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Scaled Composites

Posted by: Captain_John_Black - Fri Aug 08, 2003 5:59 am
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Scaled Composites 
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Space Station Commander
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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:42 am
Irving wrote:
TerraMrs wrote:
Irving wrote:
Witness the engine test firing. Note: I'm not saying it will be an X-prize flight. But I expect a flight which includes firing the rocket on the 17th for the Wright anniversary.


that's what i expect too, but not suborbital. probably a horizontal firing to get it supersonic then they'll feather and come down.


Possibly. However I'd think they'd like something more significant for the Wright Anniversary. Not an X-Prize attempt, but the 1st private sub-orbital flight maybe.


I don't think you seem to realize that that is NOT POSSIBLE at present, they just can't launch without testing their engine thoroughly in flight. Oh sure they could try, and they might even suceed, but the potential losses would be far too large, both of the spaceship, the pilot, and of Scaled's reputation.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:32 am
Since Scaled Composites has had a few anomolies which required redesign and further flight test with power-off, I would expect that any power-on flight test during Dec. 17, be rather conservative. However, we don't have access to the flight test data and engine test data, to see how close current performance is to expected performance.

There are a number of records which could be broken with even a conservative flight test. I would love to be there Wednesday morning. 8)


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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:39 pm
traveler wrote:
There are a number of records which could be broken with even a conservative flight test. I would love to be there Wednesday morning. 8)


That would be totally awesome, if i'm not mistaken even a horizontal supersonic flight would make it the first supersonic private plane built without government stuff, and only the second one ever to be flown with manual controls (Bell X-1 was first).


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:05 am
TerraMrs wrote:
Irving wrote:
TerraMrs wrote:
Irving wrote:
Witness the engine test firing. Note: I'm not saying it will be an X-prize flight. But I expect a flight which includes firing the rocket on the 17th for the Wright anniversary.


that's what i expect too, but not suborbital. probably a horizontal firing to get it supersonic then they'll feather and come down.


Possibly. However I'd think they'd like something more significant for the Wright Anniversary. Not an X-Prize attempt, but the 1st private sub-orbital flight maybe.


I don't think you seem to realize that that is NOT POSSIBLE at present, they just can't launch without testing their engine thoroughly in flight. Oh sure they could try, and they might even suceed, but the potential losses would be far too large, both of the spaceship, the pilot, and of Scaled's reputation.


There is no ability for the pilot to throttle the motor in SS1. For testing, Scaled may opt to fly with a small load of fuel for a one-time firing test per flight. However, if SS1 is flown with a full load of fuel, and the engine is fired, then is it not a full duration burn? Hypothetically then, given a full duration burn, how significant are the stresses based upon trajectory?


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:44 am
Irving wrote:
There is no ability for the pilot to throttle the motor in SS1. For testing, Scaled may opt to fly with a small load of fuel for a one-time firing test per flight. However, if SS1 is flown with a full load of fuel, and the engine is fired, then is it not a full duration burn? Hypothetically then, given a full duration burn, how significant are the stresses based upon trajectory?


i realize that, and the thing is that the stresses from trajectory are at least partially unknown. remember their aft-cg problem from the drop tests, cfds couldn't solve that so there's no guarentee that they can solve the rocket stresses either. i think they'll start with a short burn and work up their fuel load from that until they're ready for the full flight. my guess is an official x-prize flight in febuary or early march assuming no major problems. hopefully they'll do it sooner, but if they can't be sure of success before they try then they shouldn't try, and rutan won't do that.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:00 pm
TerraMrs wrote:
traveler wrote:
There are a number of records which could be broken with even a conservative flight test. I would love to be there Wednesday morning. 8)


That would be totally awesome, if i'm not mistaken even a horizontal supersonic flight would make it the first supersonic private plane built without government stuff, and only the second one ever to be flown with manual controls (Bell X-1 was first).


You were right on! :lol: I wish I were there! :lol: 8)

From the press release: "The landing was not without incident as the left landing gear retracted at touchdown causing the ship to veer to the left and leave the runway with its left wing down. Damage from the landing incident was minor and will easily be repaired. There were no injuries."

That should keep Burt Rutan on the right path and not take unreasonable chances!


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Post Oops   Posted on: Thu Dec 18, 2003 11:30 pm
Wow, Dec 17 was an amazing day!

Although I must admit that I find it rather ironic that while Rutan is conquering the heavens, he's also having trouble landing the dang thing:
Image
The damage is minor, fortunately.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:25 am
Congrats all around. Not just horizontal, but SS1 pitched up eventually to the verticle and experienced zero-G. Nioe to see that the flight made the national news as well.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:25 am
yea, wrong about horizontal :), but 15 sec is about 1/5 full :lol:. funny thing is that the kitty hawk thing failed, but that this one was a huge sucess.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:26 am
o yea, forgot to add return of the king was a huge sucess too, so great day dec. 17, it'll go down in history.


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Post Re: Oops   Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:20 am
The Legionnaire wrote:
Wow, Dec 17 was an amazing day!

Although I must admit that I find it rather ironic that while Rutan is conquering the heavens, he's also having trouble landing the dang thing: The damage is minor, fortunately.


I remember a couple of years ago at Dallas/Ft Worth airport, American Airlines had a left landing gear collapse on a Fokker 100 during landing. The left wing and flaps sustained in excess of $2 million in damage. The aircraft is beyond economical repair and will never fly again.

Rutan's little mishap was nothing, except to help keep everyone humble.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:54 pm
TerraMrs wrote:
yea, wrong about horizontal :), but 15 sec is about 1/5 full :lol:. funny thing is that the kitty hawk thing failed, but that this one was a huge sucess.


Especially disappointing considering all the work that went into it! Got the reports about SS1 during the day, and then saw ROTK that night. All in all a good day!


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Post Hmmm   Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:53 pm
Actually, while we are celebrating Rutan's victory, I am wondering if perhaps his success is actually a bad thing. Think about it: if Rutan is virtually certain to win the X-Prize, won't the funding sources of the other X-Prize teams dry up? Now, you might say that sponsors will stick around regardless because of the future promise of space tourism, but I do think that the X-Prize itself, i.e. the adventure and excitement of a competition, has been responsible for a large part of the sponsorships.

Just some food for thought.

Meanwhile, all of you should trundle over to Rutan's web site. They have posted some great new pictures of the flight, including a few shots from an on-board camera(!).


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Post Re: Hmmm   Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:27 pm
The Legionnaire wrote:
Actually, while we are celebrating Rutan's victory, I am wondering if perhaps his success is actually a bad thing. Think about it: if Rutan is virtually certain to win the X-Prize, won't the funding sources of the other X-Prize teams dry up? Now, you might say that sponsors will stick around regardless because of the future promise of space tourism, but I do think that the X-Prize itself, i.e. the adventure and excitement of a competition, has been responsible for a large part of the sponsorships.

Just some food for thought.

Meanwhile, all of you should trundle over to Rutan's web site. They have posted some great new pictures of the flight, including a few shots from an on-board camera(!).


After reading your post, I said yes, it may be a problem for other teams to find funds now, when Rutan is kinda for sure the x-prize winner.
I visisted the website, of scaled.com cause you said they posted some nice new pictures (and they are really nice), but while looking at them I got an other idea about investors.
IF Rutan succeeds, he'll take the x-prize, but it will show ALSO to OTHER investors that it's possible to build a relative cheap space vehicle, what may convince them to invest in other teams...
It's just a small idea, not for sure if it's right, but I think it's possible it will convince a few...

Image

I love this one, soooo close to space ;)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:40 pm
Sigurd wrote:
it will show ALSO to OTHER investors that it's possible to build a relative cheap space vehicle, what may convince them to invest in other teams...


You are probably right. This is the kind of argument espoused by people such as HARC team leader Tim Pickens, who has said "Burt may win the X Prize, but HARC has the best answer to the suborbital tourism market." Seetheir recent press releaseabout Rutan. Other teams seem to think along the same lines: Rutan will prove the concept, then we'll swoop in with a better vehicle and a business plan.

Also, don't forget two of the wild cards: 1. The X PRIZE CUP. (click here for info) If this becomes a reality, the sponsorship should be more than sufficient to pay for the vehicles (just look at NASCAR). 2. Celebrities. If a celebrity flies into space on one of these vehicles, the industry will get a ton of publicity and perhaps investment.


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