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WTF was that refueling

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posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 06:02 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

do you have a cite for calling it a two stage? stages normally denote missiles or rockets. I've never heard it applied to an aircraft unless it was something like the TSTO. Even then, most of the time the first 'stage' is called a 'carrier' rather than a 'stage.'




posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

How are you getting it into space, penroc?



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 06:21 PM
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a reply to: anzha
I was just hinting at it not being capable of reaching LEO in my mind by omitting the orbit part. Its certainly not an official term.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

So long as you denote its what you call it, not any sort of official terminology, no worries. Terminology can be rather important, esp when looking at official or technical dox.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: anzha

normal first stage then use the NERVA for the second stage and for the return flip it around and jettosen it and use regular rockets to slow down and enter the atmosphere



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:20 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

Which makes it so heavy that it's next to useless for payload.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

if you were going to Mars you could send all your logistical stuff with normal rockets and use one of the NERVA type rockets to get people there quicker, so the only payload would be passengers and fuel.

with reactor technology of today i think it would be a very viable option, using 1 large reactor or a few smaller ones. the NERVA rocket fired at 1000MW for over 2 hours and 28min at full power. its SS.I was TWICE that of normal chemical rockets.

Diameter: 10.55 meters (34.6 ft)
Length: 43.69 meters (143.3 ft)
Mass empty: 34,019 kilograms (74,999 lb)
Mass full: 178,321 kilograms (393,131 lb)
Thrust (vacuum): 333.6 kN (75,000 lbf)
ISP (vacuum): 850 seconds (8.3 km/s)
ISP (sea level): 380 seconds (3.7 km/s)
Burn Time: 1,200 s
Propellants: LH2

and that is decades old tech, imagine what they could make today.
edit on 9-7-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

First stage might go boom. Second stage is still in the atmosphere.

NERVA was meant to be for a service module type thing like is being used on the Orion and was used on the Apollo Command Module.

Even so, it still has to be lifted out of the atmosphere. That process was decided to be the problem. And deemed too risky.

If you could manufacture it in space, then it would be great. However, the infrastructure to do so is...at best problematically expensive.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: anzha

ehh we got the space station up there, and all the RTG's we have launched have gone okay. but i guess there is always the specter of contamination

you could get all the parts up there pre-fab style then launch the rods, in a special capsule that could be ejected in the even of a failure



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

RTG use SMALL amounts of plutonium and are designed to be damned near indestructible. An RTG is a very, very different beast from a reactor.

Even if China were to launch one, its highly, highly unlikely we will ever. Period. We had our chance in the 60s. We didn't take it.

We also couldn't negotiate an exemption for the Orion back in the day either and they tried pretty damned hard for that one.

There are better performing alternatives that are coming up that are far, far better anyways. Lockheed's. LLNL.

And safer for that matter.

And all of this is pretty OT for the aviation forum. This really belongs on the Space forum.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 09:54 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

It was either a global strike or an on-demand ISR asset.

Although here's a little food for thought: SAP codenames seem to be superficially related, such as all the 80s stealth birds having Senior- designations (Senior Trend, Senior Prom, Senior Ice, Senior Peg, Senior Citizen) while the stealth technology demonstrators of the late 70s all had -Blue names like Have Blue or Tacit Blue.

Now, I have no idea where the Brilliant Buzzard designation came from, whether it was based off of something concrete or whether someone just pulled it out of their kiester, but I DO know of another, real-world project with a similar designation: Brilliant Pebbles. Brilliant Pebbles was a late offshoot of the SDI initiative that involved the construction of an orbiting constellation of hundreds of self-contained pods each containing an exoatmospheric kinetic kill vehicle not unlike the Raytheon BMD vehicle, only on a much, much bigger booster. From what I've read, Brilliant Pebbles was meant to have about as much delta-V as it would take to get from LEO to Mars, which made sense as the fixed orbital paths it would have followed would have meant it would likely be engaging targets at distances of hundreds if not thousands of miles and need to be able to close that gap in minutes. Apparently, the constellation of targeting satellites would have been called Brilliant Eyes.

So if there's anything legitimate to the Brilliant Buzzard name, has anyone here considered that it might have been something related to SDI? The time frame would certainly sync up.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 10:26 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

The Pegasus winged rocket is 55 feet long, carried aloft to 40,000 feet and Mach 0.85 by an L-1011 carrier aircraft, and gets a 1000 lb satellite into low earth orbit - it’s also a Northrop project I might add. What could you do with a 60-90 foot long bird launched from the back of an aircraft traveling at 90,000 feet and Mach 3? From Wikipedia regarding the Pegasus:

“The carrier aircraft (initially a NASA B-52, now an L-1011 owned by Orbital) serves as a booster to increase payloads at reduced cost. 40,000 feet (12,000 m) is only about 4% of a low earth orbital altitude, and the subsonic aircraft reaches only about 3% of orbital velocity, yet by delivering the launch vehicle to this speed and altitude, the reusable aircraft replaces a costly first-stage booster.

The single biggest cause of traditional launch delays is weather. Carriage to 40,000 feet takes the Pegasus above the troposphere, into the stratosphere. Conventional weather is limited to the troposphere, and crosswinds are much gentler at 40,000 feet. Thus the Pegasus is largely immune to weather-induced delays and their associated costs...”

I don’t see how TSTO works from an L-1011 but can’t from an XB-70-type platform.

If the Buzzard was used as a platform to launch hypersonic reconnaissance/strike airframe(s) that cruise around 130,000 feet and Mach 4-6, the carried airframe would probably be immune to interception, maybe even detection, depending on materials and shape. It doesn’t sound from the purported eye-witness descriptions like the Buzzard is very stealthy (big, canards, drooping engines, bright white paint, etc). My guess would be that the Buzzard functions to (a) get the hypersonic vehicle up to a suitable speed and altitude to ignite its exotic engines and (b) to extend its range greatly.

Going off of the great EAA article and Aviation Week, I wonder if the Blackstar mission profile went something like this: Buzzard takes off from Groom and flies northwest towards North Korea or Russia on a great circle. Interestingly, an unidentifed big, white, fast moving plane caused quite a stir over Oregon recently. Maybe it refuels once, then heads towards the target at an oblique angle and launches the vehicle at Mach 3 and 90,000 feet - perhaps 500 miles from contested airspace. The hypersonic vehicle then climbs to cruising altitude of 130,000 feet and Mach 5, turns towards its target, throwing off detection from the original track. The Buzzard banks away and returns home. The hypersonic vehicle is traveling at like 50 miles per minute and maybe flies for 3000ish miles and recovers as a glider in Japan or Scotland, depending on the mission profile. The “Hunting the Fast Movers” thread may be BS, and one of the pics clearly photoshopped, but two or three of those alleged photos are pretty interesting.

Why is the Buzzard flying again? Maybe as part of the SR-72 project. There probably aren’t too many Mach 3-class rides out there available for propulsion systems testing and research purposes. Makes sense to me.

This is a great thread. I’d love to someday see a picture of the large, thunderous aircraft my roommate and I witnessed on approach to Kelly AFB all those years ago. I can’t imagine the US operates too many concord-sized platforms with diamond light configurations that make that kind of sound.
edit on 9-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 10:42 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Rain parade time!



Your description was pretty good until you got to the delta V. Brilliant Pebbles was going to be a lot more like the following:



Brilliant Pebbles would have just had a huge cloud of these in orbit in solar powered micro sats waiting for the launch order. When received, the pebbles - each of the interceptors - would be deployed.



They would be in orbits so that the combined impact velocity would be enough to destroy the nukes, but the pebbles themselves would not have much of a large motor of them. They'd just maneuver in the way and use the orbital velocity and the velocity of the ICBM warheads combined do a head on collision:

The newer exoatmospheric kill vehicles are the same idea:





If there is a link, it's not for fast engines.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 11:01 PM
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a reply to: TheHans

Launching at Mach 3 or higher isn't nearly as easy as you seem to think it is. Just look at the M-21 disaster. Even the slightest miscalculation and you're losing the mothership and payload.



posted on Jul, 9 2018 @ 11:48 PM
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a reply to: wirehead

That sketch depicts one ugly machine - I might name it the platypus. It certainly contains a lot of detail for having allegedly been viewed through binoculars. Regarding the Hunting the Fast Movers thread, notwithstanding the bad photoshop job, a couple of those pictures are pretty interesting. If legit, I wonder if the sketched aircraft is not a space plane per se but rather a waveriding hypersonic craft. It vaguely resembles a larger Dreamchaser or Mig 105 (also ugly IMO). There was some old eye witness description on her of a guy and his gf driving in a convertible near Edwards, and after hearing a sonic boom, saw a plane that matches that sketch land.



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 04:42 AM
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a reply to: TheHans



I don’t see how TSTO works from an L-1011 but can’t from an XB-70-type platform.

There is a big difference between a rocket booster and a return vehicle.
The system is actually a good example of why the numbers don’t add up.
The Pegasus already weights more than 20 tons to boost less than 1000lb to LEO. Of course this could be reduced considerably by using another launch platform at 90k ft and Mach 4+.
But the return vehicle alone would weight multiple tons. The contemporary X-37 has a dry weight of 7500lb while being unmanned and using the very latest technology. An 80s return vehicle would probably look more like the X-20 Dyna Soar, which had an empty weight of over 10.000lbs.
Add to that a payload you do something with (and scale up the vehicle for a payload bay). Think about it, it’s the 80s. Military microsatellites aren’t a thing yet. Your average satellite at the time again weights multiple tons and is pretty bulky. Of course you can go smaller, but if you are just looking for a stopgap system after the 86 disasters, you don’t want to redesign your satellites.
So how big would your booster turn out to be if it had to lift not a mere 1000lb into LEO but say 20.000lb? Pretty big I’d say. Way bigger than the upper stage of the alleged system being discussed.


a reply to: Barnalby


So if there's anything legitimate to the Brilliant Buzzard name, has anyone here considered that it might have been something related to SDI? The time frame would certainly sync up.

oh yes
www.stealthskater.com...



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 07:18 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

All good points; as well as Zaphod’s mention of the difficulties of air launching something at Mach 3. I think this stands out from the EAA55 article (of course it could apply to a hypersonic craft too):

“Engineers at McDonnell-Douglas in St. Louis said the structure of the orbiter was made from advanced composite materials. Skin panels were 40 feet long and 16 feet wide, yet could be picked up easily by two people. They were stacked together and machined to shape. It was incredibly strong, and would handle very high temperatures. The project proceeded slowly until a breakthrough in fuel technology. The fuel was believed to be a boron-based gel, about the consistency of toothpaste.”

NASA’s 747 shuttle carrier aircraft was able to get 80+ tons to 15,000 feet and launch it for glide tests. What if the purpose-designed Buzzard could get a smaller, more streamlined 40-ton vehicle up to speed and altitude (30-ton booster and 10-ton vehicle). It’s also possible it was originally designed for one SDI purpose and wasn’t entirely successful as a TSTO but hit its stride in another capacity.
From the Stealthskater article:


“...baseline Orbit-on-Demand Vehicle requirement was a response to these and other factors. It called for:
1. Carriage and return of a 5000 pound, 7' diameter, 15' long payload to a 160 nautical mile polar orbit.
2. 500 flights per vehicle.
3. Land on a 10,000' runway and be capable of passing over populated areas. 4. 200 feet per second on-orbit delta-V maneuvering.”

To Zaphod’s point, I think the challenges of engineering a supersonic launcher (regardless of what it carried) were probably immense - hence the outboard winglet tails to give more lateral clearance than the SR-71 launcher. I’m unaware of credible sightings of this thing carrying anything on its back. Perhaps the spine/hump in its back was a structural support to hang whatever it launched from beneath and between its engine pods. There are some pictures rendered of it in this configuration, the Boeing patent everyone has seen, and the Salt Lake City, Utah sighting to confirm this. Seems a safer way to launch something to drop it.

Sure would like to see some info on Boeing’s project Beta. One thing in common with some of the sightings (including my own) is how loud this thing is. Perhaps it has six engines like the old XB-70. Maybe it even has supplemetal rocket motors for the final push to speed and separation altitude.

Whatever it’s purpose, I think there are/were enough sightings of an XB-70-like craft to support the assertion that this thing exists/existed.


edit on 10-7-2018 by TheHans because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 08:29 AM
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a reply to: anzha


Sounds like NULKA



www.youtube.com...
edit on 10 7 2018 by Forensick because: (no reason given)

edit on 10 7 2018 by Forensick because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: Shadowhawk

It sounds like the pilot was on the ground yet with the crew chief who handed the pilot the glasses. That part sounds plausible. Not sure of the rest.



posted on Jul, 10 2018 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: TheHans
a reply to: wirehead

That sketch depicts one ugly machine - I might name it the platypus. It certainly contains a lot of detail for having allegedly been viewed through binoculars. Regarding the Hunting the Fast Movers thread, notwithstanding the bad photoshop job, a couple of those pictures are pretty interesting. If legit, I wonder if the sketched aircraft is not a space plane per se but rather a waveriding hypersonic craft. It vaguely resembles a larger Dreamchaser or Mig 105 (also ugly IMO). There was some old eye witness description on her of a guy and his gf driving in a convertible near Edwards, and after hearing a sonic boom, saw a plane that matches that sketch land.


If you believe "Hunting the Fast Movers" then yes, it seems to describe some sort of single hypersonic aircraft with an RBCC engine, not a two-stage carrier / XOV system.

If you could dig up that Edwards sighting, I'd be very interested to read it.







 
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