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Bristol Space Planes (UK)

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:53 am
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Bristol Space Planes (UK) 
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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:33 pm
So, you really think we could crowdfund the development of a spaceplane? $8 million has been raised before with crowdfunding...


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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:23 pm
10th February 2014

A Bristol-based space design company whose founder worked on Concorde has launched a crowdfunding drive to raise the £150,000 needed to complete the design of a demonstrator “spaceplane” intended to show that combining ideas considered feasible in the 1960s (but never built) with modern technology can reduce the cost of sending people to space by 1000 times within 15 years.

Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd was founded in 1991 and has had grants or study contracts from four government agencies, including the UK Space Agency. Its work has influenced NASA plans for space tourism. The company is offering investors shares in the company and a discount on the cost of their first flight.

The company’s business plan is then to attract business angel backing to build and fly the demonstrator, followed by a partnership agreement with a major manufacturer to build full-scale spaceplanes.

Bristol Spaceplanes Managing Director David Ashford said:
“Spaceflight is expensive because we have not developed reusable vehicles. Motoring would be a very niche activity if cars were scrapped after every journey.

“My first job was working on reusable launchers in the 1960s. They were widely considered feasible at the time but pressures of the Cold War space race led to their not being developed. This accident of history created a mindset that space travel has to be risky and expensive, and the habit of throwing away a launcher for each flight has taken a firm hold. We maintain that combining old designs with modern technology can soon lead to an ‘airline’ service to space, with the UK firmly at the helm.”
His company has already begun bench testing the rocket engine.

For all media enquiries call Chris Calland or Charlie Simon on 020 7092 3396, 020 7400 7396 mobiles 07850 260 466, 077 8699 8106 or email bristolspaceplanes@hanovercomms.com
Notes to Editors
Investors who put in over £5000 to the project will be offered a discount of five times their investment on their first flight in one of the company’s spaceplanes, with those investing £20,000 promised a free flight.
Anyone wanting to invest in the project can do so by visiting www.crowdcube.com/investment/bristol-spaceplanes-13141
A Spaceplane is piloted and has wings so that it can take off and land from conventional runways. It uses rocket engines for the part of the ascent to space that is out of the atmosphere. It is fully reusable and can offer an ‘airline’ service to space, thereby greatly reducing the cost. The present cost per seat to orbit using today’s throwaway launchers is around £20 million.
The background to this prospect is explored in a recent book by Bristol Spaceplanes Managing Director David Ashford, Space Exploration: All That Matters (Hodder, 2013). (www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1444183834).
Visit bristolspaceplanes.com or follow @_spaceplanes on Twitter.
David Ashford graduated from Imperial College, London, in aeronautical engineering and spent one year at Princeton University in the United States undertaking post-graduate research on rocket motors.
His first job in 1961 was with the Hawker Siddeley Aviation hypersonics design team, working on spaceplanes, among other projects. He has since worked at Douglas Aircraft and at what is now BAE Systems on various aerospace projects, including the DC-8, DC-10, Concorde, the Skylark sounding rocket, and various naval missile and electronic warfare systems.
He has also written three books on spaceplanes and space tourism. For four years, he was on the Board of the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF), and in 2010 was team leader for creating a technology roadmap for a small UK satellite launcher.
Chief designer is David Kent, who will lead the team to design and build the Spaceplane demonstrator.
Mr Kent led the team that designed and built the Leopard small business jet.

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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:24 pm
Meet the people behind Bristol Spaceplanes

February 10, 2014

The team working at Bristol Spaceplanes, who will use the £150,000 investment being pitched for via Crowdcube to advance the company’s spaceplane programme:


David Ashford
The founder and Managing Director of BSP is David Ashford. He graduated from Imperial College, London, in aeronautical engineering and spent one year at Princeton doing post-graduate research on rocket motors. His first job, starting in 1961, was with the Hawker Siddeley Aviation hypersonics design team, working on spaceplanes, among other projects. He has since worked at Douglas Aircraft and at what is now BAE Systems on various aerospace projects, including the DC-8, DC-10, Concorde, the Skylark sounding rocket, and various naval missile and electronic warfare systems. He has written three books on spaceplanes and space tourism. His latest book, ‘Space Exploration: ‘All That Matters’ was published by Hodder in 2013. He has had published about 20 papers on space transportation in the professional press. For four years, he was on the Board of the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF), and in 2010 was team leader for a creating a technology roadmap for a small UK satellite launcher. This work was sponsored by the UK Space Agency.

David Warby
The Chairman is David Warby. Graduating from King’s College London, his career started in the power generation industry, including the mechanical engineering construction of nuclear power stations. Following this, he was managing director and shareholder of an engineering company that grew sales to £25m in the manufacture of oil, nuclear, petrochemical and architectural equipment. For the last 20 years he has used his business skills and experience in consultancy with owner-managed companies in a variety of roles, and across a variety of industries.

John Williams
The Commercial Director is John Williams, who has had a successful career in advertising and marketing. He set up his own integrated marketing agency, Marketing Perspectives, which was acquired by WPP. John is also the Executive Director of The Marketing Agencies Association Worldwide, a global association of CEO’s and Senior Partners of Marketing Service Companies.

David Kent
The Chief Designer is David Kent, who will lead the team to design and build the Spaceplane demonstrator. David led the team that designed and built the Leopard small business jet.

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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:43 pm
Terraformer wrote:
So, you really think we could crowdfund the development of a spaceplane? $8 million has been raised before with crowdfunding...


Crowdfund in the contemporary sense?

Probably not. One of the problems with crowdfunding/sourcing especially for big projects is that there are too many fingers in the pie. Everyone wants to have their say and "vision" enacted. Which slows things down and adds cost. Also by their nature, CF projects are very public, which means they have a high degree of overwatch by the media, officialdom, and suppliers, which also raises costs.

The most likely way to do it would be the "Skunk works". A small team that isn't worried about getting rich or making McMansion or Porche payments, funded by one or a few rich guys, working in secrut so they avoid getting nickel and dimed to death by people for "aerospace grade" parts and materials.

Of course this carries its own set of risks and gotchas...


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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:38 pm
However, you could still Crowdfund a prize... assuming the prize money can be put made to yield interest whilst waiting, you could give the money back to people with interest if the prize isn't claimed by the deadline. But that's another topic, for which I should probably start a thread.

As far as a skunkworks goes, that's my plan at the moment - go make a few companies and get enough capital to fund a team to develop a ramjet spaceplane. Still not quite reached step one so far, though, which is gain the skills needed to begin...


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Post Re: Bristol Space Planes (UK)   Posted on: Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:42 pm
Lottery would be quicker. LOL

But the idea of a CFed prize is a good one.


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