Re: XCOR Aerospace Begins Manned Flight Testing

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Wed Aug 01 2001 - 13:05:46 MDT

Mike Lorrey wrote:
> DITTO. How much d'ya think they'd charge to ride a two seater?

I'll pass on these questions & more to Jeff & get the official company
line. (I try to avoid speaking for the corporation since that's Jeff's
job, and I don't want to muddy the waters.) Alas, the back seat of the
EZrocket is occupied by the LOX tanks, although a future mod with
pump-fed propellants might be able to reclaim the back seat. I would
get one of the first rides, of course- one of the perks of the job.

That said, Oshkosh was a lot of fun, I met Chuck Kuecker and one other
extropian, SJ Van Sickle I think. Forgive me if my memory for names was
a bit saturated. It's a shame we didn't get Chuck Yeager and Scott
Crossfield to come by, though. One of the hardest things was convincing
people that it is indeed a rocket, not a pulsejet or turbojet; the small
size of the engine itself was also surprising to many. Photos of rocket
engines running show the shock diamonds in the exhaust, and a lot of
people didn't understand that they are a stable pattern until we did
some demo runs with the 15 lbf engine.

Pilots would give a knowing laugh when I said, "With 800 pounds of
thrust in a 1700 pound gross aircraft, it accelerates to Vne [for
nonpilots that's never exceed speed], then pulls up to stop
accelerating. After 2 minutes, it's over 12,000 feet, still at Vne, and
a climb angle of 40 degrees." Since GA pilots are generally very power
limited, they tend to drool over fighter aircraft-like performance.
It'll be a hit on the airshow circuit.

For more info and pics:

The press articles are a bit garbled about the number of engines and the
duration; for the record, it's designed for two 400 lbf engines, carries
about 470 lb of LOX & 99% Isopropanol, and should get about 2:20
duration at full throttle, 4:40 at 50%. For the first flight and while
on display at Oshkosh, it had only one engine mounted- we plan to do a
design update, fabricate new engines, and install them for more flight
tests in about three weeks.

We'll have more pics up on our site Real Soon Now (after we catch up on
other things). The human eye is far more versatile than even a digital
camera; the shock diamonds were clearly visible and the plume was not as
wide is it appears (overexposed) in the images.

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber
XCOR Aerospace

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