Tales of the Dynasoar

Andy44

owner: Oil Creek Astronautix
Addon Developer
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
7,625
Reaction score
4
Points
113
Location
In the Mid-Atlantic states
My favorite addon of late has been Sputnik's X-20 Dynasoar. It's got all the fun of flying a winged spaceplane, combined with the fun of flying a Titan launcher, and some cool Cold War missions to do, including a "Space Marines" scenario in which you drop a squad of troops using Douglas Paracones, BattleTech-style.

One of the things I noticed while trying the alternate upper stage scenarios is that when using the Chariot upper stage with its flourine-hydrazine motor, the thrust is too low and the launch autopilot can't keep you out of the atmosphere before orbit insertion. Only way around it is to do a manual launch and loft the vehicle in a high arc to give the Chariot enough time to accelerate to orbit speed.

The "inspect the Soviet satellite" mission is lots of fun, too.

With the recent projects of the Black Dart, Hyperdart, etc, and the attendant ASAT weapons, I think it'd be cool to see a way to work the X-20 into those scenarios. Since it can carry a variety of payloads, there's room for fun there.

Just thought I'd start a plain old Orbiter thread for a change.
 

garyw

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Addon Developer
Tutorial Publisher
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
10,416
Reaction score
14
Points
113
Location
Kent
Website
blog.gdwnet.com
I believe that Urmwumpe is working on something like that. Certainly, the ASAT alpha he sent me to test is showing a lot of promise.
 

Urwumpe

Not funny anymore
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
36,043
Reaction score
556
Points
203
Location
Langendernbach
I believe that Urmwumpe is working on something like that. Certainly, the ASAT alpha he sent me to test is showing a lot of promise.

I only do a primitive suborbital Dynasoar I mesh for the fun of it, as it looks like a Deltaglider Mk. I.

ClassicDG.jpg

Dynasoar-mar1959.png

picture.php


I doubt it will get released anytime soon, if I release it at all. It is just some finger exercise, as it looks like I am the only one interested in this historic phase 0 study.

After all: The Dyna-Soar I was the last project of Bell Aircraft. When Boeing got the full Dyna-Soar contract, Bell was bankrupt and got bought by Textron.
 

sputnik

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Palmdale
Website
www.worldof2001.com
Which of those has a working ASAT? That'd be worth seeing.

I'm not sure how "historical" a true ASAT would be for the X-20...there was a "negation payload", but it was equipped with paint sprayers and an AR-15, intended just to blind the sensors on a satellite.
On the other hand, the Spiral was meant to carry a true ASAT as payload, and it could stand to have a real mission....
 

Urwumpe

Not funny anymore
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
36,043
Reaction score
556
Points
203
Location
Langendernbach
Which of those has a working ASAT? That'd be worth seeing.

I have a ASM-135 add-on here, it just lacks a second stage guidance and a targeting MFD. All you need for launching it is an parent->child attachment.
 

Usonian

Historic Ship & Base Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
220
Reaction score
1
Points
18
Location
Asheville, NC
As I recall, the X-20 was to have wire brush pads (no kidding) that would allow it to land on either paved or unpaved runways, or the Edwards dry lake bed. It was an advance on the X-15 plain skids and nose wheel that could only work on the lake bed with mile-long runouts.

I guess it was important that the orbital X-20 be capable of landing most anywhere.
 

Andy44

owner: Oil Creek Astronautix
Addon Developer
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
7,625
Reaction score
4
Points
113
Location
In the Mid-Atlantic states
Which of those has a working ASAT? That'd be worth seeing.

I'm not sure how "historical" a true ASAT would be for the X-20...there was a "negation payload", but it was equipped with paint sprayers and an AR-15, intended just to blind the sensors on a satellite.
On the other hand, the Spiral was meant to carry a true ASAT as payload, and it could stand to have a real mission....

You mean an AR-15 rifle? Wow, now that's roughing it!

As for X-20 not having an ASAT, it's not hard to imagine that the follow-on runs into trouble and so the X-20 gets an ASAT payload instead. After all, there's plenty of room in that payload bay for such a device.

The nice thing about a space-to-space missile is that is doesn't have to be aerodynamic or look like a conventional missile at all. Make it short and fat, with sensors and thrusters sticking out of it, maybe an antenna, and just make sure it has a healthy delta-V budget. No explosives, of course, kinetic kill would work. The X-20/Titan acts as the booster stage, so all you need is enough delta-V to finish an intercept, via plane change if necessary. (Not sure how you would get a firing solution, but the hardware would work, anyway).

Alternatively, the "ASAT missile" could be a robotic satellite payload with spray paint cans and other dastardly implements that just gets deployed by the X-20 and maneuvers to close quarters with the target. After doing it's job it does one final burn to push away and possibly long-term deorbit. This vehicle could be used for more benign inspection missions as well.

Hmmm....I am starting to consider an addon payload for the X-20, now...
 

tblaxland

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Addon Developer
Webmaster
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
7,352
Reaction score
17
Points
113
Location
Sydney, Australia
Make it short and fat, with sensors and thrusters sticking out of it
You just need to ensure that pitch/yaw moments of inertia remained high enough to make dispersions due to off-axis thrust manageable for the guidance system.
 

sputnik

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Palmdale
Website
www.worldof2001.com
I have a ASM-135 add-on here, it just lacks a second stage guidance and a targeting MFD. All you need for launching it is an parent->child attachment.

Hmm. Velcro Rockets can do a parent->child attachment....mwahahaha.

Although the Dyna-Soar and Spiral as currently conceived would REQUIRE the thing to operate as a CVEL payload.

---------- Post added at 09:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 PM ----------

As I recall, the X-20 was to have wire brush pads (no kidding) ....

The advantage of the wire brush pads is that they could tolerate heat. The X-20 was a hot-structure spacecraft, and keeping the crew compartment cool was a mass-intensive exercise (insulation, water wall, AND glycol cooling). Not having to do all that for the gear wells helped a lot.

---------- Post added at 09:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21 PM ----------

You mean an AR-15 rifle? Wow, now that's roughing it!

Oh, it would be remote-controlled, not just carried by the pilot...seems like more fun if it were hand-aimed, though.


The nice thing about a space-to-space missile is that is doesn't have to be aerodynamic or look like a conventional missile at all. Make it short and fat, with sensors and thrusters sticking out of it, maybe an antenna, and just make sure it has a healthy delta-V budget. No explosives, of course, kinetic kill would work.

What you're describing sounds more like SAINT. Though I'm not real clear on SAINT's layout, size, mass, etc. And it WOULD be easier (if more wasteful) to make SAINT a payload you could deploy from, among other things, an X-20....

Hmmm....I am starting to consider an addon payload for the X-20, now...

I like this idea!
 

Hielor

Defender of Truth
Donator
Beta Tester
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
5,632
Reaction score
2
Points
0
You mean an AR-15 rifle? Wow, now that's roughing it!

As for X-20 not having an ASAT, it's not hard to imagine that the follow-on runs into trouble and so the X-20 gets an ASAT payload instead. After all, there's plenty of room in that payload bay for such a device.

The nice thing about a space-to-space missile is that is doesn't have to be aerodynamic or look like a conventional missile at all. Make it short and fat, with sensors and thrusters sticking out of it, maybe an antenna, and just make sure it has a healthy delta-V budget. No explosives, of course, kinetic kill would work. The X-20/Titan acts as the booster stage, so all you need is enough delta-V to finish an intercept, via plane change if necessary. (Not sure how you would get a firing solution, but the hardware would work, anyway).

Alternatively, the "ASAT missile" could be a robotic satellite payload with spray paint cans and other dastardly implements that just gets deployed by the X-20 and maneuvers to close quarters with the target. After doing it's job it does one final burn to push away and possibly long-term deorbit. This vehicle could be used for more benign inspection missions as well.

Hmmm....I am starting to consider an addon payload for the X-20, now...
Or you could use the Russian method of having a space minefield of "defunct" satellites...
 

Ghostrider

Donator
Donator
Joined
Feb 16, 2008
Messages
3,608
Reaction score
2
Points
78
Location
Right behind you - don't look!
You mean an AR-15 rifle? Wow, now that's roughing it!

Probably more like an M231 FPW variant, which is a stripped-down version of the M16 designed to be fired from inside the Bradley IFV. However I'm a bit skeptical about the concept: regular firearms work fine in a vacuum insofar as the firing mechanism is concerned (the propellant needs no external oxygen to work) but it's the temperature variations that bug me. We're talking about exposing a firearm to extreme temperature ranges, and heating a loaded weapon beyond a certain limit causes cook-offs (self-ignition of the cartridge). As long as only the chamber is concerned, you get at most uncontrolled fire but if the heat is conducted into the magazine, the results may be most unpleasant.
Then you have the problem of the barrel warping. Radiation doesn't cool down the weapon fast enough (although that can be solved with water cooling) and conventional lubricants may evaporate and gunk up the workings (solid graphite lubricant?).
Maybe a gyrojet variant could be better suited to the environment. Less moving parts, reduced complexity, and you're not going to fire it at point-blank range so the lower muzzle velocity is not an issue.
 

sputnik

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Location
Palmdale
Website
www.worldof2001.com
You're describing the more general problem of spacecraft thermal management; we need to keep the spacecraft structure approximately between the freezing and the boiling point of hydrazine. The AR-15 "turret", if you will, strips out the plastic parts; we just need to be sure the metal parts conduct to the rest of the structure. Keep it approximately isothermal.

The hydrazine propellant would cook off long before the nitrocellulose would.
 

Andy44

owner: Oil Creek Astronautix
Addon Developer
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
7,625
Reaction score
4
Points
113
Location
In the Mid-Atlantic states
IIRC the Russian version of MOL flown in the 70s had some sort of turret-mounted full-automatic aircraft cannon or rifle installed on it, apparently to repel boarders in the unlikely event we ever attempted to hijack their recon platform. I don't know if they ever tested it live-fire while on orbit. But the problems of thermal managment don't seem too hard to solve.

As for why a .223 Remington, why not? You don't need big bullets to do damage to a fragile satellite, and the .223 has the advantage of higher muzzle velocity. A few slugs through the middle of any satellite is probably more than any of them can take, as armor is a waste of mass and complicates a satellite's design.

Given our experience since the 60s with ASAT weapons and the debris clouds they create, using bullets is not really desirable, anyway (although less messy than a full-scale ASAT missile). But they'll do in a pinch.
 

doggie015

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
351
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Remember that the firing of the bullet generates a recoil and so you may only be able to get one or two shots in before the muzzle velocity relative to the target sattelite = near 0
 

tblaxland

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Addon Developer
Webmaster
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
7,352
Reaction score
17
Points
113
Location
Sydney, Australia
I think you underestimate the momentum of your orbital craft...
 

Urwumpe

Not funny anymore
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
36,043
Reaction score
556
Points
203
Location
Langendernbach
I think you underestimate the momentum of your orbital craft...

That is the same as the rumors of the A-10 main gun being able to stop the plane - despite the recoil force of a one burst being not even 30% of the force produced by the two engines. But pilots confirmed that firing a longer burst can slow the plane by 70 knots.

The Russian Almaz stations had, BTW, the same 30mm cannon installed, as most Russian fighters. Without big differences.
 

tblaxland

O-F Administrator
Administrator
Addon Developer
Webmaster
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
7,352
Reaction score
17
Points
113
Location
Sydney, Australia
The Russian Almaz stations had, BTW, the same 30mm cannon installed, as most Russian fighters. Without big differences.
So I see. They even successfully tested it, according to Wikipedia.
 

Urwumpe

Not funny anymore
Addon Developer
Donator
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
36,043
Reaction score
556
Points
203
Location
Langendernbach
So I see. They even successfully tested it, according to Wikipedia.

I would not trust Wikipedia on this one, I only know the gun was installed in two stations. Maybe some Russian sources know more than I do.
 
Top