On Mon, 1 Mar 1999, Randall Randall wrote:
> Having just watched the Roton rollout (www.rollout.org), I must
> say that this prototype, at least, doesn't look exactly like the
> "artist's impressions" on the Rotary Rocket site. The top of the
> rocket, where the rotors are attached, did not look as if it would
> support the idea of launching with the rotors folded down. I wonder
> if they ditched that idea, and plan to launch with rotors out?
> Wouldn't that put a lot of stress on the hub?
This is just the ATV (Aerial Test Vehicle) to test approach and landing, the basic airframe, control software and the like (as well as proving to investors that they can deliver a product on time and under budget). They have 3 more airframes under construction: 1 for ground testing (my guess is structural, fueling and heating tests) and the PTV I and PTV II (Propulsion Test Vehicle). PTV I will use a small conventional rocket motor and fly sub-orbital to test the structure, TPS, attitude control, and the rotor folding (yes, they will still fold the rotor for take-off). PTV II will be the final prototype, testing the rotary engine all the way to orbit.