Re: rutans roton, again
Sat, 9 Jan 1999 17:45:26 EST

In a message dated 99-01-09 15:01:29 EST, Mike Lorrey wrote:

> As for aircraft, the Pioneer Rocketplane's project, called the Pathfinder
> program, will take off from a runway with the kerosene loaded, and will
> be
> fueled with the liquid oxygen at 35,000 feet by a specially equipped tanker
> plane. The takeoff will be with two turbofan engines recessed in the wing
> roots

I believe they've slightly changed the design now: The turbofans are now at the tail on either end of the vertical stabilizer, where the Shuttle's OMS pods are. This gets rid of the need for intake shutters and eliminates the structural weakening caused by mounting the jets in the wing roots. (Remember how the early British jet designers were anamoured of engines in the wing root -- don't see much of that now . . .)

> I personally think that of all of the private reusable launcher programs
> this is the most likely to succeed, provided sufficient financing.

We should start a bet on this. (Actually, the X-Prize folks have.) My money's on the Roton, although I think both Pioneer and Kistler will make it soon after. Is this a great time, or what?

	Greg Burch     <>----<>
	   Attorney  :::  Director, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
	           "Good ideas are not adopted automatically.  They must
	              be driven into practice with courageous impatience." 
	                      -- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover