Community > Forum > All other competitions > What happend to the ROTON rotary rocket?

What happend to the ROTON rotary rocket?

Posted by: Derek - Sat Oct 25, 2003 2:09 pm
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 22 posts ] 
What happend to the ROTON rotary rocket? 
Author Message
avatar
Post What happend to the ROTON rotary rocket?   Posted on: Sat Oct 25, 2003 2:09 pm
I'm just wondering what happend to the ROTON entry into the X-Prize?
It seemed as if it was the closest to getting into space for a while and then it just ended.
I would have hedged my bets on it winning. It seemed cheap, the technology was all there. What gives?


Back to top
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 9:58 pm
Posts: 111
Post    Posted on: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:49 pm
I've heard of reports that the rotor didn't provide enough lift, it wasn't stabile enough and other that kind of stuff... I just wonder why they didn't go for alternative designs instead.


Back to top
Profile
Spaceflight Enthusiast
Spaceflight Enthusiast
avatar
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:04 pm
Posts: 2
Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:44 am
The ROTON project just went bankrupt, that is what I heard and read. :(


Back to top
Profile
Moon Mission Member
Moon Mission Member
User avatar
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:46 pm
Posts: 1215
Location: Kapellen, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Planet Earth, the Milky Way Galaxy
Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:52 am
http://www.spacefuture.com/lists/sf-dis ... 00001.html

The window of opportunity for the aerospace startup company has closed. It
started around 1996, when the DC-X rocket proved that reusable rocket
technology was possible and practical. We (space advocates) tried the
commercial route to space. Then we hit a huge bureaucratic and financial
brick wall. Let's face it: aerospace is too much under government control.
The computer industry, in contrast, has little or no government control.
That is why we are still using 30 year old rocket technology, yet we have
computers that are 10,000 times faster than the ones during the Apollo era.
Wall Street does not understand space business because there is no business
in a field with near-total government control. Just ask Andrew Beale and
Gary Hudson.

[end of copied part, more info on the url above itself]

My personal view is, that it's changing... but slowly... how more companies that try to change it, how larger the pressure becomes to open the way for space flights.

_________________
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. - Lord Kelvin, 1892


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:08 pm
Posts: 242
Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:25 am
Sigurd wrote:
Then we hit a huge bureaucratic and financial
brick wall. ... Just ask Andrew Beale and
Gary Hudson.


Although you are certainly right about the government being an impediment to private space flight, it was not responsible for the failures of Beal and Hudson. They failed because the LEO-communications market (Iridium, etc.) completely collapsed during this period, and because both Beal and Hudson were too ambitious- Beal tried to built an EELV-size rocket with too small a budget, Hudson tried too technically challenging a design.

While you can argue that NASA should have bailed them out instead of wasting money on Powerpoints, you can't argue that the government deliberately stopped them from succeeeding.

People like Elon Musk have learned from the mistakes of the past. They are starting small, with simple technical designs. They are also not counting on "technical miracles" or overly-optimistic market projections (100 LEO satellites a year, anyone?).

Instead of blaming the government, entrepreneurs need to focus on their own mistakes. And the signs are encouraging.


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:34 am
Posts: 126
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:05 am
http://www.xcor.com/

Roton is now Xcor, apparently. Most of the main engineers and heads of the project got back together and seriously rethought their plans with the Roton. What they ended up with was Xcor, a phoenix from the ashes of sorts, and an entirely different company from Roton. While Roton was big, clean, official, and beurocratic almost like NASA, Xcor has more of the effect of a bunch of guys making rockets in their garages, kind of like Armadillo. The biggest difference, of course, is results, Xcor is a far more efficent company than Roton, and has made cheap reliable engines like the ones they demonstrated on the EZ-rocket. Now they hope to enter the space tourism buisness (Along with the microsattelite and 0-g buisnesses) with their Xerus spaceplane, almost like Space Ship 1's big brother, but with a liquid engine and more capible.

It should be interesting to see how that turns out.

_________________
"Yes, that series of words I just said made perfect sense!"
-Professor Hubert Farnsworth


Back to top
Profile WWW
Spaceflight Participant
Spaceflight Participant
User avatar
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 1:15 am
Posts: 79
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:33 am
Out of interest

http://www.xcor.com/launch-license.html

Quote:
Mojave, CA, November 10, 2003: XCOR Aerospace announced today that it has been informed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) that its application for a commercial space launch license has been deemed “sufficiently complete.” This significant regulatory milestone means that AST has committed itself either to issue a launch license to XCOR within 180 days or notify Congress that it failed to do so.


By my calculations, this means that XCOR will have their application accepted or denied by approx May 10th, two and a half weeks. I'm too lazy to figure out when exactly 180 days comes to.

If they do get the license I'll be excited to see the prototype which the license is for, they are basically producing another SS1, but XCOR seem more motivated to commercialise their product than Rutan does.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:21 pm
Posts: 297
Location: LI/NY - currently
Post    Posted on: Wed Apr 21, 2004 3:35 am
I believe that the actual Roton flight test vehicle is sitting in a storage hanger somewhere out west. I'm pretty sure that Armadillo either bought or leased the rights to the rocket tipped rotor concept. They were definitely testing it about two years ago. I think though that after deeper investigation they decided that the concept itself didn't suit thier needs and dropped it for a more typical rocket engine design.

Edit*
I think this was the first mention of it over at Armadillo
http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home/News?news_id=104

I could be wrong but I think the paragraph near the bottom of this page may have been their last mention of working with a rotor vehicle. http://www.armadilloaerospace.com/n.x/Armadillo/Home/News?news_id=157


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:16 am
Posts: 322
Post ROTON ATV WAS NEVER AN XPRIZE ENTRY   Posted on: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:07 pm
XCOR purchased either some equipment or intellectual property from what was left of Rotary Rocket. I don't remember which, but they did not buy the ATV.

Roton ATV ended up in the hands of the Classic Rotorts museum who were unable (last I heard) to airlift the Roton with a Chinook to their own location. They attempted it last year and it was nearly disastrous.

Images of the attempt to airlift the world's largest traffic cone to a new home can be found here:
http://www.pro-photography.net/gallery/ ... ve?&page=1

One of the ATV testpilots, Brian Binnie, pilots SpaceShipOne now. One can only assume he has a better time with SS1 then with the Roton, which supposedly flew terribly.


Back to top
Profile YIM
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:16 am
Posts: 322
Post ooops   Posted on: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:12 pm
I meant to type "Classic Rotors" museum.


Back to top
Profile YIM
Spaceflight Enthusiast
Spaceflight Enthusiast
avatar
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:30 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Tehachapi, Ca.
Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:47 pm
Rotary Rocket just ran out of money. They were also unable to pay the taxes on their building in Mojave, so the Roton Rocket is currently still sitting in the hangar. As the previous person mentioned, it was suppose to go to a museum in San Diego, but they haven’t been able to transport it yet. They need to figure something out pretty soon though, because the building has just recently been leased and the Roton needs to be moved.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:16 am
Posts: 322
Post RR May Have Had Engine Design Problems Too   Posted on: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:23 am
Rotary had abandoned the original roton engine design and was banking on using NASA's Fastrac engine towards the end. It didn't look like Fastrac could have had nearly enough thrust. Bearing in mind, of course, that Fastrac wasn't even built at the time (I don't think Fastrac was ever finished. The X-34 was yet another X program of the nineties that was never completed).

It's nice to see companies like Xcor, SpaceX, and SpaceDev continue on with engine design, and take it to the next level.


Back to top
Profile YIM
Spaceflight Trainee
Spaceflight Trainee
avatar
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 1:13 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Santiago, Chile
Post    Posted on: Fri May 28, 2004 6:10 pm
Nice pictures Bad Astra (of the failed transporta ttempt). Why couldn't the rocked be dismounted in smaller parts? I've seen that done on planes being transported.
Probably the people that designed it, or contractors like Scaled could help dismanteling. I don't think it's a "one pice" thing. For one thing if Scaled helped build it it should be composite and I don't think there is a single autoclave to cure a 6 story trafic cone in one piece, so maybe it can come apart (without destroying it I mean).


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:16 am
Posts: 322
Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:25 am
George,

I guess it boils down to who would want to go to all the trouble of actually taking apart Roton ATV and putting it back together. It's sole historic achievement is that it was the world's largest traffic cone, I mean rocket-tip rotory wing vehicle. It's just a glimpse at a might-have-been.


Back to top
Profile YIM
avatar
Post Reuseable Rockets   Posted on: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:31 pm
Sigurd wrote:
http://www.spacefuture.com/lists/sf-discuss/December-2000/msg00001.html

The window of opportunity for the aerospace startup company has closed. It
started around 1996, when the DC-X rocket proved that reusable rocket
technology was possible and practical. We (space advocates) tried the
commercial route to space. Then we hit a huge bureaucratic and financial
brick wall. Let's face it: aerospace is too much under government control.
The computer industry, in contrast, has little or no government control.
That is why we are still using 30 year old rocket technology, yet we have
computers that are 10,000 times faster than the ones during the Apollo era.
Wall Street does not understand space business because there is no business
in a field with near-total government control. Just ask Andrew Beale and
Gary Hudson.

[end of copied part, more info on the url above itself]

My personal view is, that it's changing... but slowly... how more companies that try to change it, how larger the pressure becomes to open the way for space flights.


The DC-X didn't demonstrate anything about rocket reuseability that hadn't already been demonstrated thirty years before it flew.

Rockets aren't computers. It is simplistic thinking to believe that age in and of itself makes rockets or any other technology obsolete.


Back to top
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use