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HOTOL / Aurora - Link or coincidence?

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posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 12:33 AM
I asked this in the Aurora thread but no-one commented so thought I'd ask you 'plane experts.

HOTOL was a BAe project for a 'plane' that could take off normally and then attain orbit. It was suddenly cancelled bespite being, apparently, feasible and just a few stages away from full development.

Designed as a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) reusable winged launch vehicle, it was to be fitted with a unique liquid air cycle engine (LACE), the RB545, built by Rolls Royce. The engine was technically a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen design, but by collecting and liquifying oxygen from the air as the spacecraft climbed, the amount of LOX (liquid oxygen) carried onboard was dramatically reduced.

- SNIP -

The engine was intended to switch from jet propulsion to pure rocket propulsion at 26-32 km high, by which time the craft would be travelling at Mach 5 to 7. After reaching orbit, HOTOL was intended to re-enter the atmosphere and glide down to land on a conventional runway. The internal landing gear were too small to carry the weight of the fully-fueled rocket, so emergency landings required the fuel to be dumped. (my bold)

HOTOL was cancelled in 1986. At about the same time the US developed Aurora (?).

The UK has a history of giving the US leading-edge tech it can't afford to develop / exploit (supersonic flight for one) and as part of ECHELON and UK/USA intel agreements the UK would (in theory) benefit from any Aurora intel benefits.

Obviously HOTOL wasn't stealthy and Aurora doesn't attain orbit (?) but some of the capabilities / timings are spookily close.

Is this just all coincidence or is there anything in this? Did HOTOL from part of the Aurora projects' tech?

Also does anyone else have a memory of one of the HOTOL designers dying in strange circumstance? In the US? I'm sure I remember this but the web is quiet on this.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:55 AM
Ask any engineer who worked on the RB454 engine to tell you a few things about its performance and such...

you know what answer you'll get?? nothing. none, nada, zero, zilch, squat. Want to know why? That engine has still got a top secret clearance on it, and the company that made it, designed it and started to manafacture it cannot use it as the goverment of the UK has sealed that lid tight.

They started to work on a design called skylon, but had to design the new engines from scratch as they were not allowed to use their own engine designs!!!

Thank Thatcher for this disaster to British space and aero aviation, as when it was completed it would of made austrailia / uk flight in 2 hours...

My thoughts are that the USA got the plug pulled and took all the designs including the engines, because as they were having a hard time a small UK company waltzed around and designed an almost perfect concept and craft to do the job they needed... At a fraction of the price.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 06:01 AM

Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
Thank Thatcher for this disaster to British space and aero aviation,

It's not only Thatchers fault, we had Blue streak and other launch vehicles that could put up satalites before hotol and they had the plug pulled as well
thats part of the reason why this country is dieing we have some really good inventors in this country, people who have developed things like the jet engine, radar and numerous other things and what do we do give them away (usually to America) due to lack of braincells within whitehall

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:38 AM
dude i agree with you totaly - There was some awesome stuff being kicked around in the early 60's tat could of made the UK the front runner of space... But i think that the access to space is tightly controled, and only now are the wraps coming off the arena of space...

As for hotol, Thatchers dream killed it - she didn't want to pump 2 million inot it to get it to first flight stage....sad, very sad

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