Author Topic: Never-Flown Titan Variants  (Read 57301 times)

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Never-Flown Titan Variants
« on: 04/09/2016 10:24 pm »
I'm putting never-flown Titan variants in this thread.  These include any Titan concepts given substantial study or funding that never made it to a launch pad.

Titan was the Dyna-Soar (X-20) launch vehicle from the beginning, but as the program restlessly shifted, so did the boosters.  Boeing had the space glider contract.  Martin had the launch vehicle contract. 

In 1959, Titan A (later Titan 1) was the suborbital booster for planned unmanned and manned flights to Saint Lucia and Fortaleza, Brazil.  A proposed "Titan C", powered by four Titan 1 engines at liftoff, was being considered for later orbital flights. 

In late 1960 the suborbital work shifted to the newly authorized, still to fly Titan 2 and studies began for a subsequent Titan 2/Centaur type launch vehicle for orbital flights.  Within a few months the idea had shifted toward a new LH2 upper stage powered by an LR87 derived engine or by a J-2, a concept named "Plan C" or, once again, "Titan C".  The bigger upper stage allowed use of a standard Titan 2 first stage, unlike the Centaur concepts.  Meanwhile, thought was given to using NASA's Saturn C-1 instead.

By the early Fall of 1961 a real breakthrough had occurred with the SOLTAN (Solid Titan) idea.  Here was a way to create a capable orbital launcher without having to completely change the basic Titan 2 core stages.  The early SOLTAN had three-segment, 100 inch diameter solids, but these were soon replaced by four-segment 120 inch diameter solids as the rocket was named "Titan 3".  In 1962, Titan 3C was changed to its ultimate five-segment solids, but the change caused problems for Dyna-Soar/X-20.  Designers were considering what to do about the problem when cancellation loomed.  McNamara finally pulled the plug in December 1963.       

With limited references, I've made educated guesses about both Titan C concepts and about Titan 2/Centaur. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/09/2016 11:43 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline RyanC

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
  • SA-506 Launch
  • Liked: 125
  • Likes Given: 15
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #1 on: 04/09/2016 10:37 pm »
Aerospace Technology article on 29 January 1968

Quote
Asked what he foresaw as the launch vehicle beyond an uprated Titan III-C (Titan III-M, seven-segment solid rocket motors and a stretched first stage), Col. Taliaferro said:

"That is about the extent of the growth potential of the present Titan III. Beyond that, if and when a firm requirement exists for a booster in the 50,000 to 100,000 lb. payload class, I like the fat-core Titan with optimized 156-in.-dia. solid rocket motors."

Col. Taliaferro defined "fat core" as a Titan III vehicle with the diameter extended to 156 in. Four of the current Aerojet liquid-fuel engines are clustered and fed from common tankage.

Martin-Marietta Corp. has funded an in-house effort of this nature for some time and such a vehicle has been well defined.

...

TITAN IIIG

Selected Comments on Agena and Titan III Family Stages, Case 720; 26 March 1968

Quote
"The Titan IIIG has a 15 ft. diameter core with a 4 engine first stage, and can use 7-segment 120-inch or 5-segment 156-inch diameter SRM. Low earth orbit payloads up to 100,000 lbs are claimed. Martin has generated a serious sales effort to sell this vehicle in competition to the Saturn derivative intermediate family (e.g., INT-20)."

...

Titan III Large Diameter Core (LDC) Family
(aka Titan IIIL)

Notes: This family was proposed from mid-1971 onwards by Martin Marietta. It would have increased the core stage diameter up from the existing 10 feet (3m) and would have used a varying number of UA-1207 SRMs developed for the Titan IIIM program.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2016 10:37 pm by RyanC »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/2016 07:51 pm »
During 1962-64, Martin and Aerojet performed an Improved Titan Feasibility Study on a concept named "Titan 2A" that would have doubled Titan 2 payload.  Titan 2A would have burned gelled "Alumazine" (aluminized (metalized) hydrazine) and N2O4.  This was aluminum powder suspended in 56.7% hydrazine and 0.3% Carbopol 904 (a gelling agent).  The tanks (mostly Stage 1) would have been stretched a bit to hold the denser, higher-energy propellant. Higher thrust engines would also have been developed.  Though now up to 116.556 feet long, Titan 2A would still have fit within modified Titan 1 or Titan 2 silos.

Scaled engine testing took place on what would have been highly efficient engines, but chamber cooling proved to be a challenge.   Extra Aerozine-50 tanks would have been needed to feed the gas generators, some of which might have been in four external cylindrical tanks attached to Stage 1.  The effort ended in 1964.

Perhaps Titan 2A was briefly considered as the U.S. answer to the USSR's R-36 "Satan".

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/10/2016 07:57 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/2016 07:01 pm »
"Titan II-1/2" was the informal name given to the "Mercury Mark II" (Gemini) launch vehicle being studied by NASA and Martin during 1961.  This would have been a stretched Titan 2 (I'm guessing a roughly 40 inch first stage stretch) that would have slightly improved payload performance to LEO.  The idea was short-lived due to budget and schedule squeezes and to then-new plans to develop Titan III using non-stretched core stages.  NASA relented (one of its best decisions ever) in December 1961 and chose to use standard Titan 2 stages with minimal modifications.  Without the extra launch vehicle development effort, Gemini came in relatively on-time, if not on-budget. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #4 on: 04/14/2016 12:04 am »
Titan 3M, designed to launch the U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL)/Dorian KH-10 reconnaissance system, was nearly ready to fly when the program was cancelled on June 10, 1969.  The effort was not totally lost because Titan 3M's "-11" series core stage engines, stretched first stage, and 7-segment motors all flew on subsequent Titan variants.  Many of MOLs USAF astronauts went on to fly Shuttle missions. 

The new VAFB SLC 6 launch pad for Titan 3M was built, but never used for Titan.  It was converted for Shuttle at a cost of several billion dollars but never used for Shuttle.  Lockheed's Athena finally christened the site during the 1990s, but it has been Delta 4 that has come closest to realizing the site's original goals.

Alternatives and follow-ons to Titan 3M were considered, and will be discussed in upcoming messages.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/14/2016 01:25 pm by edkyle99 »

Online zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8113
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 4785
  • Likes Given: 41269
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #5 on: 04/14/2016 03:19 am »
How close was Titan 3M to a first launch?  Was the first unmanned MOL to be the payload of the first launch?

The Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missles http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app3/b-6.html says only the first and second stages had undergone static tests.

But Astronautix.com http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan3m.htm says the UA1207 solid rocket motor had its first static test firing on April 27, 1969, in Coyote Canyon, CA.
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #6 on: 04/14/2016 04:05 am »
How close was Titan 3M to a first launch?  Was the first unmanned MOL to be the payload of the first launch?

The Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missles http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app3/b-6.html says only the first and second stages had undergone static tests.

But Astronautix.com http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan3m.htm says the UA1207 solid rocket motor had its first static test firing on April 27, 1969, in Coyote Canyon, CA.
My notes say that the first launch was probably 18 months away when the cancellation came, so the plan would have been end of 1970.  The first SRM was tested before cancellation (April 26, 1969).  Three more SRM tests were allowed to be performed during 1970 to essentially complete the effort. 

The first two flights were to be Gemini-only unmanned without a real MOL or KH-10 (probably would have used simulators).  The third flight would have had a MOL and two crew.  (At the very end of the program, consideration was given to more unmanned flights, but with active Dorian reconnaissance systems.)  Plans appear to have called for 30 day missions and a couple flights per year. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/14/2016 01:35 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #7 on: 04/22/2016 10:18 pm »
While it was working on Titan 3M for MOL, Martin Company put a good deal of effort into studies of "Large Diameter Core" (LDC) Titans to handle heavier MOL payloads in the future.  These would have used four engines on a 180 inch (15 foot) diameter first stage.  Martin went as far as building an LDC fuel tank with four LR87-AJ11 engines for transport testing during 1966-67 (oxidizer and fuel tanks would have shipped separately to the launch site). 

At least two core engines would have ignited at liftoff.  All four would have burned during the mid-point of the stage's flight, when the SRMs would have jettisoned, before reverting to two engines before staging.  In early 1967, Martin briefly lobbied for an LDC with five segment boosters ("Titan 3M/LDC-5") as an alternative to Titan 3M.  The company also studied an ultimate LDC-3 version with 156 inch boosters that could have lifted more than 36 tonnes to near-polar orbit.

LDC was never picked up by the MOL program, though VAFB SLC 6 was set up to accept it if needed.  LDC died with MOL's 1969 demise, but the 15 foot diameter Titan idea kept reappearing in Martin proposals for at least two decades.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/26/2016 03:07 am by edkyle99 »

Offline DatUser14

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
  • Liked: 191
  • Likes Given: 651
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #8 on: 04/24/2016 06:04 pm »
Hey Mr Kyle, where there ever plans to have a Titan 3 with GEM's (like on Delta) and not UA-1207's? i have seen renders to the effect ( captioned as "an american equivalent to Ariane") but they might have been fanciful.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2016 06:07 pm by DatUser14 »
Titan IVB was a cool rocket

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4490
  • Liked: 252
  • Likes Given: 454
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #9 on: 04/24/2016 09:57 pm »
Aerospace Technology article on 29 January 1968

Quote
Asked what he foresaw as the launch vehicle beyond an uprated Titan III-C (Titan III-M, seven-segment solid rocket motors and a stretched first stage), Col. Taliaferro said:

"That is about the extent of the growth potential of the present Titan III. Beyond that, if and when a firm requirement exists for a booster in the 50,000 to 100,000 lb. payload class, I like the fat-core Titan with optimized 156-in.-dia. solid rocket motors."

Col. Taliaferro defined "fat core" as a Titan III vehicle with the diameter extended to 156 in. Four of the current Aerojet liquid-fuel engines are clustered and fed from common tankage.

Martin-Marietta Corp. has funded an in-house effort of this nature for some time and such a vehicle has been well defined.

...

TITAN IIIG

Selected Comments on Agena and Titan III Family Stages, Case 720; 26 March 1968

Quote
"The Titan IIIG has a 15 ft. diameter core with a 4 engine first stage, and can use 7-segment 120-inch or 5-segment 156-inch diameter SRM. Low earth orbit payloads up to 100,000 lbs are claimed. Martin has generated a serious sales effort to sell this vehicle in competition to the Saturn derivative intermediate family (e.g., INT-20)."

...

Titan III Large Diameter Core (LDC) Family
(aka Titan IIIL)

Notes: This family was proposed from mid-1971 onwards by Martin Marietta. It would have increased the core stage diameter up from the existing 10 feet (3m) and would have used a varying number of UA-1207 SRMs developed for the Titan IIIM program.

Any more information on these as they seem really interesting.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #10 on: 04/24/2016 09:57 pm »
Hey Mr Kyle, where there ever plans to have a Titan 3 with GEM's (like on Delta) and not UA-1207's? i have seen renders to the effect ( captioned as "an american equivalent to Ariane") but they might have been fanciful.
There were post Challenger plans for a Titan 2 with two to eight Castor 4A strap on motors that never materialized.  For Titan 3, there were plans for shorter 120 inch diameter solid motors (two or three or four segments) and for segmented motors of slightly smaller diameter, but I don't know of any plans for small monolithic solids on Titan 3.  [EDIT:  Note that I've since found and added a 1967 Titan 3BAS2 design down-thread.]   Keep in mind that the whole idea behind Titan 3 was to develop a modular launch vehicle with an added "Zero Stage" that could lift a core vehicle that at first was a little-changed Titan 2 to an air-start.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/12/2016 06:50 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #11 on: 04/25/2016 04:36 pm »
Any more information on these as they seem really interesting.
I'm planning to cover these, and a few affiliated concepts, from both the early 1970s period and from the post-Challenger "Barbarian" era.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #12 on: 04/28/2016 01:48 am »
Titan 3D7/Centaur, otherwise known as Titan 3C7/Centaur and Titan 3F/Centaur, was a proposed follow-on to the Titan 3M/MOL launch vehicle that would have added a Centaur third stage and, potentially, a small solid fuel fourth, kick stage.  NASA studied the rocket for deep space missions such as Grand Tour and Comet Halley.  The MOL and Titan 3M cancellation drove NASA toward the smaller Titan 3E.

Although similar, the Titan 4A that would finally fly using seven-segment motors during the 1990s would end up with longer first and second stages and a fatter payload fairing than Titan 3C7/Centaur.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 04:09 am by edkyle99 »

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2611
  • Liked: 498
  • Likes Given: 1096
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #13 on: 04/30/2016 07:14 pm »
Quote
captioned as "an american equivalent to Ariane"

Must be mine  :)
Han shot first and Gwynne Shotwell !

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #14 on: 05/02/2016 04:15 am »
Titan 3B Centaur was proposed during the late 1960s/early 1970s period as a growth option for the 1980s and 1990s.  It appeared in a 1972 economic analysis of the proposed shuttle system as part of a potential expendable launch vehicle alternative fleet to the shuttle.  The projected performance was a bit underwhelming.  It barely matched its contemporary, Atlas-Centaur, although the big payload fairing may have reduced payload.  It did outperform Titan 3B Ascent Agena.  Perhaps it was considered as a follow-on to that launch vehicle for spook work. 

This was essentially the core of the Titan 3E launch vehicle, though it never flew alone as proposed here.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/02/2016 04:19 am by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #15 on: 05/03/2016 07:04 pm »
Titan 3L2 and 3L4 were Large Diameter Core Titans studied during the 1970-73 years.  They were extensions of the earlier "LDC" designs, with 180 inch diameter core stages.  New was the 4 x Seven Segment booster concept.  LC 37, the then-ex-Saturn IB launch site, would have been reconfigured for 3L4.  NASA studied them for deep space missions, but development was never seriously contemplated.  Titan 3L4 would have been more capable than any U.S. launch vehicle except Saturn 5.  With a Centaur upper stage it would have out-lifted even Falcon Heavy to solar orbit.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/17/2016 08:11 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Ronpur50

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2117
  • Brandon, FL
  • Liked: 1023
  • Likes Given: 1884
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #16 on: 05/04/2016 01:12 am »
4 SRBs!  That would have been spectacular to see!

Offline Welsh Dragon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
  • Liked: 1004
  • Likes Given: 114
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #17 on: 05/04/2016 07:07 am »
(180 inch is 4.572 m for those that use normal units)

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14713
  • Liked: 7174
  • Likes Given: 1147
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #18 on: 05/04/2016 01:12 pm »
(180 inch is 4.572 m for those that use normal units)
Yes, and the reason I'm using U.S. customary units is that they were used for the design of these machines.  The LDC core would have been exactly 180 inches diameter, for example.  That exactness doesn't always convert to a succinctly precise metric unit number, although in this case it does end up being exactly 457.2 cm.  I'm providing both numbers on the drawings.

The practice continues to this day by the way.  Falcon 9 is 144 inches diameter.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/04/2016 01:16 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2611
  • Liked: 498
  • Likes Given: 1096
Re: Never-Flown Titan Variants
« Reply #19 on: 05/04/2016 06:51 pm »
4 SRBs!  That would have been spectacular to see!

Particularly if it blew up like Titan 34D-9, except it would be squared or even cubed. Yowza.
Han shot first and Gwynne Shotwell !

Tags: Titan1 Vanguard 
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
0