Author Topic: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters  (Read 39339 times)

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« on: 01/07/2016 03:58 AM »
Do I dare start a Titan variant thread? 

Here's the first problem.  I have to start with Titan I, and Titan I dimensions are hard to come by.  Many of the available dimensions conflict.  I have found Martin Co. drawings that show dimensions that do not match the actual relational size of the drawings.  I have used high resolution photos to estimate dimensions, which conflict with drawings and dimensions on drawings.  I have found NASA drawings of a wind tunnel model that differ from Martin dimensions, and so on.  NTRS apparently used to have a number of Titan wind tunnel model drawings that are now M.I.A..

Then there are the numerous Titan I production lots, with small variations among them.

Here is a drawing of an operational-type Titan I with the dimensional variation ranges that I have found during the past week or so. dimensions given by Stumpf, based on 1961 Martin Co. drawings that I don't have.  If anyone has anything definitive squirreled away, perhaps one of those now "lost" NASA drawings, please consider sharing!

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/08/2016 08:10 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Archibald

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1979
  • Liked: 177
  • Likes Given: 487
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/2016 10:55 AM »
*Grabs popcorn * Gonna be an interesting thread. I'm a Titan fan for a long time.

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8376
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 983
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/2016 01:12 PM »
Don't forget to sprinkle a mix of Aerozine and Denatured Nitrogen Tetroxide on that popcorn when Ed counts down to the Titan II!
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Make America Bait Again!

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8376
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 983
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #3 on: 01/07/2016 01:14 PM »
Ed, crazy question. Could the height differences be the difference between tank lengths and heights with engines attached, or mounting points?
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Make America Bait Again!

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/2016 08:06 PM »
Ed, crazy question. Could the height differences be the difference between tank lengths and heights with engines attached, or mounting points?
I believe that there are two likely explanations for the variations.  One is that Martin Co. tested different reentry vehicles and reentry vehicle adapters during its R&D phase.  The RV's themselves accounted for more than 10% of total vehicle height.  Some Titan's flew with instrument probes extending from the nose of the missile, and so on.  Another explanation is that the USAF provided deliberately "vague", rounded numbers in its presentations.  Titan I was typically listed as 98 feet tall, but it was really 97 feet 5-something inches tall, maybe.

I have now updated my dimensional drawing in the original post with dimensions provided by Stumpf based on Martin Co. documents from 1961.  These also generally correspond with a NASA drawing in my files.  Note that I have yet to adjust the size of the drawing to match the accurate dimensions.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline simonbp

Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2016 08:13 PM »
Where are the Titan I survivors? I recall one at the Cape (that was at the local high school for a while) and another at the Boneyard in Tuscon.

Offline mike robel

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2023
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #6 on: 01/08/2016 09:16 PM »
One still remains (or should, I haven't been there in a long time) at the USAF Space Museum at CCAS.  It is relatively difficult to get there now, normally only as part of the Cape Canaveral Then and Now tour, which does not allow much time for detailed examination.

There is another on I-75 about 100 miles south of Atlanta, if I recall, standing vertically with a very odd nose.

The one at the high school was taken away and given to a local aeronautical school so they could practice repairs.  It had suffered a lot of damage.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2016 09:26 PM by mike robel »

Offline mike robel

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2023
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #7 on: 01/08/2016 09:42 PM »
A Martin drawing

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #8 on: 01/09/2016 01:56 AM »
A Martin drawing
That appears to be a "Lot B" or early "Lot C" series Titan 1, with no seperable reentry vehicle.  The operational first stage ended up being nearly 17 inches longer than the dimensions show in this drawing, for some reason. 

There were numerous Titan 1 "Lots", as follows.  The early Lots had substantial visual differences from the final versions.  Missiles from Lot G took on the final appearance, with a conical RV adapter that differed from the "Lot C" type shown in this drawing. 

Lot A:  Dummy second stage.
Lot B:  Two stages with reduced second stage duration.
Lot C:  Radio guidance.  Reduced second stage duration.  Separable scaled RV.
Lot G:  Full duration second stage.  Closed loop radio guidance.  Separable full-scale RV.
Lot J:  Complete, full-range missile.  Operable-type RV.
Lot V:  Lot J for VAFB testing.
Lot M:  Lot J used to test Titan 2 inertial guidance.
Lot SM:  Operational missiles/RVs.

I'll show some, but not all, of these.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/09/2016 02:35 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Antilope7724

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
  • Watched Freedom 7 on live TV
  • California
  • Liked: 276
  • Likes Given: 249
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #9 on: 01/09/2016 02:45 AM »
I believe this was taken at one of the Beale AFB sites. There is a Hollywood movie with a video of this scene ( and other scenes of a huge Titan I underground missile site) called "A Gathering of Eagles" with Rock Hudson, made in 1963.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2016 03:09 AM by Antilope7724 »

Offline Antilope7724

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
  • Watched Freedom 7 on live TV
  • California
  • Liked: 276
  • Likes Given: 249
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #10 on: 01/09/2016 05:37 AM »
Dyna Soar launch on a Titan I.


Offline gwiz

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
  • Cornwall
  • Liked: 48
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #11 on: 01/09/2016 12:22 PM »
A couple of points from my experience in the UK aerospace industry:

On a dimensioned drawing, you take the dimensions as accurate, you don't measure lengths off the drawing as drawings are not rigid objects, copied drawings even less so.

A general arrangement drawing showing the complete vehicle is not a high priority and may lag some time behind what is being produced from the component drawings.

Online Saabstory88

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • United States
  • Liked: 146
  • Likes Given: 239
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #12 on: 01/09/2016 02:45 PM »
A couple of points from my experience in the UK aerospace industry:

On a dimensioned drawing, you take the dimensions as accurate, you don't measure lengths off the drawing as drawings are not rigid objects, copied drawings even less so.

A general arrangement drawing showing the complete vehicle is not a high priority and may lag some time behind what is being produced from the component drawings.

This is so true. Even in the era of full 3d CAD, people still produce poorly scaled drawings. While not Aerospace grade, I work with drawings all the time where people take stupid shortcuts which make scaling from them impossible. I just finished a combined retail / residential project where some very poor version control on issued drawings resulted in 1/3 of the light fixtures mudded into the ceiling in a lobby were unusable due to ductwork being drawn in the wrong scale.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #13 on: 01/09/2016 10:33 PM »
Here is a Titan 1 card, with correctly scaled drawings, though I do wonder if the early "Lots" might have been shorter. 

Titan 1 testing began in 1959 at Cape Canaveral.  The first flight from VAFB was thwarted during a December 3, 1960 fueling test at the Operational Silo Test Facility when the missile elevator failed and the fully fueled Titan plummeted to the bottom of the silo, destroying all in a giant explosion.  Redemption came on May 3, 1961 when Missile VS-1 performed the first successful launch directly from an underground silo at VAFB Silo Launch Test Facility, proving plans for Titan 2 deployment. 

During 1962, 54 Titan 1 elevator-lift silos entered service in Colorado, Idaho, California, Washington, and South Dakota.  One silo and Titan were destroyed in a 1962 explosion at Beale AFB.  The remaining silos were taken off alert during the first two months of 1965.

Martin built a total of 163 Titan 1 missiles in Waterton Canyon, Colorado, including 101 operational types.  A total of 67 test flights took place, including 20 from VAFB.  Only about half were fully successful.  I view Titan 1 mostly as a costly educational exercise for Martin Co. and the USAF.   

Consider that an entire Titan 1 with RV only weighed about the same as today's Falcon 9 second stage! 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/09/2016 10:44 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8376
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 983
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #14 on: 01/10/2016 03:21 AM »
Ed, Great post.

Question, I assume your estimated orbital capability is based on the upper stage not being restartable, so a single burn... I would suspect that the second stage was not designed to be restartable. It is not something an ICBM would need.
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
Make America Bait Again!

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #15 on: 01/10/2016 04:11 AM »
Question, I assume your estimated orbital capability is based on the upper stage not being restartable, so a single burn... I would suspect that the second stage was not designed to be restartable. It is not something an ICBM would need.
Yes, the numbers are for a direct ascent.  Payload could increase with the addition of a small apogee kick motor.  Payload would also be higher for a lower altitude direct ascent orbit.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/10/2016 04:12 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Jester

  • NSF Night Flyer
  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6661
  • Some Space Agency
  • Liked: 2562
  • Likes Given: 68
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #16 on: 01/10/2016 11:36 AM »
More confusion added:
« Last Edit: 01/10/2016 11:36 AM by Jester »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #17 on: 01/10/2016 03:30 PM »
More confusion added:

I'll see your confusion, and raise it!

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/10/2016 03:31 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #18 on: 01/10/2016 04:08 PM »
Not directly related to Ed's research, but fascinating for its detailed overall "technological archaeology" of an operational Titan I launch site complex, this website is incredible. Given how much work and infrastructure went into just three silos, and how short a time the system was operational, it's staggering how expensive this system really was.

http://www.chromehooves.net/updates.htm
Ad astra per aspirin ...

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12341
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3083
  • Likes Given: 532
Re: The Different Variants of Titan Boosters
« Reply #19 on: 01/11/2016 12:52 AM »
Given how much work and infrastructure went into just three silos, and how short a time the system was operational, it's staggering how expensive this system really was.
Yes, 54 operational silos, plus about five at VAFB, plus the four pads at Cape Canaveral, plus the four sequential two-stage test stands in Colorado, plus the Colorado factory, plus Aerojet's own manufacturing and test facilities, but compared to the other missile efforts of the time (Atlas, Thor, Jupiter, Polaris, Minuteman, and soon Titan 2, not to mention all of the airborne weapon systems) Titan 1 was still relatively "insignificant". 

 - Ed Kyle

Tags: