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BLACKSTAR: an operational USAF TSTO spaceplane?

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posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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Actually, the shape of things to come was the X-24C (using the FDL-7 shape), the X-15A-3 and the FDL-5 hypersonic demonstrator. All of these were officially "paper airplanes" that showed incredible promise, but were killed before they were officially started.

If you look at the XOV conception in AW&ST, it bears a lot of resemblance to the FDL-5 design.




posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

[of course it could reach orbit...whats stopping it?

It got released at just over 100,000ft (not 80,000), and was allready going mach 3. Spaceship One got released subsonically at like 40,000 ft, and it went into sub-orbit.


The problem was explained to me as follows:
The Earth's rotation at 30 degrees north is about 1,300 feet per second (fps). Giving the vehicle a speed of Mach 3.3 adds another 3,300 fps, totaling 4,600 fps, but needing another 21,000 fps plus the fuel and energy for a climb to orbital altitudes. Assuming no drag, the vehicle would need about 21,700 fps for escape velocity, using Homann transfer maneuvers. that is more change in velocity (delta v) than could be produced by the vehicle as described.

As to the matter of SpaceShipOne, it made a simple suborbital ballistic arc. That is an entirely different thing.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:05 AM
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Why do people think you need a certian speed to reach orbit?

you dont. hell, if you had a (rediculously) massive rocket, you could just not give it full power, and fly into space going a few hundred mph if you wanted.
One real world example, is the Airship-to-orbit thing...where a big airship will rise (slowly, and without rockets) into space.




posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 03:01 AM
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Ah....no.
People don't just "think you need a certain speed to reach orbit". The math tells you so.
The picture you refer to is JP aerospace's Orbital ascender. The proposed airship must still travel at mach 25 to achieve escape velocity. The group has some actual hardware going, but they're also facing lots of criticism even at the level of the basic mechanics and physics of their proposal.





Originally posted by Murcielago
Why do people think you need a certian speed to reach orbit?

you dont. hell, if you had a (rediculously) massive rocket, you could just not give it full power, and fly into space going a few hundred mph if you wanted.
One real world example, is the Airship-to-orbit thing...where a big airship will rise (slowly, and without rockets) into space.




posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
Bill Scott's Blackstar article is junk journalism...

There are so many obvious flaws in the AW&ST article that one is compelled to wonder if it was meant for the April 1 issue. Did the editors simply leave all the B.S. in so that anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together would know it was crapola? Or, is it possible that AW&ST has lowered its standards to the level of Popular Mechanics?

Shadowhawk brings forth some very good points, certainly his 20 some-odd years of investigation into Area 51, along with his many acquaintances and friends he has made who have actually worked there over the years gives him as much authority on the subject as anyone here at ATS.
That said and his knowledge of the facility acknowledged, could Shadowhawk's critque of the AW&ST article be a bit too harsh?
The assumption that such eyewitness accounts, etc are dubious at best without a full government disclosure or an eyewitness taking photos is perhaps shortsighted, and to totally poo poo the article's main thrust because the physics is clearly erroneous is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. There are still eyewitness accounts (the F-15 crews) that are either a fabrication or possess some form of truth. If this is a bunch of crap I would hope that AW&ST would censure Mr. Scott as this could be considered scandalous behavior in the same vein but not on the same scale as the Dan Rather/George Bush-National Guard story.

The part Shadowhawk states about SSTO is solid science - he's right. But I'm wondering that if such a "D-21"-esque craft exists, could it not be a very high flyer - a "near orbit" craft made for ISR missions only? (the X-15 flew at what? 350,000+ ft?) If the NRO or other agency is/was involved then most military top brass would not necessarily know much if anything about it as it would be on a need to know basis.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 03:38 PM
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As far as my critique of the article goes, I can only say that people much closer to the decision to publish this story feel that I am being too gentle in my criticism. Unfortunately, they were (surprisingly, all things considered, not in a postion to stop it from happening.

There is much more behind my posts on this subject than I can divulge at this time. This leaves me handicapped in my ability to fully defend my posts.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
As far as my critique of the article goes, I can only say that people much closer to the decision to publish this story feel that I am being too gentle in my criticism. Unfortunately, they were (surprisingly, all things considered, not in a postion to stop it from happening.

There is much more behind my posts on this subject than I can divulge at this time. This leaves me handicapped in my ability to fully defend my posts.

Understood, thank you for your insight. I hope at some point you will be able to elaborate.

Natalie~



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 04:05 PM
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wow shadowhawk i am in awe


AW&ST is like my Bible and bed time reading all rolled into one, and you KNOW the people who write and publish it? that is so awesome!

Ok so the storys bunk, and that guts me because I would love to see a new Black craft rolled out and zoom off at hypersonic speeds...never mind, just have to wait till the UCAVs are rolled out ... Been a long time since bird of Prey - We need more black world caffine



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 05:00 PM
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I would really like to see a new "black plane" revelation.

The F-117A was a real surprise, from a configuration standpoint, when it came out of the black. Prior to 1988, it had been a complete mystery to my. Now I know more about it than I ever expected to. It's kind of a shame that they are retiring it.

The TACIT BLUE unveiling was fun. I actually attended the rollout at Wright-Patterson. Getting to know the program personnel really opened a lot of doors.

Bird of Prey is undoubtedly the coolest airplane yet to come out of the black. I hope there are more like it.

The last revelation was SENIOR PROM. I knew pretty much what to expect, but it was great to see the photos in AW&ST. It should be noted that it wasn't an official unveiling. Too bad.

There are still anywhere from seven to eleven manned black planes yet to be unveiled, and who knows how many UAVs. Maybe the USAF could finally reveal the "classified technology demonstrator" that Maj. Frank Birk flew in 1985. Isn't it about time? How about the YF-113G "classified prototype"? It's been at least a decade since its first flight. Maybe the YF-24. Throw us a bone here, people.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 05:57 PM
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Shadowhawk you said it - come on people throw us a bone! Please?!



Its always puzzled me why the A-12 avenger 2 was never shown to the world once the program was halted - I'd love to see what they could of had, or just to see what got it cancelled.

The Tacit Blue was a nice piece of kit, very nice design I thought. I would love to go see the airframe in the air museum.
Any how, we will just have to wait till they decide to pull back the covers- And WOW! Just how do you figure they have 11 manned black craft around? any thoughts your willing to share?

Oh and have you ANY idea what the heck NASA is playing with in this pic? Thread link here on ATS... about two thirds of the way down page.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 9-3-2006 by MadGreebo]



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 08:00 PM
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general question: is the 17,000 mph area, how fast the earth spins? and so is that why you must be going as fast as it spins...which in turn, makes you appear like your standing still.(?)

MadGreebo - I would assume that its the X-48, BWB.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 09:56 PM
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Originally posted by MadGreebo
Its always puzzled me why the A-12 avenger 2 was never shown to the world once the program was halted.

Just how do you figure they have 11 manned black craft around?

Oh and have you ANY idea what the heck NASA is playing with in this pic? Thread link here on ATS... about two thirds of the way down page.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



The A-12 Avenger mock-up ended up in a museum. I haven't seen it up close. Some good documents were released with detailed blue-print type drawings. Lots of detail. I'm really sorry it never flew.

I figure there are between seven and 11 manned black projects based on the number of classified, non-foreign, aircraft that certain pilots have reportedly flown. Seven is a minimum number, assuming that some of these pilots flew the some of the same airplanes. There might be a maximum of 11 (or more!) if there is no overlap. I have to believe there is some overlap.

Frank Birk flew a "classified technology demonstrator" in the mid 1980s.

Dan Vanderhorst " has been lead pilot on seven classified aircraft" from about 1982 to 2004. One of them was TACIT BLUE. many of his flights have been in "one-of-a-kind demonstrator aircraft." One of them had internal weapons bays. He "holds the altitude reocrd in this aircraft."

From approximately 1988 to 1999, Doug Benjamin flew four classified aircraft. One of them was Bird of Prey.

In the early to mid 1990s, Dennis Sager flew a "classified prototype" called the YF-113G. He commanded the squadron that took this airplane from development to first flight.

From 1995 to 1997, Joe Lanni flew "numerous classified prototypes." He "conducted first flights of two classified prototype aircraft." One of these was apparently called YF-24.

That list doesn't even take us into the 21st Century.

Note: The above quotes come from official unclassified USAF documents and other documents approved by USAF officials.



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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Shadowhawk... I am in awe!

Oh how sweet is the day going to be when they take the wraps off these airframes and give us a peek... Even one piccie per airframe would make me very happy, just like the Northrop XTS airframe on the radar pole.. Thats all we ask for, a glimpse!

Cheers for the post you did, very informative and helpful. Cheers


YF-113G from development to first flight.... My ignorance is astounding ! Never even heard about that one... Shadow,


[edit on 10-3-2006 by MadGreebo]



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 10:14 AM
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A few years ago, I asked Col. Sager if he though the YF-113G would be declassified soon. He said probably not. (But, hey, the chief of AF security once said that pictures of HAVE BLUE would never be declassified). Sager said there is a "hero shot" (photo of him posing with the airplane) waiting in a vault for the day it is declassified. Then, he can have it for his scrap book.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 11:49 AM
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Here is an interesting article debunking this story:

TheSpaceReview.com


Aviation Week magazine reported last week that the US had secretly developed a two-stage manned spaceplane. Dwayne Day examines the details of the article and the quality of the evidence cited and finds many flaws.


A very interesting read! TheSpaceReview always has very good stories.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 12:18 PM
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Interesting. One now has to wonder which of the following two options is correct:

a) AW&ST is engaging in some journalism of questionable accuracy and content, maybe because of laziness, maybe in an effort to boost sales, maybe because they just got it plain wrong.

or

b) AW&ST is the medium by which unknown parties are laying a trail of "disinformation" bread crumbs through the forest of black projects, in an effort to focus the inquiring minds of the general public away from areas of true sensitivity and concern.

Are we all so focused on the concept of ultra low-observable tactical and strategic aircraft that maybe we are totally overlooking something (which might even be in plain sight) that, on the whole, is much more sensitive? Is our aviation enthusiasm blinding us to look for other paradigms and concepts that could change military aviation for the next century? Are we just fish being "played" by the gov't security apparatus, having swallowed the bait hook, line, and sinker?



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 09:51 PM
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XOV. Huzzah.




posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 11:48 PM
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Interesting how people react to news of this type.
With military and aerospace news, you have to "learn to read between the lines". It is often what is not said, that is more important than what is actually said. I know that might be confusing, but I've seen this from the inside of military aerospace projects, and it's quite funny sometimes.

Yes, there is dis-information. And there is deliberate information release too.

It is most likely that this aircraft combination is now obsolete. And something else has already replaced it. It will probably remain in a ready to launch condition, hidden away somewhere.

All this stuff is expensive and experimental. It's really hard to justify flying them for very many years. Until a real winner comes along, then it's a keeper.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 12:28 AM
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I would say that the purpose for this story is to fire a shot across the bow of various parties:

a) the Thiokol power group behind the NASA space launcher plan. ATK Thiokol devised the launcher system and funded the fake grassroots org that lobbied for it to NASA and the White House. The whole ICBM-industrial complex has taken over the space program and the aviation industry crowd is pissed. Leaking this story, true or not, embarasses Bush and NASA and will cause people to lose trust in the regime.

b) the Iran leadership (North Korea and Syria too) may read this and worry about crazy Bush nailing their nuke sites with Rods From God, and be more inclined to negotiate a settlement.

One interesting thing in the Jeff Bell debunking, re: aerospike engines. Bell acts like the only advantage of aerospike engines is their altitude adaptivity. This isn't so. Since aerospike engines do not require vectoring to vary direction of thrust for maneuvering, they do not need the super heavy thrust and swivel joint structure, and since they use the air for most of their 'nozzle', between these two features, they have a much higher Thrust to Weight ratio than bell nozzle engines, which helps improve mass fraction. Also the mocking comment about 'vanes' to direct airflow under the fuselage of XOV to deliver air to the aerospike, Jeff Bell displays his ignorance of RBCC propulsion systems, which can be air breathing up to mach 10-12 and use aerospike construction for their thrust structures.



posted on Mar, 20 2006 @ 01:57 AM
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Originally posted by mlorrey
a) the Thiokol power group


Snort. I'll have to mention this at work tomorrow. The idea that anybody thinks that ATK is a powerhouse... heh.


Originally posted by mlorrey
Leaking this story, true or not, embarasses Bush and NASA


Hardly. Nobody in the aerospace industry believes the story is even remotely factual.


Originally posted by mlorrey
b) the Iran leadership (North Korea and Syria too) may read this and worry about crazy Bush nailing their nuke sites with Rods From God, and be more inclined to negotiate a settlement.



That may be.


Originally posted by mlorrey
they do not need the super heavy thrust and swivel joint structure,


TVC systems are not that heavy.


Originally posted by mlorrey
and since they use the air for most of their 'nozzle', between these two features, they have a much higher Thrust to Weight ratio than bell nozzle engines


Wrong. Aerospike T/W is generally notably lower than for bell nozzles of equivalent vacuum expansion ratio. Aerospikes have much more expansion nozzle area than a bell nozzle... and *vastly* greater surface area in the throat region than for a bell nozzle. A round structiure is obviously the lowest surface area structure, and since these structures need to contain pressure, again a round-cross-section pressure vessel is going to be lighter than any other shape.


Originally posted by mlorrey
Also the mocking comment about 'vanes' to direct airflow under the fuselage of XOV to deliver air to the aerospike, Jeff Bell displays his ignorance of RBCC propulsion systems, which can be air breathing up to mach 10-12 and use aerospike construction for their thrust structures.


Sadly for this line of reasoning, the vehicle as described has a conventional linear aerospike rocket engine. An RBCC engine would be externally almost no different from a scramjet engine as seen on the X-43.

The XOV as described and illuistrated by Av Week looks like:



If it had an airbreathing engine for high-mach flight AND aerospike rocket engines for initial boost and final orbital insertion, it might look like:



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