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About NorthAmericanAviation

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    "The Right Stuff"

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  • Location Rogers Dry Lake
  • Interests When I work with my hands and think about things: Airfoil drafting, Aircraft structural design, Welding.
    When I'm having fun: American prototype and advanced designs for early generation jet aircraft (in KSP), sketching, Designing Aircraft.

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  1. Given all of the above statements, this thread is officially going on hold until Monday, July 24th, and will pick up with @qzgy's Have Blue. I think the thread will run smoother this way as opposed to going out-of-order. Stay tuned.
  2. Admittedly, I think the only hold-ups have been mine, so if anybody's got to apologize, it ought to be me. [and so I do] I have a double feature as proof I exist, though, so here's two planes: August 1977: MacCready Gossamer Condor The MacCready Gossamer Condor was the first of two designs created by Paul MacCready of Aerovironment, also responsible for the creation of the NASA Pathfinder series, to conduct experiments with human powered flight. The craft had to extra light-weight in order to be feasible in theory and practice. The Condor weighs approximately 70lbs unloaded. The Condor has a wingspan of 30ft/9.14m and is essentially a gondola slung under a wing where a pilot pedals a large area, slow moving pusher-propeller. The paint and coverings company, DuPont sponsored the project through its supply of Mylar PET film, which was used as a covering. The Aircraft won the Kremer Prize, a prize offering of £50,000 to whomever could create a controlled, man-powered aircraft which could fly one mile (1.6km) at a surface altitude greater than 10ft(3m). The controlled criteria was tested by requiring the plane to fly a figure-8. Several craft had attempted this before, but the Condor was the first to succeed in 1977. June 1979: MacCready Gossamer Albatross The MacCready Gossamer Albatross was another human-powered aircraft, larger (wingspan: 98ft/28m) and heavier (215lbs/97.5kg) than the Condor, but much more aerodynamically efficient. It was able to cross the English Channel in 1979, piloted by Bryan Allen in good weather conditions over a distance of 35 miles at 18mph. Absolutely Blistering. Paul MacCready was awarded the Collier Trophy for his formation of (and work on) the Albatross Program. Knowledge in super-lightweight aircraft gained from these two programs would be drawn upon heavily in the design of the NASA-Aerovironment Pathfinder aircraft and Paul MacCready’s Solar Challenger. The Albatrosses and singular Condor are on display to this day. More Pictures on KerbalX Download Links: Tomorrow's Craft: @qzgy's Lockheed Have Blue
  3. 100+ Posts, alright! July 1977: Ball-Bartoe Jetwing The Ball-Bartoe Jetwing was a proof-of-concept aircraft which tested the viability of a ‘blown wing’ to augment and improve lift characteristics. It was very successful, handling well at slow speeds and stalling below 40mph. The ‘blown wing’ theory was practiced by venting the air passing through the first-stage fan of the jet engine across the surface of the wing below an ‘augmenter’ flap (above) which deflected the expelled gases across the wing, creating a forced flow of air which would generate constant lift, no matter the airspeed. The firm Ball-Bartoe is a combination of the Ball Aerospace company (the same company who makes the ever-popular canning jars) and Otto Bartoe, an engineer who headed the company for a time and used his position to pursue the ‘blown wing’ idea. To further elaborate on the success of the Jetwing, it was reported that the wing generated twice as much lift as a conventional arrangement of the same area. Blown flap technology had been experimented with in the past, though: the Breguet 941 (McDonnell 188) began STOL trials in 1961, eventually knocking its takeoff roll back to 600ft. Later in 1974, the Boeing YC-14 would re-visit the concept. The Jetwing is the first true blown wing. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: MacCready Gossamer Condor
  4. August 1976: Boeing YC-14 The YC-14 was Boeing's entry into the Advanced Medium STOL Transport competition, aiming to replace the Lockheed C-130. It Competed against the McDonnell Douglas YC-15, but neither were accepted. The knowledge gained from test flights, plus the unique characteristics of both aircraft would influence the design of the very successful C-17 Globemaster III. The YC-14's Design employed a 'super-critical' airfoil, which reduced transonic drag; this allowed a higher top speed while maintaining lift at low speeds. Replica Statistics This KSP model is definitely an ugly duckling if I ever saw one: had a custom cockpit, scrapped it due to drag issues. Otherwise, this model flies very well and is true to its STOL design in real life: I achieved a 370m takeoff roll with full fuel, empty cargo bays. It's a pretty forgiving plane in the air; super rugged, but requires some pitch-up attitude for level flight. 1 Toggles Afterburners, 2 Toggles Leading Edge Flaps. Download Link: August 1975: McDonnell Douglas YC-15 The YC-15 is McDonnell Douglas' entry into the AMST STOL competition, competing with the previously uploaded Boeing YC-14. Neither aircraft was accepted, but McDonnell Douglas used the design of their YC-15 as a basis for the successful and reliable C-17 Globemaster. The resemblance is pretty obvious. Like the YC-14, the ‘dash-15’ uses a ‘supercritical’ airfoil, allowing up to 30% less drag at transonic speeds, but keeping drag low at landing/takeoff speeds. Unlike the YC-14, though, McDonnell Douglas' design uses a blown flap instead of an overblown wing. this means that thrust-lift can be varied from maximum to zero, very useful in creating emergency/immediate lift for short-field operations. This model does not duplicate those effects because it isn’t useful in the KSP aerodynamics model. Assuming you don’t clip parts, the cargo store volume is full long before weight capacity is reached, so it can take literally anything you can fit. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: Ball Bartoe Jetwing--- I will be covering this craft
  5. May 1964: Ryan-General Electric XV-5A "Vertifan" The Ryan-General Electric XV-5 Vertifan is a VTOL aircraft proposed to the U.S. Army in November 1962. The crew who worked on the Vertifan was called the XV-5A Fan Club. Blower Design The blowers for vertical lift on the Vertifan are powered very much like a turbocharger in a car: exhaust gases are blown around a duct which is connected to the blower fan spindle. these gases spin up the fans which produce lift. This method is very different from a normal thrust diverter, as used in the Yak-36, Yak-38, Hawker-Siddeley Kestrel/Harrier. It Is also different from the Yak-141 and F-35B, which use a mechanical drive. The Proposal In 1961, General Electric won a U.S. Army Contract to develop the fan-in-wing design with Ryan Aeronautical Corporation. Ryan was essentially a subcontracted builder in this program, as GE developed the entire thrust system, based off of the GE J-85. The XV-5 was a featherweight, but it packed a punch; empty weight was just 7,000lbs, and the fan system developed 1.31:1 TWR, giving the XV-5 31% in excess power. There was also a balancing fan in the nose, covered by louvers. The wing-mounted fans had shutters underneath, meaning that the XV-5 could transfer in any direction. The wing-mounted fans also controlled roll to some degree. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @Servo's Northrop/NASA M2F2
  6. April 1963: Northrop X-21 Northrop’s X-21 was designed to explore the flow of air over wings. Normal flow follows a smooth, linear path across the wing surface (Laminar), but then breaks from that flow pattern and moves into a state of turbulence. This turbulence creates a large amount of drag, an the X-21 program sought to reduce this drag by extending the area of laminar flow, thus also reducing fuel consumption. To retain continuous laminar flow across the surface of the X-21’s wing, there were several slats cut into the wing parallel to the flow of air across it. Air was drawn in through these slats, compressed, and then projected out of the back of the wing to push the zone of turbulence further away from the leading edge of the wing and fuselage of the plane. The system was unreliable, as it tended to become clogged when dust particles found their way in, inevitably. Nevertheless, unprecedented data regarding Flow contamination (suspended particles affecting lift generation), Span-wise turbulence on the ‘boundary layer’ of airflow, and surface irregularities. The X-21 was built on a Douglas A3D/B-66 airframe, engines were uprated and moved to the aft of the fuselage, as the wings had been modified and housed the aforementioned 'laminar flow induction' system. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @Servo's Northrop/NASA M2F1
  7. Thanks! Always cool to here what people have to think, be it critique or praise No X-21 tonight b/c personal reasons and schedule got thrown around, will post sometime tomorrow
  8. September 1959: North American XF-108 "Rapier" The North American F-108 project was a sister project to the XB-70 Mach 3+ bomber, supposedly designed to be an escort. The design of the aircraft was highly advanced for the time of its conception, and even though the program was cancelled in 1959, the gathered data were used in the design of the A-5 Vigilante to give it more favorable supersonic flight characteristics. Influence of the A-5's design is very evident in the tail fin, cockpit/nose area, and intake ramps, Which employed V.A.I.D., similar to the F-107. Because the Rapier was developed jointly with the Valkyrie, it shared similarities in crucial build aspects, such as its power-plant: the Rapier used two YJ-93 jet engines, a third the count of its bomber/research counterpart. If the thrust-to-weight rating of 5:1 in the YJ-93 is any measure, this design of engine certainly had a lot of potential. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: @qzgy's Lockheed XV-4 "Hummingbird"
  9. yeah, the engines are stationary and it uses thrust deflectors/outlets over the center of mass. I didn't replicate any sort of deflector, merely a second set of engines.
  10. The Martin P6M Seamaster: It can't do carriers, but it is a seaplane, I think it's a great candidate for wing-mounted bomb armament. (Or a target) Edit: Here's a Link:
  11. February 1957: Bell X-14 Bell's X-14 was a VTOL capability demonstrator, intended to prove the concept of controlled, vectored thrust in transitioning from a vertical takeoff to horizontal flight. Thrust vectoring was done through keeping the engines stationary and deflecting the thrust with ducts over the craft's COM. Previous American VTOL aircraft had been tilt-wing or tail-sitter aircraft. The aircraft is sometimes called a Bell-Beech X-14, due to its use of Beechcraft Bonanza wings and landing gear, along with the tail of the Beech T-34 mentor. These parts were used for saving weight and expense. The X-14 program was maintained until 1981, making the airframe 24 years old upon its retirement. Over the years, the Armstrong-Siddeley Viper turbojets were replaced with General Electric J85's, and the aircraft was suffixed with -A and -B. A computer and fly-by-wire controls were installed in the 1970's to give better stability and simulate the characteristics of other VTOL aircraft of the time. The only reason the program ended was due to the aircraft being damaged in a landing accident in 1981, otherwise there were plans to develop the aircraft into a -C model, which would have an enclosed cockpit, and even a trainer model. The X-14 was a cost-effective X-plane, even if that sounds impossibly oxymoronic. Download Link: KerbalX is just giving me Error 500's right now, will put up tomorrow Tomorrow's Craft: @NotAnAimbot's Avro CF-105 Arrow
  12. September 1956: North American F-107 "Ultra Sabre" The F-107, nicknamed Ultra Sabre, "Man Eater," and "Super Super Sabre," is the final evolution of the military track of Sabre aircraft from North American. Regarded positively, it lost the contract to the F-105 either through the fate of politics, or perhaps by being the ‘right plane at the wrong time’. Despite this, most data pointed to it being a better-handling plane, lacking only in bomb-armament. The F-107’s performance was indeed superior, due to the fact that it's design philosophy leaned towards a fighter more than anything else. The following should be noted: project pilot Bob Baker thought this was a fine-handling aircraft. Additionally, even Scott Crossfield, who only had the chance to make an aborted takeoff run after a front gear failure, remarked that it was a very good-handling and appropriately responsive aircraft. The forward position of the cockpit gave great visibility---it was definitely a 'pilot's airplane.' In fact, it was a so much of a pilot's plane that Bob Baker took it to Mach 1.03 on it's (No.1 Aircraft) maiden flight. 14 months after this first flight, the aircraft would reach Mach 2 for supersonic airspeed tests. To the Nat'l Museum of the U.S. Air Force by (mostly) VFR Following the close of the F-107A program, unused prototype No.2 was to be flown by Major Clyde Good to The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (NMUSAF). He had planned to accomplish this by following an F-100 which was also being retired to the museum. Maj. Good Knew that the radio nav. systems and instrument backlights had not been installed, but a refueling stop had separated the two aircraft. Given this happened during heavy cloud-cover, Maj. Good was forced to fly VFR, or Visual Flight Rules, meaning he had to follow known ground locations and roadways of St. Louis to navigate in the dark. He 'guessed' headings by occasionally reading his unlit instruments by flicking the spark-wheel of his Zippo lighter. His goal was to eventually show up in Dayton, Ohio, close enough to Wright-Pat that they would be able to pick him up on radar. Eventually, he got within range, and was vectored down to the runway. Now on approach, he let the gear down to make another discovery: no landing lights! At this point, he properly lit his Zippo lighter and landed successfully with both instrument readings and visual queues. Intake Innovations The “Ultra Sabre” was the first to employ a Variable Area Intake Duct (VAID), which regulated the volume of air entering the engine, a Pratt and Whitney J75-P-9, for more efficient and powerful combustion. The VAID system saw further use on the A-5, XB-70, and the design of the F-108. The VAID system was a major step forward in the development of supersonic jet intakes. Despite the Top-mounted intake appearing to be aft of a low-pressure zone which could have caused air starvation to the engine, this did not happen due to how forward it was in relation to the fuselage-disturbed air. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: Bell X-14 VTOL
  13. April 1956: Douglas F5D Skylancer The Douglas F5D Skylancer is an evolution of the F4D Skyray, using the same smooth-sided Delta-wing configuration as before. It had an incredibly good climb rate at 20,000ft/min (105m/s), and a top speed of Mach 1.5. Service ceiling was 57,500ft (17,500m) The program test pilot was Alan Shepard, who would go on to become America’s first ‘astronaut.’ Go figure! The NASA F5Ds' would serve to test the Ogival Delta-wing, a style of tailless delta that was to perform very well at supersonic speeds, versus a conventional delta. The design proved efficient, and research data gained through the F5D program would help complete the Concorde, space shuttle, and influence the design of the X-20 DynaSoar—a program to which the F5D was very close. The F5D was used as a trainer for the X-20 program until its cancellation, at which point they continued use as chase planes. Both NASA aircraft survive today and are on display. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft: North American YF-107A "Ultra Sabre" aaaannnd, a quick plug for @qzgy: I cannot express how much I love that vertijet---that specific replica is the pinnacle of those I have seen recently!
  14. A few hours late July 1955: Republic XF-84H "Thunderscreech" The Thunderscreech is an interesting plane to say the least. Its intentions were to break the sound barrier as a propeller-driven aircraft, but there are some very serious issues with this concept alone; at idle thrust, the XF-84H's propeller blade tips were already moving at supersonic speeds, making an incredibly loud 'crack' several hundreds of times per second. Reportedly, the sound made by the plane's blades during engine run-up was so loud, it could be heard over twenty miles away. Because of this, the pilot had to receive his instructions not by radio. but by light signals. Beyond that, Allison Engine Company and Republic program researchers found that the transonic propeller created harmonic vibrations that were 'harmful to humans.' The aircraft was not received well by its crew; after his first flight in the aircraft, test pilot Lin Hendrix is quoted as saying " You aren't big enough and there aren't enough of you to get me in that thing again!" Needless to say, that flight was his last with that craft. The XF-84H was powered by an Allison T40 turboprop/shaft combination which developed a shaft-output of 5,100hp, and helped the plane achieve a top speed of 520mph. It is one of the fastest propeller-driven aircraft in the world, second only to the Tupolev Tu-114. Download Link: coming tomorrow (June 15) want to work out some kinks 'Tomorrow's' Craft @Munbro Kerman's Bell X-2 "Starbuster"
  15. October 1953: Douglas X-3 "Stiletto" The Stiletto was built for the purpose of testing jet propulsion at Mach 2---an aircraft intended to fly and conduct research at long-term supersonic speeds, it was of course plagued by under-powered engines of the time. Despite that, it did have a few other firsts: the trapezoidal, low-area wing would be used successfully in the design of the supersonic Lockheed F-104, and titanium would see its first major use in aviation based on its inclusion in a large portion of the X-3's airframe. Like most aircraft of the time, NACA was a prime user after Douglas test pilot William Bridgeman completed his 26 flights with the plane. to push the X-3 past Mach 1, a ten degree dive was necessary. On July 28, 1953, the X-3 reached its maximum speed of Mach 1.2---far below the program's plans, but fast enough to somewhat gauge how a jet engine handled these speeds. After the Douglas-intended tests, NACA chose to test the aircraft further for finding data of transonic handling characteristics. What was found was that, because of the small wing area, the body of the plane carried most of the weight in a roll, making it controllable at transonic speeds. this research (and the shape of the plane) would be used in many designs of fighters and interceptors of the same era. It's also worth noting that because of the X-3's unprecedented fast takeoff and landing speeds, new tire technology had to be developed to keep the tires on the landing gear of the X-3 from failing. This replica handles very much like the original plane; touchy controls, fast takeoff runs, not very eager on the idea of a 'sharp turn.' The "super-cool wicked sub-zero totally mondo cockpit glass" could not be replicated, unfortunately. Download Link: Tomorrow's Craft @Servo's Convair F2Y Sea Dart