The droptank looks sad. You can tell, even with three eyes (and enormous ears).
The EU is funding a radical German design for an exo-atmospheric rocketliner capable of making a daily run from Europe to Australia in ninety minutes. The plans might even include winged glider droptanks, recovered in midair after use by aerial tugs. The bad news is, the ship isn't realistically expected in service until 2075 …
I'd expect massive changes so 99% of anything even thought of now will be useless to the actual craft when it's built.. seems like throwing money away (I know it's only a couple of million).
Why not fund small steps now more and maybe we'll have something like this being practical in 25 years (engine replacements every 25 flights? last 100 flight and have extra planes to tow back the tanks.. err NEVER going to be environmentally efficient and prob 10 times the cost of a Concorde flight).
"That's just the droptank. Wait 'til you see the ship."
Does the mock-up of the ship also look like it was done using an Atari ST painting package?
All this horsing around with 15 minutes of sub-orbital weightlessness is a waste of time and money. Why doesn't the EU actually slip Reaction Engines and others with some concrete proposals the cash they need to produce something which won't merely be shown off to the press as examples of "vibrant creativity" or, in the case of the stupid 1000mph rocket car charade, endeavours "inspirational to future generations" (of zero attention span children who might look up from their phone or console for a couple of seconds before continuing towards their destiny as part of whatever lightweight service industry has been prioritised by the vacuous government of the day)?
"Passengers would experience several minutes of weightlessness......"
During which you get to sit there apprehensively watching the gobs of vomit from first-timers doing their lavalamp impressions in the air above you, in the full and certain knowledge of what's going to happen when those weightless minutes are up.
No time for more than a couple of quick G 'n' Ts during flight. Barely time for a 'coupling' for the 500-mile-high club.
Bright side? I'll be a spirit in the sky well before it gets off the ground. Guess I'll get a great view (unless it fires up from UK, in which case, the "wrong kind of clouds" will bugger it for me.)
What happened to Reaction Engines antipodean rocketliner Skylon derivative (A2, I think it was called) that was being investigated under LAPCAT? That only had a lead time of about twenty years, and was a hell of a lot better thought out. This is pretty damn amateurish by comparison.
I remember an interview on TV when Concorde was just coming into service, and Barnes Wallis pooh-poohed the design as antiquated, becuase he had already designed a sub-orbital airliner to reach Australia in about 2 hours or so. Someone needs to look up his designs and make it happen!
Not the ridiculous timescale, but the drawing.
When NASA wanted to get Joe Sixpack interested in space they went to Colliers and commissioned magnificent works of art of Werner von Braun's dreams (the ones that didn't involve screaming starving slaves). When Britain was still in the space race, kids could see the Blue Streak wedged in the middle of their Eagle comics with every part from the 0.075" thruster grommit lovingly labelled and described.
The we got Gerry Anderson hacking Airfix tanks into Eagles, UFO Interceptors and strange purple wigs. Space was exciting, and - in the case of 'UFO', slightly kinky.
Not even a whiff of dry ice.
I wouldn't give them a penny until they come up with the X100 Fireblade-Eins - a swoopy thing depicted roaring out of Heathrow in BOAC colours in an artwork so exciting it will moisten even the stoniest of Euro gussets.
Then they can have a squillion quid. Just so long as Richard Branson isn't allowed anywhere near it.
So they think they'll have 67 years of scamming people for "more cash" before they finally tell folks that they can't deliver because the moon isn't in the right phase? Sounds like a lot of "flying car" or "floating city" projects I know of.
2075??? NASA are capable of doing this now - it's the Transatlantic Abort Landing for the space shuttle. Basically aborting the launch after they've commenced and landing halfway round the world. Granted they haven't tried it yet, but I'm pretty sure they'll have some spare Orbiters kicking around with not much to do in a few years. Give it a try, convert the cargo bay into a passenger bay and away you go.
Failing that, hitch a ride on the back of an ICBM. Might be a rough landing tho... and spark all out war... but hey, these are just niggles to be ironed out.
How can they mention that development time?
Aitravel itself is slightly older then 100 years and look at the development done in that time.
To slap a development time of that many years on an idea is unrealistic if people are serious about it.
The time would be more realistic if it's an average of development time and the time it takes to do the politics.
The most likely problem with the time element (over 60 years) is most likely a budgetary one. Nobody has the dollars/euros/pounds to spend on this thing.
I will note that the idea is not new. The Germans have been attempting to do this for about 60 years anyway. Never got far off the idea stage.
By pure chance I came across this web page about Buckminster Fuller with this statement.
"How can they justify large research and development budgets for next year if it were visible that the original technical gains were accruing exclusively to society from the individual preoccupations and initiatives existing entirely outside of massive government and massive corporate manufacture and distribution? The self-deceit of democracy at this moment in history by its professionally advertised aggrandisement of the "corporate image" with reputed impeccability of super-inventiveness may be the undoing of democracy's case until another century has washed away this miasmic fallacy. Not only have these professional word- and picture-factories manufactured the greatest and most persuasively erroneous myths, but they also have robbed our heritage of word- and picture-language of its incisively exquisite effectiveness."
In 2002 I got to speak to a European Commissioner who told me that it is nowadays impossible to gain funding as an individual. The end result is that we get these sort of totally ridiculous proposals and they get funded. Dreadful waste of money.
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