posted on Oct, 6 2008 @ 09:53 PM
I research/write cold war aerospace projects specifically, secret boost-glider projects of the 1950s of Bell and other firms. See my articles on
secret boost-glider projects, and alternate approaches to the Dyna Soar I specifications in QUEST History of Spaceflight magazine, Vol 13, #2 and 4
2006, and Vol. 15, #1, 2008. My latest Quest write concerns the orbital X-15A & B proposal.
My current book project evolves around the Bell Aircraft/Dr/ Dornberger studies for a "higher, faster, farther" hypersonic vehicle that could reach
orbit and perform reconnaissance, and bombardment missions. This includes System 118 Papa.
However, in writing the above cited articles, my acquisition of some Bell Docs for their on-going 1950s glider studies reveals a somewhat unusual
One of Bel MX-2276 Reports indicates that within this renewed contract in 1955, USAF approached Bell about a classified project they or Bell
identified as S-118P. Bell accepted it and monies were somehow transferred to them for the 118 Papa study, Without further documentation, it appears
that such a contract was split into two parts, or done so for security purposes, just as the Bell YP-59 Airacomet project was covered by their
twin-boom navy pusher fighter designated the same number. This was and is a slick trick, and the only Bell file photos concerning any S-118P are a
handsome four-engine very high speed reconnaissance vehicle.
The Bell MX-2276 Doc however, describes the USAF's wants as a blending of the most advanced elements of their MX-2276, Brass Bell (a.k.a. HI-Fi
Recce), into an advanced hypersonic boost-glider vehicle. This means orbital not simply a high-mach air-breather negotiating super high altitude
flight within the atmosphere. The USAF further stipulated that tney should perform an analytical study combining Bell's most advanced boost-glider
work to incorporate into 118 Papa.
The above data is found in my article concerning the Martin-Bell alternate Dyna Soar I studies for 1958 in QUEST Vol 13, #4, 2008.
Having held very high security clearances in both aerial reconnaissance work and as a Def. Contractor workking within NORAD Space
Surveillance/SPADATS, it is generally acknowledged that when project studies remain classified over 50 years later, one may infer that indeed, such a
vehicle may have been built and flight tested. In this case and time frame, Brass Bell, 118 Papa and the early DS I gliders, could easily have been
launched aboard a gutted B-36 bombers since no heavy rocket boosters existed during the late 1950s.
All that was necessary was to gut a B-36, build the special underwing mount, or strengthen the fuselage around an enlarged bomb-bay, cluster a series
of strap-together solid fuel or perhaps at worst, liquid fuel boosters, connect to the glider, and walla, an air-launched boost-glider capable of
sub-orbital reconnaissance flights. My boost-glider Doc and drawing collection includes drawings of a Bell designed hyprid supersonic Mom-ship to
carry such gliders, and drawings of a B-36 modified to carry a boost-glider semi-recessed in a hugely extended bomb-bay position like the X-1 was
launched back in ancient times.
It appears that perhaps the project was called back then, an above top secret project; today we call it a Black Project, may have existed and the
operator would naturally be the Cranium Intrusion Agency. I have documentation indicating they were also quite interested in the Dyna Soar project as
well, and accidently stumbled upon their messages indicating interest,
The fact that many of the Bell Aircraft Brass Bell, and S-118 Papa Docs remain classified as of 2008, and are only accessible to specific individuals
within the DoD is indicative of the fact that such a glider was built and flight tested.