Missiles.

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TheGreenGoblin
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Re: Missiles.

#41 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat May 02, 2020 5:13 pm

The USAF have toyed with ALBM launch possibilities for some time... and successfully proved the viability of the concept...

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ian16th
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Re: Missiles.

#42 Post by ian16th » Sat May 02, 2020 7:21 pm

In 1962 we did an exercise where we kept one Vulcan airborne with sufficient fuel to head for somewhere in the Warsaw Pact.

This was done with re-fuelling by 214 Sqdn Valiant's. We readied 3 a/c to launch 2, every 8 hours for 2 weeks.
We didn't have any extra heads, we split the existing heads into 3 shifts.
We were in a mess at the end. Nearly every a/c on the Sqdn was knackered and we bodies were.
I was way too junior to be informed of any post-mortem conclusions, but it was blindingly obvious that to do the job permanently needed many more a/c and heads.
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Re: Missiles.

#43 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sat May 02, 2020 8:28 pm

ian16th wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 7:21 pm
In 1962 we did an exercise where we kept one Vulcan airborne with sufficient fuel to head for somewhere in the Warsaw Pact.

This was done with re-fuelling by 214 Sqdn Valiant's. We readied 3 a/c to launch 2, every 8 hours for 2 weeks.
We didn't have any extra heads, we split the existing heads into 3 shifts.
We were in a mess at the end. Nearly every a/c on the Sqdn was knackered and we bodies were.
I was way too junior to be informed of any post-mortem conclusions, but it was blindingly obvious that to do the job permanently needed many more a/c and heads.
+1

It required a lot of money, persistence and a lot of men of your endurance and calibre...

Could have been done though...
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OTRAG and the Congolese Space Programme...

#44 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon May 04, 2020 6:16 am

Orbital Transport-und-Raketen Aktiengesellschaft, Germany. Manufacturer of rocket engines and rockets. $200 million was spent from 1975-1987 by Lutz Kayser in a serious attempt to develop a low-cost satellite launcher using clusters of mass-produced pressure-fed liquid propellant modules. The project was finally squelched by the German government under pressure from the Soviet and French?
In the early 1970's Willy Brandt's Ministry of Science and Technology solicited a contract for demonstration of launch vehicle technology an order of magnitude cheaper and more reliable than existing boosters. Lutz Kayser's research company won the contract and developed a radically new rocket technology, making more than 20 inventions in the process.

Kayser's concept involved the parallel clustering of large numbers of identical propellant tank and rocket engine modules. This allowed the application of mass production techniques as used in the automobile industry. This in turn resulted in cost reduction by a factor of 10. This breakthrough and the static testing in of prototype modules at Lampoldshausen stirred concern in the competitive aerospace industry. The established space launch companies were accustomed to making easy guaranteed profits through high cost plus fixed fee government contracts.

In order to exploit this low-cost rocket technology on a commercial basis Kayser founded OTRAG (Orbital Transport und Raketen AG) in Stuttgart. It was the world's first commercial launcher development, production and launch company.

Wernher von Braun and Kurt Debus, the leading managers of American rocketry, were so enthusiastic about the project that they joined the team after their retirement from NASA. Their contribution was important and helped to introduce lessons learned from earlier programs. Von Braun introduced the concept of parallel clustering of tanks and engines with his Saturn I design. This had shown the way towards the low-cost breakthrough 20 years earlier. However, both rocket pioneers were in doubt whether this technology should be flight tested in developing countries because of the possibility that it would be misused for weapons. Kayser optimistically hoped he would be able to limit the technology to commercial satellite launchings. He was to be proven wrong and suffered heavy financial losses as a result.

In December 1975 OTRAG signed an agreement with the Congolese government to establish a rocket range at Shaba (Katanga). Here a pad and gantry were erected and flight tests began in 1977. Logistic support was via antique British Argosy transports landing at a dirt strip on a plateau overlooking the jungle.
Full story and rocket specifications here

Argosy.JPG
Argosy.JPG (18.45 KiB) Viewed 32 times

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More of a Zairian space programme...

#45 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon May 04, 2020 7:23 am

Showing my age and hearkening back to the Congo as it was.
In the face of doubts by Debus and von Braun, Kayser chose in 1975 to set up testing and launch facilities in Shaba, Zaire (now Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Debus and von Braun were concerned about the possibility of Zairian acquisition of missile technology from the facilities. Kayser decided to proceed despite their opposition.
OTRAG

Nonetheless the Congolese quest for space is not yet over...

CongoSat


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