Interview MISSILES - SPACE MAGAZINE
Everyone now seen3.s to agree tlrat man will be a part of future aerospace systerns. But has the airplane itself any fuhrre?
Very definitely!. I believe that the airplane of tJre future, or better terrned the vehicle of tlre future, will be a natural.
evolution of the present-day airplane and as such will. have a trernendous future potential. The vehicle referred to will be one having the capabilities of flfrng in space as well. as in the outer fringes of the atrnosphere. Furtherrnore, such a vehicl.e wil.l be able to take off and land at any particular pre-deterrnined spot on earth. Such a vehicle, in rry opinion, constitutes a natural evolution'frorn the present state of the art into flight in space. of fundamental irnportance to such a vehicle is the retainment of a rnanned crew which will be abl.e to perforrn tJre duties of rnaneuvering the vehicle as well as rnaking judgrnents and spot decisions while in flight or in orbit.
In other words, you do not bd.ieve tJre F-105 will be the last
Certainly not. Right now we have design tearns working round-the-clock on at least t}ree different types of advanced rniLitary aircraft. on one we are tearned with chance vought to deveLop a flighter to rneet reguirernents of the two services; in Europe we are working with F okker on a vrol- fighter to rneet NATors needs, and at the sarne tirne we are at work on designs of an aircraft more than twenty tirnes the speed. of soundrc c c c c unfortunately, it is highly dassified and thatrs about alr r can say.
Does this mean that you consider beyond Mach 3?
it logical to develop aircraft
of course... but there is nothing 'w'e
so new or startling about have had any number of proposals and. designs in the class of interceptors, fighter-bombers and bornbers in the Mabh 3 areac our xF-103 was a Mach 3. ? aircraft and was within a year of fright test as long ago as 1958; then there is the B-?0 now being designed for Mach 3; the f'-108 was in this category.
Mis sile s/Space Interview 3.
Contrd Beyond Mach 3 there are a nurnber of feasible designs for military aircraft. The X-15, for exarnple, has already attained Mach 7. The fundamental problern is will they give enough tactical.
and strategical advaatage to meet the high cost of development. These are largely political and policy decisions. As an aeronautical engineer I can onLy say t}at such aircraft can be built aow.
I know that yourve given a Lot of thought to the rnatter. Therefore, what do you see ds the next two or three generations of aircraft?
Iffell, first we must rnention those aircraft now in development... the STOL version TFX fighter and the VTOL strike reconnaissance aircraft for NATO. Then, of course, at the ext'rerne end of the line we have the hytrrersonic pLane uihich, as I rnentioned., is highly
I.or the region of Mach 4.5 or some 2, 800 mph, a Long-ya11gg strategic bornber powered by nuclear ramjet engines and with a range of 8,500 rniles is cornpleteLy feasible and could probably be available for the period L970-1975.
Beyond that we rnust skip to the area of Mach 10 to 12. 'When we enter supersonic and hypersonic regirnes smaLl. increases in speed and performance are neither practicalr' nor econornical -thus, we move to Mach 10. We have done sorrle prelirninary design work on a 41 960 rnph bomber tJrat would be tailored for off-shore bombing missioas and long-range recoanaissancec
aircraft are feasible why arenrt
The decision whether to go into production on a particular generation is determined. by a great rnany factors other than technicaL feasibilitf" " . political, econornical, rnilitary, and so one In the versions mentioned, probably the cost didntt justify the end result. But the important point here is that we do not let this stop us frorn creating" Aircraft design is evolutionary and if we dontt keep up research and devel.opment, we naay face an embarrassing and even tragic situation at sorne future tirne"
Mi s sile s/Spac e Inte rview
To get back to the Mach 4.zs and Mach l0 aircraft, what kind of
our studies indicate that airplanes with projected fueled propulsion systems wouldntt rneet the tesired chemical of extreme range without introducing the compricated requirement staging. The solution, we feel., to l-ong-r"ogJ aircraftcolcept of the atmosphere 1ies with nuclear power. In the Mach flying witJrin 4,25 version, two nuclear rarrrjets would Power it during cruise with system used for take-off and. three auxilialy units for an auxiliary boost randing. The crew would 6e in a compartrnent shielded from tJre reactor, t&e electronics and armament payload.
rn the Mach r0 model where rong-range is not a reguirement, we combine conventionar. ramjet and turbojet power prants, latter being used for take-off, landing and aciel.eration to the Mach 3, when the ramjets take over.
rt appears to be feasible to,solve the high temperature problem by flying at high artitudes to reduce the heating rate and a rnulti-layet st-ructure with high temperatur.:iosulated. by designing by radiation. w'e are arso considering other techniques skin cooled be applied during transients such as tlanspiraiio'coolingwhich would and -----'6 e'ru ablation technigues. Do we face anv rnaterials lac
No, I do not think so. Io my o-pinion, our present structural engineering aad rrretaliurgy, t"g.ir., withknowledge -of the technological' advances that appear to b. comlrrg, #ould be sufficient to maintain our progresse r donrt mean to minimize the problem -much work remains to be done -- but it is wer.r within tl,e reakn of technical achievernentn
Mis sil.es/Space Interview Do you see any
civilian carry-over frorn the technical lessons
Yeso The technological by-product could be a transatlantic capabl.e of bringing Lond.on and Paris witJrin two-hour comrnuting distance of New York. Such aa aircraft would probably be powered by a rnulti-engiae chernical power plaat capable of carrying 120 passengers and moving at speeds three tirnes that of
sou:rdo Detailed aerodynarnic, therrnodynarnic and. d.esign studies rnade by us indicate tleat such an aircraft is within the realrn of current engineeripg.
As a step beyond a supersonic transport such as this, we can envision cornrnercial. airliners being built upon the lessons learned in developrnent of theb:ypersonic aircraft r rnentioned. 'we would, of course, have to tailor tJ:is design for cornrnercial use; reproportioaing the engines, etco r but techaically it could result in a practical vehicle for gl.obal air transportation. rts rEmge would be in the order of 11r 500 rniles alrd it would travel at approxirnately Maeh 10 (7,300 mph) or Mach tz 18r 500 rnph), carryiag sorre 200 passengerso
. A cornrnercial vehicle of such speed and range, bringing every point in the world within reasonable comrnuting distance of one another, would in my opinion have tremendous irnpact on hurnan relations. It would bring people together as they have never been before.