Folded wing spaceships preferred for future flight

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rlb2

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Burt Rutins and pilot Melvil are on the threshold of space history. When I mentioned folded wind flight for spaceships over three years ago most everyone said it would never happen - well I'm back to humbly say I told you so.<br /><br />Below spaceship one trajectory map is one of my many designs of folded wing orbital re-entry craft I designed over three years ago, even before Burt Rutin incorporated it in his design. I used reusable sharp ceramics material in place of heat shield tiles for re-entry. <br /><br />If Spaceship one goes from a sub-orbital flight to orbital velocity then they would need a lot better heat shield for re-entry then it has now, which adds weight<br /><br />The next prize to be offered is going to be worth 50 million dollars to orbit the Earth with 7 passengers, which is a drop in the bucket for developing a spaceship to orbit the Earth and land safely back on earth and do it all over again within two weeks. <br /><br />Again - if anyone ever does it, it will be with a folded wing spaceship.<br /><br />Here is a trajectory map of Spaceship ones flight, notice the folded wings at re-entry.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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Folded wing re-entry design from over three years ago that I posted here at space.com. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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bobvanx

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Looks like you and Burt were sharing some ether-neurons, all right.
 
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rlb2

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We love that stuff. Burt is a doer, which silences the critics real fast. You were one of the original naysayers.....<br /><br />I told you so..........<br /><br />In a free fall position the center of gravity and center of mass is very important. Here is another one of my old designs. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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tgharris

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You got a web page for that?<br /><br />Also, do the wings fold flat against the hull during launch, then deploy at reentry, or are they rigid?
 
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bobvanx

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Naysayer?<br /><br />I?<br /><br />Surely you mistake me for another!
 
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rlb2

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In this design, the most stable part would have them closed with the wings stabilized against the side of the internal fuel tank with the wing tips locked together at ascent above x-amount of the atmosphere after release from the first stage. Upon descent the wing tips would disengage and assume it flight position with wings completely unfolded after slowing enough at a high enough altitude to become fixed into position.<br /><br />Here is an old CAD drawing of what it might look like just before landing.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<font color="yellow">Surely you mistake me for another!<font color="white"><br /><br />I might have, I didn't keep a list. Your name sounded familure, cant go back to the old SPC archives to dig that info out. There were a few who did like the idea at that time, especially the swept wing design. <br /><br />The point I am trying to make is that there is a huge saving for heat protection on preventing the amount of heat enveloping the wings at re-entry. Not only is this a safety hazard but a weight savings and maintance savings on replacing tiles that I sure folded wings will be employed in future spaceships unless there is a new method that wil prevent the heat buildup under the wings during descent.<br /></font></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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