Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 422157 times)

Offline Paul451

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1700 on: 07/30/2016 01:18 AM »
It's that kind of exaggeration that makes people so sceptical of the continual claims that Skylon has no "showstoppers".

For that matter, it's why I detest the constant use of the phrase "no showstoppers" in aerospace. As if "theoretically within the laws of physics, as far as we can tell, having never done anything remotely like it before" is the sole criteria for the practicality of a design.

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1701 on: 07/30/2016 06:24 AM »
It's that kind of exaggeration that makes people so sceptical of the continual claims that Skylon has no "showstoppers".

For that matter, it's why I detest the constant use of the phrase "no showstoppers" in aerospace. As if "theoretically within the laws of physics, as far as we can tell, having never done anything remotely like it before" is the sole criteria for the practicality of a design.

This is an unproductive argument about tone and semantics. With the work that has been done so far no insurmountable problems have been found. It's trivially self-evident that problems can turn up as development proceeds.   It's also quite possible for quite surmountable problems to kill off an effort which runs out of money.  This is all quite different from ideas which have known problems.

We are really interested in whether Skylon/SABRE proceeds or not and what will happen if it does. 

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1702 on: 07/30/2016 07:01 AM »

'detachable' carbo bay that can be preloaded and quickly swapped upon landing...
Much like how most passenger luggage is shipped in fact.

No aircraft uses a detachable cargo section that must function as an integrated part of the vehicle. ULD's are not even remotely analogous.

It's that kind of exaggeration that makes people so sceptical of the continual claims that Skylon has no "showstoppers".

[The only aircraft I've seen with detachable cargo-pod was the failed Fairchild XC-120 "Packplane".]
I used the phrase "passenger luggage" very specifically to denote the sort of boxes used to speed up passenger luggage handling at airports

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_load_device

It's that kind of superficial, badly researched knee jerk criticism that makes me suspect I'm dealing with a doubter, not a sceptic.  :( If you're a sceptic you can explain exactly what areas you have concerns about.  "It can't be done" is the hall mark of doubter, who will never be convinced it's possible till it happens.

As for "no showstoppers" that paraphrases the professional opinion of the ESA technical centre, with full access to the SABRE technology and the Skylon development plan.

So you're entitled to your opinion, but the opinion of people who do this for a living is that it can be done. provided the engine meets it's T/W and Isp specs (and they are confident that is viable) and the structures can be made with the strength to weight ratio and thermal properties needed.

Pretty much like any large engineering development in fact.  :(

SABRESkylon is a high risk/high cost/high reward programme that give customers, actual payload users, something they simply won't get from any conventional rocket system, even a semi reusable one.

A launch vehicle to take their payloads, on  their schedule to orbit. If it fails they get the payload back in 1 piece and if they run out of payloads to launch they can sell it to someone else.

It's only that the rocket launch services "business rules" are so mad compared to every other transport mode in existence that this notion is viewed with such suspicion   :(

"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Paul451

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1703 on: 07/30/2016 10:30 AM »
'detachable' carbo bay that can be preloaded and quickly swapped upon landing...
Much like how most passenger luggage is shipped in fact.
No aircraft uses a detachable cargo section that must function as an integrated part of the vehicle. ULD's are not even remotely analogous.
I used the phrase "passenger luggage" very specifically to denote the sort of boxes used to speed up passenger luggage handling at airports
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_load_device

I'm curious what you believed the highlighted part of my comment was referring to?

As for "no showstoppers" that paraphrases the professional opinion of the ESA technical centre, with full access to the SABRE technology and the Skylon development plan.

Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace thought the same thing about the inherently flawed HOTOL design. As did the UK government for 6 years.

Similar "no showstoppers" claims were made about similarly flawed designs, from NASP to X-33. Likewise JWST, as is slips multiples overbudget. Likewise there are "no showstoppers" with SLS today nor were there with Ares before it. And "no showstoppers" with the launch of Orion on a modified SRB launcher and now on an SRB-boosted launcher.

You wonder why whenever I hear that phrase, I expect the best-case scenario is that the project will merely go several times over-budget and deliver a fraction of what was promised, but more likely fail completely.

SABRESkylon is a high risk/high cost/high reward programme

But if anyone but a True Believer says that, we get lectured at.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1704 on: 07/30/2016 11:30 AM »
'detachable' carbo bay that can be preloaded and quickly swapped upon landing...
Much like how most passenger luggage is shipped in fact.
No aircraft uses a detachable cargo section that must function as an integrated part of the vehicle. ULD's are not even remotely analogous.
I used the phrase "passenger luggage" very specifically to denote the sort of boxes used to speed up passenger luggage handling at airports
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_load_device

I'm curious what you believed the highlighted part of my comment was referring to?

As for "no showstoppers" that paraphrases the professional opinion of the ESA technical centre, with full access to the SABRE technology and the Skylon development plan.

Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace thought the same thing about the inherently flawed HOTOL design. As did the UK government for 6 years.

Similar "no showstoppers" claims were made about similarly flawed designs, from NASP to X-33. Likewise JWST, as is slips multiples overbudget. Likewise there are "no showstoppers" with SLS today nor were there with Ares before it. And "no showstoppers" with the launch of Orion on a modified SRB launcher and now on an SRB-boosted launcher.

You wonder why whenever I hear that phrase, I expect the best-case scenario is that the project will merely go several times over-budget and deliver a fraction of what was promised, but more likely fail completely.




you are free of taking whatever conclusion suits your intelligence.... simiarly, we are free to take a formally stated opinion from ESA in higher consideration than an anonimous comment on the web. No offense, of course.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1705 on: 07/30/2016 05:15 PM »
Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace thought the same thing about the inherently flawed HOTOL design. As did the UK government for 6 years.
With the benefit  of 20/20 hindsight of course.  HOTOL taught the REL design teams lessons which others still seem either unwilling or unable to recognize. Whenever I see a VTOHL concept without a drop tank and SRB's to loose mass I think "You have no idea what the pitching moments from that are going to be, do you?"
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Similar "no showstoppers" claims were made about similarly flawed designs, from NASP to X-33. Likewise JWST, as is slips multiples overbudget. Likewise there are "no showstoppers" with SLS today nor were there with Ares before it. And "no showstoppers" with the launch of Orion on a modified SRB launcher and now on an SRB-boosted launcher.
You missed out "Compute our way to orbit," a favorite of the X30 programme.

That burned through $1Bn+ of US taxpayers money before any independent assessment of the science behind it.  Had that been done it never would have been Green lit as it had so many holes in it.

SABRESkylon has had that assessment and there are no holes.  I've not seen any such assessment done of any competitors. 

In particular I'm still looking forward to seeing how SX will make their BFR a fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't.
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You wonder why whenever I hear that phrase, I expect the best-case scenario is that the project will merely go several times over-budget and deliver a fraction of what was promised, but more likely fail completely.
I think we get it. Thank you for clarifying.
Quote
But if anyone but a True Believer says that, we get lectured at.
I think you'll find it's when people make badly researched knee jerk comments they get reminded of the facts.

Big risk, big gains. Anyone who tells you different is either rigging the game or about to take you for a bag of cash.

Do what you always do, get what you always get.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Paul451

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1706 on: 07/31/2016 03:35 AM »
Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace thought the same thing about the inherently flawed HOTOL design. As did the UK government for 6 years.
With the benefit  of 20/20 hindsight of course.  HOTOL taught the REL design teams lessons which others still seem either unwilling or unable to recognize.

...then you immediately say...

In particular I'm still looking forward to seeing how SX will make their BFR a fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't.

You don't see the double-standard here?

One failed project gives REL innovation superpowers, but SpaceX deciding not to pursue US-reusability for F9 somehow means the opposite.

A group that has never delivered a completed launcher, or aircraft, or analogous project, working on a design that has never been built, of a type (SSTO) that is a graveyard of failed designs, is seen as beyond criticism. Because they have Experience! Meanwhile a company that has successfully built and operated two launchers in a decade, recovered both the first stage and cargo-capsule, is assumed to be incompetent when it comes to scaling up because they decided the numbers on a single sub-project didn't work, before they'd spent a dime on itsdevelopment.

[Personally, I'd be shocked if SpaceX can pull off the BFR booster alone within a decade, forget the rest of MCT, not to mention the rest of Mars-side infrastructure. They seem to be skipping over too many steps between here-and-there. (IMO, taking too big a leap caused some of the early issues with F9.) But using the F9-US as a reason for scepticism is nuts.]

fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't.

...and speaking of poorly researched.

Big risk, big gains. Anyone who tells you different is either rigging the game or about to take you for a bag of cash.
Quote
SABRESkylon has had that assessment and there are no holes.

You go from "Big Risk" to "There are no holes!" within even a single post.

Which was my point. When a non-believer points out the risk (and the cost), they get lectured. The ESA has done an assessment! The ESA! REL has eliminated every risk! Every remaining part is off-the-shelf, low-risk, industry standard! Who are you to dare suggest Skylon is a high-risk concept?! Vested interests!

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1707 on: 07/31/2016 03:55 AM »
...

In particular I'm still looking forward to seeing how SX will make their BFR a fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't. ...
"In fact," you are false.

You've repeated this distortion many times.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Star One

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1708 on: 07/31/2016 08:30 AM »
Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace thought the same thing about the inherently flawed HOTOL design. As did the UK government for 6 years.
With the benefit  of 20/20 hindsight of course.  HOTOL taught the REL design teams lessons which others still seem either unwilling or unable to recognize.

...then you immediately say...

In particular I'm still looking forward to seeing how SX will make their BFR a fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't.

You don't see the double-standard here?

One failed project gives REL innovation superpowers, but SpaceX deciding not to pursue US-reusability for F9 somehow means the opposite.

A group that has never delivered a completed launcher, or aircraft, or analogous project, working on a design that has never been built, of a type (SSTO) that is a graveyard of failed designs, is seen as beyond criticism. Because they have Experience! Meanwhile a company that has successfully built and operated two launchers in a decade, recovered both the first stage and cargo-capsule, is assumed to be incompetent when it comes to scaling up because they decided the numbers on a single sub-project didn't work, before they'd spent a dime on itsdevelopment.

[Personally, I'd be shocked if SpaceX can pull off the BFR booster alone within a decade, forget the rest of MCT, not to mention the rest of Mars-side infrastructure. They seem to be skipping over too many steps between here-and-there. (IMO, taking too big a leap caused some of the early issues with F9.) But using the F9-US as a reason for scepticism is nuts.]

fully reusable TSTO when they said they could with F9, but in fact can't.

...and speaking of poorly researched.

Big risk, big gains. Anyone who tells you different is either rigging the game or about to take you for a bag of cash.
Quote
SABRESkylon has had that assessment and there are no holes.

You go from "Big Risk" to "There are no holes!" within even a single post.

Which was my point. When a non-believer points out the risk (and the cost), they get lectured. The ESA has done an assessment! The ESA! REL has eliminated every risk! Every remaining part is off-the-shelf, low-risk, industry standard! Who are you to dare suggest Skylon is a high-risk concept?! Vested interests!

But it does seem Space X gets a free pass from criticism on here by some yet REL gets told that will never happen, perhaps some tire of the double standards expressed.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1709 on: 07/31/2016 06:50 PM »
But it does seem Space X gets a free pass from criticism on here by some yet REL gets told that will never happen, perhaps some tire of the double standards expressed.
As much as I hate a lot of the idiotic SpaceX fanboyism on here, which is why i don't post very often anymore, at least SpaceX are flying stuff...

Offline Star One

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1710 on: 07/31/2016 08:18 PM »
But it does seem Space X gets a free pass from criticism on here by some yet REL gets told that will never happen, perhaps some tire of the double standards expressed.
As much as I hate a lot of the idiotic SpaceX fanboyism on here, which is why i don't post very often anymore, at least SpaceX are flying stuff...

But then their financial path has been clearer than the winding labyrinth that REL seem to have been expected to walk to get their money.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1711 on: 07/31/2016 09:48 PM »
One failed project gives REL innovation superpowers, but SpaceX deciding not to pursue US-reusability for F9 somehow means the opposite.
Interesting use of language.

I'd say SX's failure to make F9 upper stage reuse work will be as crucial to their growth as the REL teams inability to make HOTOL work, specifically in the insight it gives them. That sounds rather more balanced.
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A group that has never delivered a completed launcher, or aircraft, or analogous project, working on a design that has never been built, of a type (SSTO) that is a graveyard of failed designs, is seen as beyond criticism.
Most of whose attempts have been in the  VTOL mode, the most difficult way to do this task. As for "beyond criticism" could you stop with the strawmen? if you have actual areas you think they are wrong spell them out.
Quote
Because they have Experience! Meanwhile a company that has successfully built and operated two launchers in a decade, recovered both the first stage and cargo-capsule, is assumed to be incompetent when it comes to scaling up because they decided the numbers on a single sub-project didn't work, before they'd spent a dime on itsdevelopment.
Except no scaling was meant to be needed to make full reuse work for F9, was it?   :(

As for confidence. We know 3 vehicles have demonstrated winged reentry from full LEO velocity. There is no track record of any conventionally shaped upper stage coming in from full LEO velocity. I can think of several good reasons why it it will never be viable while delivering a useful payload to orbit without orders of magnitude improvements in materials to make this mode work due to the compromises it will take to make the stage survive and be able to be reused.

However this is off topic for this thread.

So apart from some phraseolgy you find annoying what real complaints do you have about SABRESkylon?
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Vultur

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1712 on: 08/01/2016 03:06 AM »
I'd say SX's failure to make F9 upper stage reuse work

I don't think they did fail to make it work; they decided not to try, which isn't the same thing. Musk said, IIRC, that it wasn't practical for such a low-specific-impulse second stage when most of the market is in GTO.

FH will have more margin, anyway, so if they want to pursue second stage reusability for LEO with their commsat constellation, it'd probably be on FH.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1713 on: 08/01/2016 11:45 AM »
I come to this thread to read about Sabre and Skylon, not endless rehashing of how SpaceX is better than everything.
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Online hkultala

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1714 on: 08/01/2016 01:22 PM »

As for confidence. We know 3 vehicles have demonstrated winged reentry from full LEO velocity. There is no track record of any conventionally shaped upper stage coming in from full LEO velocity.

None of your 3 winged vehicles have been real upper stages with full-size tanks. 1 was only a payload that was lifted all the way up to orbit with a rocket, 1 was payload with just very small apogee engines, and had the main engines of the upper stage but lacked the fuel tank.

And there are also much greater amount of wingless capsules that have demonstrated re-entry from full LEO velocity, at least two also from much higher velocities.

Offline oddbodd

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1715 on: 08/01/2016 02:50 PM »

As for confidence. We know 3 vehicles have demonstrated winged reentry from full LEO velocity. There is no track record of any conventionally shaped upper stage coming in from full LEO velocity.

None of your 3 winged vehicles have been real upper stages with full-size tanks. 1 was only a payload that was lifted all the way up to orbit with a rocket, 1 was payload with just very small apogee engines, and had the main engines of the upper stage but lacked the fuel tank.

And there are also much greater amount of wingless capsules that have demonstrated re-entry from full LEO velocity, at least two also from much higher velocities.

None of your many wingless capsules have been real upper stages with full-size tanks or full-size engines.

There. Fixed it for you.

I look at a small stubby conical crew module with a large heat shield, and compare to an upper stage, a tall cylinder with engines at one one end, and it would seem different enough to bear no relation:
* Presumably won't come in sideways for all sorts of reasons.
* Heat shield on top with head first reentry? Surely the lack of cone shape will bring the side-spilling hot gases into contact with the relatively fragile cylinder? Would also be very unstable due to COG of engines at bottom/rear.
* Engine first rentry? Surely this will cause damage to the engines as well as the cylindrical shell?
* Fully powered deorbit into atmosphere, engine off then powered landing ala current reusable first stage? Surely would take an enormous amount of fuel, killing payload margins? Also, the cylinder would spend a prolonged period passing through its own hot exhaust.

I can look at the shuttle and Skylon, and see that the underlying principle is the same. Heat shield on a winged vehicle, correct angle of attack, with relatively small mass to large surface area, vehicle slows, then glides in to land. Purely on the reentry heating DLR in Germany have anaylsed the reentry of a Skylon and say that the heating is less than that of the Shuttle because... science! math! CFD! Germans!

Offline RanulfC

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1716 on: 08/01/2016 03:16 PM »
...... There are details that they would have trouble understanding at first because of their knowledge base, but in general they'd see the 747 layout as very 'conventional',  requiring advanced materials and propulsion far in advance of what they had available certainly but recognizable from their own knowledge.

Mebbe add 'controls' to that list.  The Wright brothers didn't invent the joystick/rudder pedals (that came later over in Europe) so they wouldn't recognise anything in the cockpit either.  :)

Actually they understood them and even tried to 'include' them in their patent fight as "natural extensions" of the concept of "control" itself. The Wright's were well aware of the limitations to wing-warping but they backed themselves into a corner. Again, they weren't stupid... Just jerks :)


As for confidence. We know 3 vehicles have demonstrated winged reentry from full LEO velocity. There is no track record of any conventionally shaped upper stage coming in from full LEO velocity.

None of your 3 winged vehicles have been real upper stages with full-size tanks. 1 was only a payload that was lifted all the way up to orbit with a rocket, 1 was payload with just very small apogee engines, and had the main engines of the upper stage but lacked the fuel tank.

And there are also much greater amount of wingless capsules that have demonstrated re-entry from full LEO velocity, at least two also from much higher velocities.

Point? None of the capsules had "full-size" integral tanks either and while "aren't going to try" and "can't" are not the same the main point was it was not as "easy" as it was presented as being which SpaceX keeps finding out is the case. Elon Musk has acknowledged things are in fact harder to do than he assumed, though that doesn't stop him from continuing to do so :)

So far we've seen a booster stage that only reaches a fraction of orbital velocity recovered successfully, or "payloads" that have been specifically designed and constructed to survive but in turn require being more robust and heavy structures to ensure that survival.

We know what works, we also know what SHOULD work but have yet to prove that it does and quite often that 'proof' can work either way in the end. But the simple and basic fact is that there needs to be multiple methods and designs tried and tried again as there is obviously no ONE "right" way to do this.

Arguing about the general and specific details of a proposed design is one thing, arguing about the relative ability of any 'team' to bring a design to fruition is not helpful at all. If we're going to discuss actual issues with Skylon, then lets. Otherwise comparisons and contrasts between REL and SpaceX should be limited to another thread.

Randy
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British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1717 on: 08/01/2016 03:40 PM »
Really "epic" patent fight "Wright vs Curtis", folks should google it... :)
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Offline RanulfC

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1718 on: 08/01/2016 03:44 PM »
Really "epic" patent fight "Wright vs Curtis", folks should google it... :)

And costly as well. "Birdmen" (https://www.amazon.com/Birdmen-Wright-Brothers-Curtiss-Control/dp/0345538056/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470066111&sr=1-1&keywords=birdmen) makes a good case that the feud managed to set American aviation back a huge amount as well as the Wright's insistence on a complete monopoly on "aircraft" (world wide no less) for at least a decade.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #1719 on: 08/01/2016 04:25 PM »
I can look at the shuttle and Skylon, and see that the underlying principle is the same. Heat shield on a winged vehicle, correct angle of attack, with relatively small mass to large surface area, vehicle slows, then glides in to land. Purely on the reentry heating DLR in Germany have anaylsed the reentry of a Skylon and say that the heating is less than that of the Shuttle because... science! math! CFD! Germans!
Indeed. This is where keeping the LH2 tank inside the vehicle pays off. Yes it's a very big vehicle, but once the tanks empty it's a very light vehicle (and with much better aerodynamics to begin with) so it can start to decellerate higher, and more gently. Tougher to build, easier to fly.

And costly as well. "Birdmen" (https://www.amazon.com/Birdmen-Wright-Brothers-Curtiss-Control/dp/0345538056/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470066111&sr=1-1&keywords=birdmen) makes a good case that the feud managed to set American aviation back a huge amount as well as the Wright's insistence on a complete monopoly on "aircraft" (world wide no less) for at least a decade.
Wow, what an epic sense of entitlement those guys had.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

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