Author Topic: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid  (Read 101847 times)

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #40 on: 12/15/2010 03:44 PM »
But I am liking this slimmed down Orbital plane. It looks even lighter (and more affordable) than DreamChaser.

How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?

Are you just trying to be argumentative today? Note the *looks* part of my sentence. It is not a fact claim, just my impression

Argumentative today?  It was a simple question Lars. 

Sorry to get you in a tizzy I simply asked how one could make that statement from *looking* at a picture where one is CGI and the other is probably plywood.  That's all, nothing else....
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Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #41 on: 12/15/2010 03:47 PM »
How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?

Easy, the one picture is CGI and the other is probably plywood. ;)
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #42 on: 12/15/2010 03:56 PM »
Good one! Yes CG is very light. ;) I suppose my guess at mass comes from assuming that both craft have similar lengths, and that Dreamchaser being a lifting body takes up more volume than this spaceplane, being a blended wing design. (and yes, I know volume != mass, but they usually go hand in hand)

But at closer inspection of the 'docking to ISS' image and similar Dreamchaser imagery - That size estimate may be way off. Although the SNC Dreamchaser images are *very* rough, as is all information from them, since they treat it as a black project.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 03:58 PM by Lars_J »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #43 on: 12/15/2010 03:57 PM »
One thing to note from the drawing, the location of the LIDS looks like there would be interference with the other docking/berthing locations, so either a Node 4 has to be launched.  Anyhow because of the interference issues I would guess that it would be more of a taxi and might not be capable of serving in the cRV mode.  If that is the case, might not look as good to the selecting committee or to any further use in other fields like Bigelow. Of course it is just art work, so perhaps I am over analyzing.

But it is now my background.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 03:57 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #44 on: 12/15/2010 04:53 PM »
One thing to note from the drawing, the location of the LIDS looks like there would be interference with the other docking/berthing locations, so either a Node 4 has to be launched.  Anyhow because of the interference issues I would guess that it would be more of a taxi and might not be capable of serving in the cRV mode.  If that is the case, might not look as good to the selecting committee or to any further use in other fields like Bigelow. Of course it is just art work, so perhaps I am over analyzing.

Yes, you are overanalyzing. That is an Orbital rendering of ISS, not an NASA rendering, and I spotted several inaccuracies in it. I would not take it as gospel regarding ISS configuration.
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #45 on: 12/15/2010 05:08 PM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.

Very perceptive; the shape shown in our proposal is a "fifth-generation" one that started with X-34 (whose DNA, by the way, made it into X-37 by the way of Rockwell/Boeing who was our partner on "X-34A"), then proceeded to Kliper/HL-10/HL-20 derivatives, and culminated in the BLB shape shown in the above-mentioned OSP picture.

During the 1997-2003 time period we burned thousands of CFD hours and hundreds of physical wind tunnel hours developing a useable shape.  The main challenge was to acheive reasonable landing speeds (the topic warrants a discussion of its own) at sizes compatible with a 4 to 6 person crew (it is easier with smaller vehicles like X-37 because wing area scales as the square of size but weight more like the cube) AND with a reasonable internal fuselage volume.

Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

With large base drag you get a low approach and landing L/D which in turn has all sorts of nasty consequences.  The BLB/5th gen trick was to shape the trailing edge of the delta (not straight, like X-37) wing and the blending of the wing root with the body in order to create interference between the wing airflow and the body airflow at approach and landing conditions that DECRESED the base drag.  Not impossible, but very hard - we checked it in real wind tunnel testing.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 05:11 PM by antonioe »
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #46 on: 12/15/2010 05:20 PM »
Very interesting antonioe.  Look forward to seeing this progress. 

Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?
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Offline moose103

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #47 on: 12/15/2010 05:37 PM »
the shape shown in our proposal is a "fifth-generation" one

Very very interesting. Can you explicitly say the five generations? It isn't obvious and people will guess and make a mess of it. :(

The CCDev craft are like new generation X-Planes under a different name. Too bad NASA stopped doing this for so long.

I can't wait for someone to make a graphic showing the evolution of these things. I imagine Orbital and SNC are secretly eager to prove their concept against the other. =) =) =)

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #48 on: 12/15/2010 06:17 PM »
Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?

The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.  To answer the question we had to open some inspection panels.  There was no available hangar space at DFRC over the next few weeks. The guys at Mojave did.  Quick trip to KMHV for the inspection.  Results not in yet, may be "owned" by DFRC when they do.  That's all.

The X-34 "DNA trace" leading to BLB-2 (and X-37 on the other branch) has simply a hstorical value.  X-34 was not designed as an orbital reentry vehicle (but it had excellent landing characteristics!)
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #49 on: 12/15/2010 06:25 PM »
Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?

The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.  To answer the question we had to open some inspection panels.  There was no available hangar space at DFRC over the next few weeks. The guys at Mojave did.  Quick trip to KMHV for the inspection.  Results not in yet, may be "owned" by DFRC when they do.  That's all.

The X-34 "DNA trace" leading to BLB-2 (and X-37 on the other branch) has simply a hstorical value.  X-34 was not designed as an orbital reentry vehicle (but it had excellent landing characteristics!)

Interesting, thanks!  With the various stories about X-34 over the last few weeks and your announcement about CCDev 2 I (and maybe others too) was thinking there may be a link in system development tests or something.  Appreciate the words. 
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #50 on: 12/15/2010 06:25 PM »
Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

Thanks for all the information, antonioe.
So does the current design have two hatches, a rear one for docking/berthing, and the top one is for crew ingress/egress - is that correct? (in that case the ISS approach/departure image shows an incorrect orientation of the craft)

Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #51 on: 12/15/2010 06:34 PM »
Can you explicitly say the five generations?

Hmm.. I'm not sure I could - I was being a bit poetic and counting on my fingers.  Let me try this stream of consciousness:

1) X-34 in 1997-1998 great landing characteristics but, as noted above, not really a reentry-from-orbit vehicle (LE radii too small)

2) Our first CRV shape, 1999 - runway landing, unlike JSC's X-38 concept, but crew rescue only - insufficient volume for a practical crew transport.  Reasonable landing characteristics, but nothing to write home about.  Very heavily influenced by HL-10/HL-20.

3) Our first (non-BLB) OSP, 1999-2000 (here's where we bumped against the landing speed problem) otherwise good volume, cross-range and rentry characteristics.

4) The first BLB, 2000-2003 (solved the landing speed problem via some sneaky aerodynamics)

5) The revised, vertical-tail-less BLB in 2009-2010.  Addressed some ISS docking interference issues (BTW: I'm surprised at the previous statements stating that there appeared to be said interference - I thought we had checked it rather thoroughly; our recent Cygnus work has given us A LOT of experience in that area, eveh though Cygnus berths, whereas our BLB concept docks using LIDS)
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #52 on: 12/15/2010 06:51 PM »

So does the current design have two hatches, a rear one for docking/berthing, and the top one is for crew ingress/egress - is that correct? (in that case the ISS approach/departure image shows an incorrect orientation of the craft)


According to Frank C. (I was with him on a phone press interview a few minutes ago) you could theoretically dock from both locations, although we currently have a single LIDS (on top, I believe).

BTW according to Frank (I've not followed this work too closely) the docking is autonomous with human monitoring.  Don't ask me for details on how it works 'cause I don't know.
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Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #53 on: 12/15/2010 06:53 PM »
Any ETA on a snazzy name for this vehicle?
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #54 on: 12/15/2010 07:00 PM »
Any ETA on a snazzy name for this vehicle?

As a good Washingtonian (Washington, D.C., that is), I strictly follow the Schultz Doctrine... ;)
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Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #55 on: 12/15/2010 07:07 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...
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Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #56 on: 12/15/2010 07:16 PM »
The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.

Also, comparisons between X-33 and X-34 are totally inappropriate: X-33 was meant to demonstrate the feasibility of SSTO (or put a final nail on its coffin - that would have been a very useful result). X-34 was meant to measure the cost of reuseability of a reuseable first stage (in terms of parts to be replaced, labor required for turnaround, degree of inspection and retesting required, etc.)  Vital data to validate the non-mass-fraction costs of reusability for which there is still only ONE data point.

Doesn't that sound familiar, like a certain new AF EELV replacement?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21369.0

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=5806.15
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Offline corrodedNut

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #57 on: 12/15/2010 07:18 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...

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Offline kch

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #58 on: 12/15/2010 07:23 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...

Ho-GAN!!! He "noes nut-hing, NUT-HING!!!"

... as articulated starting about 0:27 here:



;)

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #59 on: 12/15/2010 08:06 PM »
Very interesting concept! I am looking forward to seeing further development, and the best of luck to Orbital!

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