look for this one, inspired by the rather shaggy Soviet Tu-22 “Blinder” bombers which carried a mix of bare metal and white and grey panels. With additional black leading edges on the aerodynamic surfaces, this would create a special/provisional but still purposeful look.

 

For the painting, I used a mix of several metallizer tones from ModelMaster and Humbrol (including Steel, Magnesium, Titanium, as well as matt and polished aluminum, and some Gun Metal and Exhaust around the engine nozzles, partly mixed with a bit of blue) and opaque tones (Humbrol 147 and 127). The “scheme” evolved panel-wise and step by step. The black leading edges were an interim addition, coming as things evolved, and they were painted first with black acrylic paint as a rough foundation and later trimmed with generic black decal stripes (from TL Modellbau). A very convenient and clean solution!

 

The radomes on nose and tail and other di-electric panels became dark grey (Humbrol 125). The cockpit tub was painted with Soviet Cockpit Teal (from ModelMaster), while the cockpit opening and canopy frames were kept in a more modest medium grey (Revell 57). On the outside of the cabin windows, a fat, deep yellow sealant frame (Humbrol 93, actually “Sand”) was added.

 

The weapon bay was painted in a yellow-ish primer tone (seen on pics of Tu-160 bombers) while the landing gear wells received a mix of gold and sand; the struts were painted in a mixed color, too, made of Humbrol 56 (Aluminum) and 34 (Flat White). The green wheel discs (Humbrol 131), a typical Soviet detail, stand out well from the rather subdued but not boring aircraft, and they make a nice contrast to the red Stars and the blue tactical code – the only major markings, besides a pair of MiG OKB logos under the cockpit.

 

Decals were puzzled together from various sheets, and I also added a lot of stencils for a more technical look. In order to enhance the prototype look further I added some photo calibration markings on the nose and the tail, made from scratch.

  

A massive kitbashing project that I had pushed away for years - but I am happy that I finally tackled it, and the result looks spectacular. The "Firefox" similarity was not intended, but this beast really looks like a movie prop - and who knwos if the Firefox was not inspired by the same projects (the MiG 301 and 701) as my kitbash model?

The background info is a bit lengthy, but there's some good background info concerning the aforementioned projects, and this aircraft - as a weapon system - would have played a very special and complex role, so a lot of explanations are worthwhile - also in order to emphasize that I di not simply try to glue some model parts together, but rather try to spin real world ideas further.

 

Mighty bird!

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic

 

Hypersonic Scramjet, Raven aircraft, combined cycle turbine, Designed by Drew Blair.

 

www.instagram.com/ioaerospace/

 

www.linkedin.com/in/drew-b-25485312/

 

ioaerospace.weebly.com/

 

X-plane, low boom, son of blackbird, phantom works, skunk works, Space Plane, scramjet, hypersonic, Drew Blair, supersonic, sr-72, SR-71, scramjet engine, xs-1, x-37, x-34, x-43, x-51, Darpa, combined cycle turbine, lockheed, boeing, io aerospace, Ramjet, thermodynamics, hypersonic weapons, hypersonic aircraft, aerospace, aviation, physics, turbine, jet, jet engine, scramjet engine, hypersonic flight, hypersonic missile

 

Image, sneak peak of Version 10. Still not current version

 

Boeing Phantom Works cloned Inlet of version 1, to develop Son of Blackbird. Image is Version 1 as seen. Currently many versions beyond, refining for improved hypersonic flight dynamics.

 

2 version of this aircraft exist,

 

1 - Self Propelled orbital aicraft, that can take off conventionally and fly into orbit, re-enter atmosphere and land conventionally. As normally as a commercial aircraft flight.

 

2nd version - Exclusive air breather version that can cruise at 100,000-150,000 feet at Mach 8 - Mach 10.

 

Fuel: Hydrogen

 

Range, 10,000nm, Costs no more then conventional aircraft today and similar operating costs.

 

Engines, Super Unified Combined Cycle, developed by Drew Blair

+++ DISCLAIMER +++

Nothing you see here is real, even though the conversion or the presented background story might be based historical facts. BEWARE!

  

Some background:

In the late 1970s the Mikoyan OKB began development of a hypersonic high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. Designated "Izdeliye 301" (also known as 3.01), the machine had an unusual design, combining a tailless layout with variable geometry wings. The two engines fueled by kerosene were located side by side above the rear fuselage, with the single vertical fin raising above them, not unlike the Tu-22 “Blinder” bomber of that time, but also reminiscent of the US-American SR-71 Mach 3 reconnaissance aircraft.

 

Only few and rather corny information leaked into the West, and the 301 was believed not only to act as a reconnaissance plane , it was also believed to have (nuclear) bombing capabilities. Despite wind tunnel testing with models, no hardware of the 301 was ever produced - aven though the aircraft could have become a basis for a long-range interceptor that would replace by time the PVO's Tupolew Tu-28P (ASCC code "Fiddler"), a large aircraft armed solely with missiles.

 

Despite limitations, the Tu-28P served well in its role, but the concept of a very fast interceptor aircraft, lingered on, since the Soviet Union had large areas to defend against aerial intruders, esp. from the North and the East. High speed, coupled with long range and the ability to intercept an incoming target at long distances independently from ground guidance had high priority for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Even though no official requirement was issued, the concept of Izdeliye 301 from the Seventies was eventually developed further into the fixed-wing "Izdeliye 701" ultra-long-range high-altitude interceptor in the 1980ies.

 

The impulse for this new approach came when Oleg S. Samoylovich joined the Mikoyan OKB after having worked at Suchoi OKB on the T-60S missile carrier project. Similar in overall design to the former 301, the 701 was primarily intended as a kind of successor for the MiG-31 Foxhound for the 21st century, which just had completed flight tests and was about to enter PVO's front line units.

 

Being based on a long range cruise missile carrier, the 701 would have been a huge plane, featuring a length of 30-31m, a wing span of 19m (featuring a highly swept double delta wing) and having a maximum TOW of 70 tons! Target performance figures included a top speed of 2.500km/h, a cruising speed of 2.100km/h at 17.000m and an effective range of 7.000km in supersonic or 11.000km in subsonic mode. Eventually, the 701 program was mothballed, too, being too ambitious and expensive for a specialized development that could also have been a fighter version of the Tu-22 bomber!

 

Anyway, while the MiG-31 was successfully introduced in 1979 and had evolved in into a capable long-range interceptor with a top speed of more than Mach 3 (limited to Mach 2.8 in order to protect the aircraft's structural integrity), MiG OKB decided in 1984 to take further action and to develop a next-generation technology demonstrator, knowing that even the formidable "Foxhound" was only an interim solution on the way to a true "Four plus" of even a 6th generation fighter. Other new threats like low-flying cruise missiles, the USAF's "Project Pluto" or the assumed SR-71 Mach 5 successor “Aurora” kept Soviet military officials on the edge of their seats, too.

 

Main objective was to expand the Foxhound's state-of the-art performance, and coiple it with modern features like aerodynamic instability, supercruise, stealth features and further development potential.

 

The aircraft's core mission objectives comprised:

- Provide strategic air defense and surveillance in areas not covered by ground-based air defense systems (incl. guidance of other aircraft with less sophisticated avionics)

- Top speed of Mach 3.2 or more in a dash and cruise at Mach 3.0 for prolonged periods

- Long range/high speed interception of airspace intruders of any kind, including low flying cruise missiles, UAVs and helicopters

- Intercept cruise missiles and their launch aircraft from sea level up to 30.000m altitude by reaching missile launch range in the lowest possible time after departing the loiter area

 

Because funding was scarce and no official GOR had been issued, the project was taken on as a private venture. The new project was internally known as "Izdeliye 710" or "71.0". It was based on both 301 and 701 layout ideas and the wind tunnel experiences with their unusual layouts, as well as Oleg Samoylovich's experience with the Suchoi T-4 Mach 3 bomber project and the T-60S.

 

"Izdeliye 710" was from the start intended only as a proof-of-concept prototype, yet fully functional. It would also incorporate new technologies like heat-resistant ceramics against kinetic heating at prolonged high speeds (the airframe had to resist temperatures of 300°C/570°F and more for considerable periods), but with potential for future development into a full-fledged interceptor, penetrator and reconnaissance aircraft.

 

Overall, “Izdeliye 710" looked like a shrinked version of a mix of both former MiG OKB 301 and 701 designs, limited to the MiG-31's weight class of about 40 tons TOW. Compared with the former designs, the airframe received an aerodynamically more refined, partly blended, slender fuselage that also incorporated mild stealth features like a “clean” underside, softened contours and partly shielded air intakes. Structurally, the airframe's speed limit was set at Mach 3.8.

 

From the earlier 301 design,the plane retained the variable geometry wing. Despite the system's complexity and weight, this solution was deemed to be the best approach for a combination of a high continuous top speed, extended loiter time in the mission’s patrol areas and good performance on improvised airfields. Minimum sweep was a mere 10°, while, fully swept at 68°, the wings blended into the LERXes. Additional lift was created through the fuselage shape itself, so that aerodynamic surfaces and therefore drag could be reduced.

 

Pilot and radar operator sat in tandem under a common canopy with rather limited sight. The cockpit was equipped with a modern glass cockpit with LCD screens. The aircraft’s two engines were, again, placed in a large, mutual nacelle on the upper rear fuselage, fed by large air intakes with two-dimensional vertical ramps and a carefully modulated airflow over the aircraft’s dorsal area.

 

Initially, the 71.0 was to be powered by a pair of Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans with a dry thrust of 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each, and with 152 kN (34,172 lbf) with full afterburner. These were the same engines that powered the MiG-31, but there were high hopes for the Kolesov NK-101 engine: a variable bypass engine with a maximum thrust in the 200kN range, at the time of the 71.0's design undergoing bench tests and originally developed for the advanced Suchoj T-4MS strike aircraft.

With the D-30F6, the 71.0 was expected to reach Mach 3.2 (making the aircraft capable of effectively intercepting the SR-71), but the NK-101 would offer in pure jet mode a top speed in excess of Mach 3.5 and also improve range and especially loiter time when running as a subsonic turbofan engine.

 

A single fin with an all-moving top and an additional deep rudder at its base was placed on top of the engine nacelle. Additional maneuverability at lower speed was achieved by retractable, all-moving foreplanes, stowed in narrow slits under the cockpit. Longitudinal stability at high speed was improved through deflectable stabilizers: these were kept horizontal for take-off and added to the overall lift, but they could be folded down by up to 60° in flight, acting additionally as stabilizer strakes.

 

Due to the aircraft’s slender shape and unique proportions, the 71.0 quickly received the unofficial nickname "жура́вль" (‘Zhurávl' = Crane). The aircaft’s stalky impression was emphasized even more through its unusual landing gear arrangement: Due to the limited internal space for the main landing gear wells between the weapons bay, the wing folding mechanisms and the engine nacelle, MiG OKB decided to incorporate a bicycle landing gear, normally a trademark of Yakovlew OKB designs, but a conventional landing gear could simply not be mounted, or its construction would have become much too heavy and complex.

 

In order to facilitate operations from improvised airfields and on snow the landing gear featured twin front wheels on a conventional strut and a single four wheel bogie as main wheels. Smaller, single stabilizer wheels were mounted on outriggers that retracted into slender fairings at the wings’ fixed section trailing edge, reminiscent of early Tupolev designs.

 

All standard air-to-air weaponry, as well as fuel, was to be carried internally. Main armament would be the K-100 missile (in service eventually designated R-100), stored in a large weapons bay behind the cockpit on a rotary mount. The K-100 had been under development at that time at NPO Novator, internally coded ‘Izdeliye 172’. The K-100 missile was an impressive weapon, and specifically designed to attack vital and heavily defended aerial targets like NATO’s AWACS aircraft at BVR distance.

 

Being 15’ (4.57 m) long and weighing 1.370 lb (620 kg), this huge ultra-long-range weapon had a maximum range of 250 mi (400 km) in a cruise/glide profile and attained a speed of Mach 6 with its solid rocket engine. This range could be boosted even further with a pair of jettisonable ramjets in tubular pods on the missile’s flanks for another 60 mi (100 km). The missile could attack targets ranging in altitude between 15 – 25,000 meters.

 

The weapon would initially be allocated to a specified target through the launch aircraft’s on-board radar and sent via inertial guidance into the target’s direction. Closing in, the K-100’s Agat 9B-1388 active seeker would identify the target, lock on, and independently attack it, also in coordination with other K-100’s shot at the same target, so that the attack would be coordinated in time and approach directions in order to overload defense and ensure a hit.

 

The 71.0’s internal mount could hold four of these large missiles, or, alternatively, the same number of the MiG-31’s R-33 AAMs. The mount also had a slot for the storage of additional mid- and short-range missiles for self-defense, e .g. three R-60 or two R-73 AAMs. An internal gun was not considered to be necessary, since the 71.0 or potential derivatives would fight their targets at very long distances and rather rely on a "hit-and-run" tactic, sacrificing dogfight capabilities for long loitering time in stand-by mode, high approach speed and outstanding acceleration and altitude performance.

 

Anyway, provisions were made to carry a Gsh-301-250 gun pod on a retractable hardpoint in the weapons bay instead of a K-100. Alternatively, such pods could be carried externally on four optional wing root pylons, which were primarily intended for PTB-1500 or PTB-3000 drop tanks, or further missiles - theoretically, a maximum of ten K-100 missiles could be carried, plus a pair of short-range AAMs.

 

Additionally, a "buddy-to-buffy" IFR set with a retractable drogue (probably the same system as used on the Su-24) was tested (71.2 was outfitted with a retractable refuelling probe in front of the cockpit), as well as the carriage of simple iron bombs or nuclear stores, to be delivered from very high altitudes. Several pallets with cameras and sensors (e .g. a high resolution SLAR) were also envisioned, which could easily replace the missile mounts and the folding weapon bay covers for recce missions.

 

Since there had been little official support for the project, work on the 710 up to the hardware stage made only little progress, since the MiG-31 already filled the long-range interceptor role in a sufficient fashion and offered further development potential.

A wooden mockup of the cockpit section was presented to PVO and VVS officials in 1989, and airframe work (including tests with composite materials on structural parts, including ceramic tiles for leading edges) were undertaken throughout 1990 and 1991, including test rigs for the engine nacelle and the swing wing mechanism.

 

Eventually, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 suddenly stopped most of the project work, after two prototype airframes had been completed. Their internal designations were Izdeliye 71.1 and 71.2, respectively. It took a while until the political situation as well as the ex-Soviet Air Force’s status were settled, and work on Izdeliye 710 resumed at a slow pace.

 

After taking two years to be completed, 71.1 eventually made its roll-out and maiden flight in summer 1994, just when MiG-31 production had ended. MiG OKB still had high hopes in this aircraft, since the MiG-31 would have to be replaced in the next couple of years and "Izdeliye 710" was just in time for the potential procurement process. The first prototype wore a striking all-white livery, with dark grey ceramic tiles on the wings’ leading edges standing out prominently – in this guise and with its futuristic lines the slender aircraft reminded a lot of the American Space Shuttle.

 

71.1 was primarily intended for engine and flight tests (esp. for the eagerly awaited NK-101 engines), as well as for the development of the envisioned ramjet propulsion system for full-scale production and further development of Izdeliye 710 into a Mach 3+ interceptor. No mission avionics were initially fitted to this plane, but it carried a comprehensive test equipment suite and ballast.

 

Its sister ship 71.2 flew for the first time in late 1994, wearing a more unpretentious grey/bare metal livery. This plane was earmarked for avionics development and weapons integration, especially as a test bed for the K-100 missile, which shared Izdeliye 710’s fate of being a leftover Soviet project with an uncertain future and an even more corny funding outlook.

 

Anyway, aircraft 71.2 was from the start equipped with a complete RP-31 ('Zaslon-M') weapon control system, which had been under development at that time as an upgrade for the Russian MiG-31 fleet being part of the radar’s development program secured financial support from the government and allowed the flight tests to continue. The RP-31 possessed a maximum detection range of 400 km (250 mi) against airliner-sized targets at high altitude or 200 km against fighter-sized targets; the typical width of detection along the front was given as 225 km. The system could track 24 airborne targets at one time at a range of 120 km, 6 of which could be simultaneously attacked with missiles.

 

With these capabilities the RP-31 suite could, coupled with an appropriate carrier airframe, fulfil the originally intended airspace control function and would render a dedicated and highly vulnerable airspace control aircraft (like the Beriev A-50 derivative of the Il-76 transport) more or less obsolete. A group of four aircraft equipped with the 'Zaslon-M' suite would be able to permanently control an area of airspace across a total length of 800–900 km, while having ultra-long range weapons at hand to counter any intrusion into airspace with a quicker reaction time than any ground-based fighter on QRA duty. The 71.0, outfitted with the RP-31/K-100 system, would have posed a serious threat to any aggressor.

 

In March 1995 both prototypes were eventually transferred to the Kerchenskaya Guards Air Base at Savasleyka in the Oblast Vladimir, 300 km east of Mocsow, where they received tactical codes of '11 Blue' and '12 Blue'. Besides the basic test program and the RP-31/K-100 system tests, both machines were directly evaluated against the MiG-31 and Su-27 fighters by the Air Force's 4th TsBPi PLS, based at the same site.

 

Both aircraft exceeded expectations, but also fell short in certain aspects. The 71.0’s calculated top speed of Mach 3.2 was achieved during the tests with a top speed of 3,394 km/h (2.108 mph) at 21,000 m (69.000 ft). Top speed at sea level was confirmed at 1.200 km/h (745 mph) indicated airspeed.

Combat radius with full weapon load and internal fuel only was limited to 1,450 km (900 mi) at Mach 0.8 and at an altitude of 10,000 m (33,000 ft), though, and it sank to a mere 720 km (450 mi) at Mach 2.35 and at an altitude of 18,000 m (59,000 ft). Combat range with 4x K-100 internally and 2 drop tanks was settled at 3,000 km (1,860 mi), rising to 5,400 km (3,360 mi) with one in-flight refueling, tested with the 71.2. Endurance at altitude was only slightly above 3 hours, though. Service ceiling was 22,800 m (74,680 ft), 2.000 m higher than the MiG-31.

 

While these figures were impressive, Soviet officials were not truly convinced: they did not show a significant improvement over the simpler MiG-31. MiG OKB tried to persuade the government into more flight tests and begged for access to the NK-101, but the Soviet Union's collapse halted this project, too, so that both Izdeliye 710 had to keep the Soloviev D-30F6.

 

Little is known about the Izdeliye 710 project’s progress or further developments. The initial tests lasted until at least 1997, and obviously the updated MiG-31M received official favor instead of a completely new aircraft. The K-100 was also dropped, since the R-33 missile and later its R-37 derivative sufficiently performed in the long-range aerial strike role.

 

Development on the aircraft as such seemed to have stopped with the advent of modernized Su-27 derivatives and the PAK FA project, resulting in the Suchoi T-50 prototype. Unconfirmed reports suggest that one of the prototypes (probably 71.1) was used in the development of the N014 Pulse-Doppler radar with a passive electronically scanned array antenna in the wake of the MFI program. The N014 was designed with a range of 420 km, detection target of 250km to 1m and able to track 40 targets while able to shoot against 20.

 

Most interestingly, Izdeliye 710 was never officially presented to the public, but NATO became aware of its development through satellite pictures in the early Nineties and the aircraft consequently received the ASCC reporting codename "Fastback".

 

Until today, only the two prototypes have been known to exist, and it is assumed – had the type entered service – that the long-range fighter had received the official designation "MiG-41".

  

General characteristics:

Crew: 2 (Pilot, weapon system officer)

Length (incl. pitot): 93 ft 10 in (28.66 m)

Wingspan:

- minimum 10° sweep: 69 ft 4 in (21.16 m)

- maximum 68° sweep: 48 ft 9 in (14,88 m)

Height: 23 ft 1 1/2 in (7,06 m )

Wing area: 1008.9 ft² (90.8 m²)

Weight: 88.151 lbs (39.986 kg)

 

Performance:

Maximum speed:

- Mach 3.2 (2.050 mph (3.300 km/h) at height

- 995 mph (1.600 km/h) supercruise speed at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)

- 915 mph (1.470 km/h) at sea level

Range: 3.705 miles (5.955 km) with internal fuel

Service ceiling: 75.000 ft (22.500 m)

Rate of climb: 31.000 ft/min (155 m/s)

 

Engine:

2x Soloviev D-30F6 afterburning turbofans with a dry thrust of 93 kN (20,900 lbf) each

and with 152 kN (34,172 lbf) with full afterburner.

 

Armament:

Internal weapons bay, main armament comprises a flexible missile load; basic ordnance of 4x K-100 ultra long range AAMs plus 2x R-73 short-range AAMs: other types like the R-27, R-33, R-60 and R-77 have been carried and tested, too, as well as podded guns on internal and external mounts. Alternatively, the weapon bay can hold various sensor pallets.

Four hardpoints under the wing roots, the outer pair “wet” for drop tanks of up to 3.000 l capacity, ECM pods or a buddy-buddy refueling drogue system. Maximum payload mass is 9000 kg.

  

The kit and its assembly

The second entry for the 2017 “Soviet” Group Build at whatifmodelers.com – a true Frankenstein creation, based on the scarce information about the real (but never realized) MiG 301 and 701 projects, the Suchoj T-60S, as well as some vague design sketches you can find online and in literature.

This one had been on my project list for years and I already had donor kits stashed away – but the sheer size (where will I leave it once done…?) and potential complexity kept me from tackling it.

 

The whole thing was an ambitious project and just the unique layout with a massive engine nacelle on top of the slender fuselage instead of an all-in-one design makes these aircraft an interesting topic to build. The GB was a good motivator.

 

“My” fictional interpretation of the MiG concepts is mainly based on a Dragon B-1B in 1:144 scale (fuselage, wings), a PM Model Su-15 two seater (donating the nose section and the cockpit, as well as wing parts for the fin) and a Kangnam MiG-31 (for the engine pod and some small parts). Another major ingredient is a pair of horizontal stabilizers from a 1:72 Hasegawa A-5 Vigilante.

 

Fitting the cockpit section took some major surgery and even more putty to blend the parts smoothly together. Another major surgical area was the tail; the "engine box" came to be rather straightforward, using the complete rear fuselage section from the MiG-31 and adding the intakes form the same kit, but mounted horizontally with a vertical splitter.

 

Blending the thing to the cut-away tail section of the B-1 was quite a task, though, since I not only wanted to add the element to the fuselage, but rather make it look a bit 'organic'. More than putty was necessary, I also had to made some cuts and transplantations. And after six PSR rounds I stopped counting…

 

The landing gear was built from scratch – the front wheel comes mostly from the MiG-31 kit. The central bogie and its massive leg come from a VEB Plasticart 1:100 Tu-20/95 bomber, plus some additional struts. The outriggers are leftover landing gear struts from a Hobby Boss Fw 190, mated with wheels which I believe come from a 1:200 VEB Plasticart kit, an An-24. Not certain, though. The fairings are slender MiG-21 drop tanks blended into the wing training edge. For the whole landing gear, the covers were improvised with styrene sheet, parts from a plastic straw(!) or leftover bits from the B-1B.

 

The main landing gear well was well as the weapons’ bay themselves were cut into the B-1B underside and an interior scratched from sheet and various leftover materials – I tried to maximize their space while still leaving enough room for the B-1B kit’s internal VG mechanism.

The large missiles (two were visible fitted and the rotary launcher just visibly hinted at) are, in fact, AGM-78 ‘Standard’ ARMs in a fantasy guise. They look pretty Soviet, though, like big brothers of the already not small R-33 missiles from the MiG-31.

 

While not in the focus of attention, the cockpit interior is completely new, too – OOB, the Su-15 cockpit only has a floor and rather stubby seats, under a massive single piece canopy. On top of the front wheel well (from a Hasegawa F-4) I added a new floor and added side consoles, scratched from styrene sheet. F-4 dashboards improve the decoration, and I added a pair of Soviet election seats from the scrap box – IIRC left over from two KP MiG-19 kits.

The canopy was taken OOB, I just cut it into five parts for open display. The material’s thickness does not look too bad on this aircraft – after all, it would need a rather sturdy construction when flying at Mach 3+ and withstanding the respective pressures and temperatures.

  

Painting

As a pure whif, I was free to use a weirdo design - but I rejected this idea quickly. I did not want a garish splinter scheme or a bright “Greenbottle Fly” Su-27 finish.

With the strange layout of the aircraft, the prototype idea was soon settled – and Soviet prototypes tend to look very utilitarian and lusterless, might even be left in grey. Consequently, I adapted a kind of bare look for this one, inspired by the rather shaggy Soviet Tu-22 “Blinder” bombers which carried a mix of bare metal and white and grey panels. With additional black leading edges on the aerodynamic surfaces, this would create a special/provisional but still purposeful look.

 

For the painting, I used a mix of several metallizer tones from ModelMaster and Humbrol (including Steel, Magnesium, Titanium, as well as matt and polished aluminum, and some Gun Metal and Exhaust around the engine nozzles, partly mixed with a bit of blue) and opaque tones (Humbrol 147 and 127). The “scheme” evolved panel-wise and step by step. The black leading edges were an interim addition, coming as things evolved, and they were painted first with black acrylic paint as a rough foundation and later trimmed with generic black decal stripes (from TL Modellbau). A very convenient and clean solution!

 

The radomes on nose and tail and other di-electric panels became dark grey (Humbrol 125). The cockpit tub was painted with Soviet Cockpit Teal (from ModelMaster), while the cockpit opening and canopy frames were kept in a more modest medium grey (Revell 57). On the outside of the cabin windows, a fat, deep yellow sealant frame (Humbrol 93, actually “Sand”) was added.

 

The weapon bay was painted in a yellow-ish primer tone (seen on pics of Tu-160 bombers) while the landing gear wells received a mix of gold and sand; the struts were painted in a mixed color, too, made of Humbrol 56 (Aluminum) and 34 (Flat White). The green wheel discs (Humbrol 131), a typical Soviet detail, stand out well from the rather subdued but not boring aircraft, and they make a nice contrast to the red Stars and the blue tactical code – the only major markings, besides a pair of MiG OKB logos under the cockpit.

 

Decals were puzzled together from various sheets, and I also added a lot of stencils for a more technical look. In order to enhance the prototype look further I added some photo calibration markings on the nose and the tail, made from scratch.

  

A massive kitbashing project that I had pushed away for years - but I am happy that I finally tackled it, and the result looks spectacular. The "Firefox" similarity was not intended, but this beast really looks like a movie prop - and who knwos if the Firefox was not inspired by the same projects (the MiG 301 and 701) as my kitbash model?

The background info is a bit lengthy, but there's some good background info concerning the aforementioned projects, and this aircraft - as a weapon system - would have played a very special and complex role, so a lot of explanations are worthwhile - also in order to emphasize that I di not simply try to glue some model parts together, but rather try to spin real world ideas further.

 

Mighty bird!

A semi-famous retired Boeing B-52 stands vigil in the desert at the north gate of Edwards AFB.

 

Here's more information from Edwards AFB website: Located just outside of the North Gate of Edwards Air Force Base in California is a historic B-52 Stratofortress.

 

This NB-52B aircraft, tail number 52-0008, was flown by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for many years to test other aircraft like the X-15, HL-10, and the hypersonic X-43.

 

It flew as "Balls 8" in support of NASA research until December of 2004, making it the oldest flying B-52B. It was replaced by a modified B-52H airplane.

 

A pylon was fitted under the right wing between the fuselage and the inboard engines with a 6-by-8-foot section removed from the right wing flap in order to accommodate the X-15's tail.

 

It flew a total of 159 captive-carry and launch missions in support of the X-15 program, from June 1959 until October 1968.

 

It also flew missions supporting the X-24, HiMAT, Lifting Body vehicles, X-43, early launches of the OSC Pegasus rocket and numerous others.

 

"The High and Mighty One", NB-52A serial number 52-003, is the other mothership that was used for X-15 flights. It is on display at Pima in Tucson, AZ. (see photo below)

 

Access from Highway 58 is via exit 186 (Edwards AFB). The aircraft display is about two miles from Highway 58. Ample paved parking and safe, paved sidewalks are provided.

One of Thomsom's brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners (G-TUIC) leaves Manchester bound for Ibiza.

 

It’s a state of the art jet made from lots of carbon fibre, which makes it lighter and therefore uses less fuel.

I have to say it’s hard to get excited about a plastic plane designed to keep accountants happy. You have to look twice otherwise you’d easily mistake it for a 767.

Most planes are starting to look the same now, airlines just specify a small, medium or large version!

In the 1970's and 80’s you had some real variety – 707, 727, DC-10, Tristar and VC-10....the list goes on.

The next new thing is the A350… A plastic A330 then...boring.

Things don't really seem to have moved on much since the early 1960's. Where are those hypersonic jets that can get to Australia in half an hour,,eh? Ryanair has a lot to answer for.

  

This is a photograph of a photograph on display in the museum. Woomera in remote desert country in South Australia was the site of early satellite launches, missile tests, huge explosions and sundry other aerospace research related activities. The base has been largely scaled down in recent decades.

The RB-75 is a top secret hypersonic stealth bomber and reconnaissance plane in service with the IRT. It is rumored to have a top speed of Mach 5.2 and it has been tracked as flying at around 90,000 feet, however, it is expected it can go a bit higher.

 

I unveiled this behemoth at BFVA 2015. It breaks down into 6 sections for transport and luckily nothing broke in my suitcase. I have been planning/working on this for 2 years now and I know there are still some improvements I could make to this model. This is by far my largest aircraft in length and width and it is also the heaviest. Due to its large size I couldn't take pictures of it n a background and instead just took them on my back porch.

 

Enjoy!

Tyler

▮ Visit me at my Website

▮ Follow me on Instagram

▮ Like my site on Facebook

06/22/2014:

 

The driver of Hypersonic, Barry Richter stands next to his loud and mean machine, a jet engine car at the Coles County Raceway/Drag Strip in rural Charleston, Illinois.

 

Hypersonic is a modified (and very loud) '99 Chevy Z-28 Camaro that can EASILY go over 200 mph on the drag way.

 

I didn't get to see him go down the track unfortunately for a drag, but he did take it down the strip which was cool.

 

I've seen a jet engine car before, just once...let me tell you it is the loudest thing you'll ever listen to as it blasts down the strip.

From the NASM description:

 

No reconnaissance aircraft in history has operated globally in more hostile airspace or with such complete impunity than the SR-71, the world's fastest jet-propelled aircraft. The Blackbird's performance and operational achievements placed it at the pinnacle of aviation technology developments during the Cold War.

 

F**k yeah.

The North American X-15, a rocket-powered research aircraft, bridged the gap between manned flight in the atmosphere and space flight. After its initial test flights in 1959, the X-15 became the first winged aircraft to attain hypersonic velocities of Mach 4, 5, and 6 (four to six times the speed of sound) and to operate at altitudes well above 30,500 meters (100,000 feet).

 

The X-15 was carried to an altitude of 12,000 meters (40,000 feet) under the wing of a Boeing B-52 bomber. During one test, it attained an altitude of over 108 kilometers (67 miles), flying so high that it functioned more as a spacecraft than an airplane. In 1967 it reached Mach 6.72 (7,297 kilometers or 4,534 miles per hour).

 

The X-15 was designed to explore the problems of flight at very high speeds and altitudes. The X-15 and other research aircraft contribute to the advancement of aerospace technology.

 

The wedge-shaped tail surfaces of the X-15 provided directional stability at speeds where conventionally shaped airfoils would not be effective. The large upper and lower fins and the downward slant of the wings enabled the aircraft to remain stable during steep climbs and at high altitudes. The substructure of the X-15 is titanium with a covering of Inconel X, a nickel alloy capable of withstanding temperatures of 650° (1,200°). The black color of the aircraft helped to dissipate heat, and the gaps along the fuselage closed as the external temperature increased. The small holes near the nose are for attitude control jets, used at very high altitudes where airfoil surfaces no longer provide aerodynamic control.

 

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM), administered by the Smithsonian Institute, maintains the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world and is a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics. Established along the National Mall on July 1, 1976, the museum was designed by Gyo Obata of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum as four simple marble-encased cubes containing the smaller and more theatrical exhibits, connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atrium which house the larger exhibits such as missiles, airplanes and spacecraft.

 

The Smithsonian Institution, an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its shops and its magazines, was established in 1846. Although concentrated in Washington DC, its collection of over 136 million items is spread through 19 museums, a zoo, and nine research centers from New York to Panama.

An X-51A Waverider successfully launched from a B-52 Stratofortress, like the one shown here, on May 26, 2010. It was the longest supersonic combustion ramjet-powered hypersonic flight to date and accelerated to Mach 6. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Cassidy)

Woomera in remote desert country in South Australia was the site of early satellite launches, missile tests, huge explosions and sundry other aerospace research related activities. The base has been largely scaled down in recent decades.

Old hypersonic soviet airplane at MAKS 2007

Woomera in remote desert country in South Australia was the site of early satellite launches, missile tests, huge explosions and sundry other aerospace research related activities. The base has been largely scaled down in recent decades.

Media presentation of the Scramjet prior to being shipped off to Norway for launch. Dr Sandy Tirtey, SCRAMSPACE Flight Experiment Lead describes how the jet works.

 

Suspended Animation Classic #477 Originally published February 1, 1998 (#5) (Dates are approximate)

 

Black Mist By Michael Vance

 

Controversy over the use of &*#+%O!'s in art raged for years. The argument for the use of foul language included the belief that if writers couldn't use realistic dialog, what was written was phony, somehow less profoundly realistic.

 

After all, I &"#+%8!, therefore I am.

 

&X#+4~0! won.

 

Art in its broadest definition is much more insightful and profound now, isn't it?

 

It was a phony argument; the proof is in the &X#+%O ! pudding.

 

The proof is also in “Hypersonic”, a new comics series laced with &X#+%~!. It is almost a shame that it is otherwise well written and drawn.

 

In 2009, a shameless pilot flying an apparently realistic jet and bombing an apparently realistic country is shot down by a flying something. He has become something "other", a secret government operative, when he awakens and is given his own craft built from the technology of downed alien space ships.

 

It is admittedly a &X#+%O! intriguing plot.

 

It is admittedly also &X#+~8!ly well illustrated in a pseudo realistic style.

 

By the way, this style is always pseudo realistic. It is impossible to reproduce total realism in any art form. In a strange sense, even Photography is not completely realistic.

 

This art is dynamic, full of excitement, and the visual storytelling is flawless.

 

That is why I almost hate “Hypersonic”. Because I do hate the use of &*#+~O! in comics, in movies, in literature, in art. I'd hate it in ballet if they could dance &X#+~ O !. And Hypersonic is full of something I hate.

 

It's also full of stuff I love.

 

So, should this tight &*#+~oO!-ed, Puritanical, Christian reviewer recommend this science fiction miniseries or not? I'll certainly be &*#+%O! if I do and &X#+%O! if I don't.

To &*#+%~! with it.

 

“Hypersonic” contains some nudity and lots of &*#+5~0!, and is reluctantly recommended.

  

“Hypersonic” #s 1-3/22 pgs., $2.95 each, Dark Horse Comics/ written by Dan Abnett and Steve White; drawn by Gary Erskine/sold at comics shops and by mail.

  

 

!WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD-Small Parts. Not For Children Under 4+ Years.

Spider -Man

Spider-Man & Hypersonic Spider Jet

6" scale

 

6" Action Figure

Faced with more powerful villains than ever before, When trouble strikes anywhere in the world SPIDER-MAN needs to know he can be there in a matter of minutes. With this supersonic jet fighter

he can be on the other side of the planet in time to battle the bad guys and save the day!

 

Ages 4 and up.

U.S. aviation technology is our last economic advantage over emerging market competition like India, China and South America. Great article ... ihumanevolution.com/US_Aviation_Industry.html

The orbiter's maximum glide ratio/lift-to-drag ratio varies considerably with speed, ranging from 1:1 at hypersonic speeds, 2:1 at supersonic speeds and reaching 4.5:1 at subsonic speeds during approach and landing.[49]

 

In the lower atmosphere, the orbiter flies much like a conventional glider, except for a much higher descent rate, over 50 m/s (180 km/h; 110 mph). At approximately Mach 3, two air data probes, located on the left and right sides of the orbiter's forward lower fuselage, are deployed to sense air pressure related to the vehicle's movement in the atmosphere.

 

When the approach and landing phase begins, the orbiter is at a 3,000 m (9,800 ft) altitude, 12 km (7.5 mi) from the runway. The pilots apply aerodynamic braking to help slow down the vehicle. The orbiter's speed is reduced from 682 to 346 km/h (424 to 215 mph), approximately, at touch-down (compared to 260 km/h (160 mph) for a jet airliner). The landing gear is deployed while the Orbiter is flying at 430 km/h (270 mph). To assist the speed brakes, a 12 m (39 ft) drag chute is deployed either after main gear or nose gear touchdown (depending on selected chute deploy mode) at about 343 km/h (213 mph). The chute is jettisoned once the orbiter slows to 110 km/h (68.4 mph).

 

After landing, the vehicle stands on the runway for several minutes to permit the fumes from poisonous hydrazine (which is used as a fuel for attitude control, and the orbiter's three APUs) to dissipate, and for the shuttle fuselage to cool before the astronauts disembark.

 

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Virginia

1 3