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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Uncooperative Tom

Stratolaunch

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Stratolaunch

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The aircraft has 385-foot wingspan and, powered by six Pratt & Whitney engines used on Boeing 747 aircraft, has a maximum takeoff weight of 1.3 million pounds. The Stratolaunch's wingspan is the largest in history, blowing away the previous record-holder (Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose) by 65 feet. Vulcan Aerospace says its Stratolaunch airplane will have an operational range of 2,000 nautical miles. Serving as a reusable first stage for rocket launches, the Stratolaunch system will be capable of delivering payloads to multiple orbits and inclinations in a single mission.

It will be a strange thing to land. Line up with the edge of the runway.

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So is there a pilot on one flight deck, and a co-pilot on the other?  And an alley-way through the inter-connecting wing structure if one goes funny?  This is fraught with comms problems....

 

 

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...I have experienced turbulence that I can't imagine that thing staying together in.  I know it must be well engineered - but I can just imagine the twisting and fatigue that the center wing section will be subject to is close to crazy.  Perhaps the weight of a suspended rocket will dampen things a bit, but the rocket should be gone about half way through the flight.  Then, it will have to hold together to get back home.  I bet they have some pretty strict ops limits on winds and turbulence.  I wonder if they will do flutter testing on it?  That could be fun to watch. ;)

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22 hours ago, P_Wop said:

So is there a pilot on one flight deck, and a co-pilot on the other?  And an alley-way through the inter-connecting wing structure if one goes funny?  This is fraught with comms problems....

 

 

Only one cockpit, on the starboard side. They must have decided to either put an observation deck on the other side or simply paint windows on the port side for aesthetics. Perhaps there is another cockpit over there...just in case they have a captain and first officer who don't like each other. 

  

 

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15 minutes ago, Mark K said:

Only one cockpit, on the starboard side. They must have decided to either put an observation deck on the other side or simply paint windows on the port side for aesthetics. Perhaps there is another cockpit over there...just in case they have a captain and first officer who don't like each other. 

  

Makes sense.  Actually the other position would be ideal for the spacecraft launch and mission control people, which is what I expect they did.  

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Curious why the horiz stabilizer tail isn't 1 piece like the P-38.  Would seem stronger.  Presumably they release the rocket before the engines light up?

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56 minutes ago, NaptimeAgain said:

Curious why the horiz stabilizer tail isn't 1 piece like the P-38.  Would seem stronger.  Presumably they release the rocket before the engines light up?

If what is there is strong enough a cross-member would only contribute drag.  I don't see a heck of a lot of clearance there anyway...and the video shows both ignition after release and a steep nose up maneuver just prior to release of the rocket. I would guess the idea is to induce a deceleration which might result in the payload going forward and down on release so they weren't worried about that at all.  Seems the way to go...rockets explode on ignition every now and again.   

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1 hour ago, Mark K said:

If what is there is strong enough a cross-member would only contribute drag.  I don't see a heck of a lot of clearance there anyway...and the video shows both ignition after release and a steep nose up maneuver just prior to release of the rocket. I would guess the idea is to induce a deceleration which might result in the payload going forward and down on release so they weren't worried about that at all.  Seems the way to go...rockets explode on ignition every now and again.   

Both this and coupling 2 flexible structures together leads to load paths that require additional structure. When each fuselage is allowed to react to gust and other loads individually, you have better control of loads. Sometimes it's good to be flexible.....

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Relax. There's two cockpits. One in each hull. If it splits up they can simply land separately. There is a YouTube video of a stunt pilot landing successfully, on the wheels even, after one wing came completely off. Simple!

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Daddle, that video of the stunt plane landing without the wing is a very clever hoax. Was done with an RC plane painted to match a real aircraft. Look for the de-bunked version.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Daddle, that video of the stunt plane landing without the wing is a very clever hoax. Was done with an RC plane painted to match a real aircraft. Look for the de-bunked version.

 

 

 

An Israeli pilot landed an F-15 (IIRC) with one wing missing from a SAM hit. It's on Youtube somewhere.

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20 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Daddle, that video of the stunt plane landing without the wing is a very clever hoax. Was done with an RC plane painted to match a real aircraft. Look for the de-bunked version.

Heh...good one...got me...seemed almost possible though.

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

An Israeli pilot landed an F-15 (IIRC) with one wing missing from a SAM hit. It's on Youtube somewhere.

Wasn't a SAM hit, it was a mid-air...

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4 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Both this and coupling 2 flexible structures together leads to load paths that require additional structure. When each fuselage is allowed to react to gust and other loads individually, you have better control of loads. Sometimes it's good to be flexible.....

  One of those counter-intuitive thingies...like the wings of a 310 being actually being less stressed by turbulence with full tip-tanks than if that weight were in the fuselage. At any rate we have to assume they got that part figured out and spent some time doing it. Hope so, or Scaled Composites has scaled themselves into a league they shouldn't be in. Those guys going this big is a wee bit troubling. I'd feel better if Boeing had done this.   

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:

  One of those counter-intuitive thingies...like the wings of a 310 being actually being less stressed by turbulence with full tip-tanks than if that weight were in the fuselage. At any rate we have to assume they got that part figured out and spent some time doing it. Hope so, or Scaled Composites has scaled themselves into a league they shouldn't be in. Those guys going this big is a wee bit troubling. I'd feel better if Boeing had done this.   

I heard they studied thousands of designs.

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3 hours ago, Mark K said:

  One of those counter-intuitive thingies...like the wings of a 310 being actually being less stressed by turbulence with full tip-tanks than if that weight were in the fuselage. At any rate we have to assume they got that part figured out and spent some time doing it. Hope so, or Scaled Composites has scaled themselves into a league they shouldn't be in. Those guys going this big is a wee bit troubling. I'd feel better if Boeing had done this.   

I know a lot of the engineers at Mojave. If you really want to innovate in aviation, it's a great place to be. You just want to commute from somewhere else.  Knowing Boeing, it would have been a 20 year development and would have had to be rebaselined about 6 times. 

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3 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

,,,  Knowing Boeing, it would have been a 20 year development and would have had to be rebaselined about 6 times. 

, and they would offload a lot of the development so they would have someone else to blame for delays

 

Without knowing anything about this project, 

I could speculate that some of the CF pieces may have been 'claved in one of B's very large ones,,

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Too often missle launches go sideways fast then go boom close to the launch pad. I'd be interested in the avoidance and safety list post launch.

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14 hours ago, Mark K said:

If what is there is strong enough a cross-member would only contribute drag.  I don't see a heck of a lot of clearance there anyway...and the video shows both ignition after release and a steep nose up maneuver just prior to release of the rocket. I would guess the idea is to induce a deceleration which might result in the payload going forward and down on release so they weren't worried about that at all.  Seems the way to go...rockets explode on ignition every now and again.   

Thanks for the explanations. 

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1 hour ago, Mike in Seattle said:

, and they would offload a lot of the development so they would have someone else to blame for delays

 

Without knowing anything about this project, 

I could speculate that some of the CF pieces may have been 'claved in one of B's very large ones,,

Would not surprise me but then again a number of companies have developed large scale composite structures as suppliers to the prime. For example, Triumph Group is building the 131' wing for the MQ-4C Triton (Navy Global Hawk) for NG. 

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8 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I know a lot of the engineers at Mojave. If you really want to innovate in aviation, it's a great place to be. You just want to commute from somewhere else.  Knowing Boeing, it would have been a 20 year development and would have had to be rebaselined about 6 times. 

Yes...I imagine Boeing wouldn't have completed this within Paul Allen's expected lifespan. And one-offs isn't their bag. Ludicrous money or no thank you very much. 

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2 hours ago, Mark K said:

Yes...I imagine Boeing wouldn't have completed this within Paul Allen's expected lifespan. And one-offs isn't their bag. Ludicrous money or no thank you very much. 

To be fair. Money for Boeing is design, assembly and life cycle support. With international offset agreements, they have to sub out a lot of structure already so why invest in capability that can be sent to a trusted first or second tier supplier, particularly when the politics of sales overseas means you have to send something to the locals to do. Boeing really does have pretty great supplier management. 

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8 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

To be fair. Money for Boeing is design, assembly and life cycle support. With international offset agreements, they have to sub out a lot of structure already so why invest in capability that can be sent to a trusted first or second tier supplier, particularly when the politics of sales overseas means you have to send something to the locals to do. Boeing really does have pretty great supplier management. 

I suspect they are only compelled to off-shore within their agreements with those countries to buy their commercial stuff, not extending to everything Boeing does. If there is a commercial market for the Strato they are probably happy to let Scaled Composites, unlikely they view those guys as a threat, do the development and copy-cat it down the road. Just my guess. 

 Nevertheless they have a great deal of experience in building the Big Stuff. Not that that is essential....

  Phoenix3.jpg

 

 

 

  

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7 hours ago, DRIFTW00D said:

Too often missle launches go sideways fast then go boom close to the launch pad. I'd be interested in the avoidance and safety list post launch.

 Going nose up anyway...the released payload will be going forward and down....My recommendation is split S.   

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