Stratolaunch Systems, a Paul G. Allen project, is developing an air-launch system that will revolutionize space transportation by providing orbital access to space at lower costs, with greater safety and more
flexibility. Delivering payloads in the 10,000lbm class into low earth orbit, the system allows for maximum operational flexibility and payload delivery from several possible operational sites, while inimizing mission constraints such as range availability and weather.
Developing nation: United States of America.
Manufacturer/designer: Scaled Composites/Burt Rutan.
Type aircraft: Six-engine carrier aircraft.
First flight: 2016.
Stratolaunch Systems is a space transportation venture specializing in air launch to orbit, with its corporate headquarters located in Huntsville, Alabama. It was founded in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan, who had previously collaborated on the creation of SpaceShipOne.
The air-launch system is made up of four primary elements: a carrier aircraft, a multi-stage booster, a mating and integration system, and an orbital payload. Initial efforts will focus on unmanned payloads; however, human flights will follow as safety, reliability, and operability are demonstrated.
Stratolaunch Systems has assembled a team of innovative aerospace leaders to build and deliver a commercial air launch system.
Scaled Composites will build the carrier aircraft; SpaceX will provide the booster and space launch mission design and mission integration services; Dynetics will provide program management and systems engineering and integration, as well as test and operations support to Stratolaunch; Dynetics will also build the mating and integration system hardware. Stratolaunch Systems headquarters are in Huntsville, Alabama, and its aircraft hangar is in Mojave, California.
The carrier aircraft, built by Scaled Composites, weighs more than 1.2 million pounds and has a wingspan of 117 m (385 feet) – greater than the length of a football field. The carrier aircraft will be the largest aircraft ever constructed.and will weigh in at over 540,000 kg (1,200,000 pounds). The aircraft will be powered by 6 × 46,000-66,500lb thrust range Turbine Engines planned to be sourced from Boeing 747 engines and other components (flight deck, landing gear) from the 400-series The air-launch system requires a takeoff and landing runway that is, at minimum, 3,700 m (2,000 feet) long. The carrier aircraft can fly over 2,100 km (1,300 nautical miles) to reach an optimal launch point.
SpaceX’s multi-stage booster is derived from the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. At approximately 36.57 m (120 feet) long, The launch vehicle will have a launch mass of approximately 220,000 kilograms (490,000 lb) and will have the goal of inserting a 6,100 kilograms (13,000 lb) payload into low Earth orbit. After release of the booster from the aircraft at approximately 30,000 feet, the first stage engines ignite and the spacecraft begins its journey into space. After the first stage burn and a short coast period, the second stage ignites and the orbital payload proceeds to its planned mission. The booster’s health and status during flight is monitored from the carrier aircraft and on the ground.
Mating and Integration System
Built by Dynetics, the mating and integration system (MIS) provides the single interface between the carrier aircraft and the booster. The MIS includes all systems required for the booster to interface with the carrier aircraft, including mechanical, electrical, thermal, fluids, and gases. The MIS is designed to safely and securely carry a booster weighing up to roughly 500,000 pounds. The MIS will secure the booster to the carrier aircraft, from taxiing to flight maneuvers to release of booster. In the case of a mission abort, the MIS will keep the booster secure during return to base and landing.
- Wingspan: 117 m (385 ft)
- Gross weight: 544,311 kg (1,200,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 6 × 46,000-66,500lb thrust rangeTurbine Engines planned to be sourced from a Boeing 747
Source and image Stratolaunch Systems.
CVA-58 USS United States
After the second World War, the new enemy of the US was the Soviet Union, and the age of the atomic weapons began.
The only way to deploy those weapons was to drop them from an aircraft, when such an aircraft had to launch from an aircraft carrier it would need an action-radius of 3700 km. to reach all targets. With a load of 5,1 tons and a large fuel-load the intended aircraft needs a takeoff speed of approximately 500 knots and a wingspan of more than 35 meters and a takeoff total weight of 45 tons.
No existing aircraft carrier could launch such an aircraft, and the navy would need a totally flat carrier, that meant no masts, electronics would have to be placed on escort ships.
At first it was tought hangers were not needed but the low and long hull would be to heavy so the decision was made to design an armored deck above the hanger, the deck would be a reinforcement for the hull.
On the ship 16 – 24 bombers would be placed along with some 50 fighters (McDonnell F2H Banshee).
The name of the first ship in the class would be “United States”
A few days after the Keel-Plate was layed in April 1949 the build was cancelled by the secretary of Defence after a succesfull lobby of the Air Force.?
|Built by:||Newport News|
|Gone into service:||Never completed|
|Water displacement:||68250 tons (standard)80500 tons (loaded)|
|Length:||314,2 m. (waterline)331,8 m. (total)|
|load water-line:||10,5 m. (loaded)|
|Number of aircraft:||70-80|
|Flight deck:||315,4 x 58 m.|
|Arms:||8x 127 mm (2x double 4x single) 16x 76 mm (8x double) and 20x 20 mm cannons|
|Engine:||Steam turbines with cog wheel transferring, 8 x boilers and 4 x propellers|
|Speed:||33 knots (61,13 km/h / 37,99 mph)|
|Max. Fuel stock:||11200 tons|
|Action radius:||22200 km. at 27,79 km/h / 11987,31 miles at 17,27 mph|
|Armoring:||38 mm (Vertical sides) 19 mm (hanger walls) 50 mm (flight-deck) 38 mm (hanger and protection-deck)|
CVB-41 USS Midway
|Built by:||CVB-41 Midway: Newport News
CVB-42 Franklin D. Roosevelt: New York Naval Yard
CVB-43 Coral Sea: Newport News
|Gone into service:||CVB-41 Midway: September 10th 1945
CVB-42 Franklin D. Roosevelt: October 27th 1945
CVB-43 Coral Sea: October 1st 1947
|Water displacement:||47700 tons (standard)48250 tons (loaded)|
|Length:||274,5 m. (waterline)295,2 m. (total)|
|load water-line:||9,9 m.??? (standard)10,6 m. (loaded)|
|Number of aircraft:||136|
|Flight deck:||281,8 x 34,5 m.|
|Arms:||18 x 127 mm and 84 x 40 mm (21x quadruple) cannons|
|Engine:||Steam turbines with cog wheel transferring, 12 x boilers and 4 x propellers|
|Speed:||33 knots (61,13 km/h / 37,99 mph)|
|Max. Fuel stock:||10200 tons|
|Action radius:||33340 km. at 27,79 km/h / 20720,94 miles at 17,27 mph|
|Armoring:||193 mm (vertical port-side), 178 mm (vertical starboard-side) 89 mm (flight-deck), 50 mm (Hanger-deck), 44-50 mm (protection-deck)|