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Which teams will be ready by October?

Posted by: Texan - Fri Jun 25, 2004 5:41 pm
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Which teams will be ready by October? 
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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:18 pm
bad_astra wrote:
If you go back through the Armadillo news archives, there are many videos and images of the "big vehicle" in various articles.

Here is one of the more recent images (with a smaller tank for non-liscence flights)

http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/200 ... thCone.jpg

Actually, I think the big vehicle is in the background of that picture. (It is laying down horizontally, and they are working on the engine/jetvanes)

The one in the foreground appears to be a new "intermediate" vehicle, with a 48" tank diameter. They big vehicle has a 63" diameter tank. (according to their latest update)

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:45 pm
Ahh... THAT would explain why it looks cramped for three people.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:19 pm
Lars_J is pretty much correct. The tank pictured with the not-quite-fitting nose cone is nothing more than the latest fuel tank to arrive at their shop. That one can hold 450 gallons of fuel. It's hard to tell but that picture with the larger vehicle in the background may in fact show both of their larger tanks. The one that is obviously the large test vehicle lying on it's side is the vehicle built on their 850 gallon tank, they've been doing a lot of tether flights with. I think that slightly darker area in the far background, in front of Johns face, behind the lading gear assembly of the 850 gallon vehicle is the 1600 gallon tank that to me looks like it is lying perpendicular to the 850 gallon vehicle.

I think that the nose cone in that picture is simply one of the crushable nose cones they had stored there somewhere. From the latest Armadillo update that 450 gallon tank is not intended to ever be manned and will be used only for test flights. Something to do with a fuel limit of 150 gallons? That may be related to the recent waiver they got that allows longer engine burn times.

As far as manned vehicles go the 850 gallon tank vehicle, which is often referred to as the large vehicle, was to be the three person x-prize vehicle but only using the crushable nose cone. It's pictured here without a nose cone http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/2004_01_25/readyToTest.jpg but I'm pretty sure they intended larger engines for the X-Prize flights. When they had to discard the crushable nose cone and decided to go back to verticle landing the 850 gallon vehicle couldn't be used for an X-prize flight since it wouldn't carry enough fuel to land.

As far as I know they haven't done any work with the 1600 gallon tank but John made a very interesting comment June 27 update that the 450 gallon tank here
Quote:
The tank has the same flanges as the big ones, so the propulsion section and electronics section will just bolt right on to the smaller tank. All we would really have to do to get it in the air is make cables


Now at first glance that means the 450 gallon vehicle can be flying very quickly. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if it flies on Saturday. In fact I would only be mildly (and pleasantly of course) surprised if it flies tomorrow. At second glance that also means that everything they do with the 450 gallon tank can be quickly transferred back to the 850 gallon tank and the 1600 gallon tank as well. John mentioned that early in the Q&A thread. The real limiting factor with moving stuff from one tank to another and then flying it is engine size.

Considering how quickly they pulled apart the four engine version of the 850 gallon tank and built a single engine jet-vane vehicle with that same tank, I would say that the only technical standpoint that is stopping them from building a 3 person X-Prize vehicle with that 1600 gallon tank is the lack of larger engines. Unfortunately I still think the real barrier for Armadillo is licensing, not so much their own license but a site license somewhere.

By the sound of the last paragraph in the June 27 update it sounds like John is positioning Armadillo very well for building an X-Prize vehicle that could take the win if Scaled falters a bit more.

I was talking to some people yesterday morning, comparing Armadillo and Scaled and I think it's absolutely amazing that Armadillo really isn't that far behind Scaled (as far as WK/SS1 goes anyway) and Armdillo has spent roughly 1.5 million compared to 20 to 30 million. You can have some really interesting conversations at paintball events, I was quite surprised to find a fellow Armadillo fan in the deep dark depths of New Jersey at a paintball event. Although the meeting of a paintball tanker and a guy wearing a Quake 3 hat pretty much guaranteed some sort of interesting conversation :D


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:27 pm
Anyway we could help them get a launch license--what hoops are they having to jumb though? Do we need to flood the office of some politician with calls telling him to get this sped up?

I would really like to see armadillo win.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:14 am
Correct me here but i think it is something like this:

450 gallon: testbed/small vehicle. Basic proof of concept/engineering
850 gallon: large vehicle/possible to scale up to 1 man vehicle.
1600 gallon: Black Armadilo!

Am i correct?


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:59 pm
Koxinga,
Dont forget their "sub-scale" vehicle as well, the one that recently flew the perfect VTVL hop. It's even smaller than the new 450 gallon vehicle will be.
http://media.armadilloaerospace.com/2004_06_15/loading.jpg

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Post    Posted on: Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:06 pm
Where did the nozzle go in this photo? Did it break away (Melvill noted he heard a big bang) Or is it intentionally discarded after burn? It looked for me from the very beginning that the vehicle with a large nozzle at the aft would be aerodynamically unstable and hard to pilot in glide mode before landing...


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:59 pm
That was a picture from an earlier flight with a smaller nozzle - not the 100km flight.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:04 am
The nozzle for the 100km flight was mostly covered by an aerodynamic fairing. The 'bang' was apparently caused by a momentary solid fuel blockage in the rocket outflow, essentially a backfire :)


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:25 am
Why did you come to an idea Cramack has spent $1.5M on Armadillo? I heard much smaller figures. Something in order of $200k or so.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:06 pm
anovikov: The $1.5 million is the number that John has given out.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:55 am
I think that figure is the rough total for everything that Armadillo has done for the past couple of years though, not just the big vehicle. I looked around last night but I couldn't find where I read that 1.5 million part but I'm pretty sure it came directly from John Carmack.

Edit to get rid of the extra 1 typo :oops:


Last edited by TJ on Wed Jul 14, 2004 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post costs   Posted on: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:00 am
Yes, the total-to-date for Armadillo is around $1.5 million. The vehicle itself only costs about $100,000. The rest of the money is figuring out exactly the right $100,000 to spend...

John Carmack


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:20 pm
:shock: ahhh... he is loose....


Seriously- are you saying you can turn these things out for under 200,000 dollars?

hmmmm

I wonder how much one "spaceshipone" would cost given that it has already been developed?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:42 pm
I must say it is incredible that you are willing to spend your hard earned cash on something that will ultimately benefit all of mankind. I would have have bought an Aston Martin DB9 and a brewery. Fair play to you, OBE is in the post... :lol:

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