Launch vehicles with strap on fuel tanks

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markododa

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Aside from the space shuttle and proton(if i remmember correctly) is there any other launch vehicle that uses strap on fuel tanks that are jettisoned during flight?, seems like a nice idea to simplify things.
 
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bdewoody

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Strap on fuel tanks are different from strap on boosters. The shuttle's strap on fuel tank provides no additional thrust, just the fuel to make the shuttles three main engines run. I'm not sure whether there are any other space launch vehicles that use this system. A lot of military aircraft use external fuel tanks though.
 
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bdewoody

Guest
Lots of ideas but only one actual operating system that I know of.
 
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vulture4

Guest
The only concept that used _only_ drop tanks was the Starclipper, a Space Shuttle phase A design from Lockheed. It looked a little like the X-33, a large triangular vehicle with the V-shaped tank surrounding it. It was not even given a Phase B by NASA because (pardon me while I roll on the ground laughing) because the tank was expendable and so it wasn't FULLY reusable, which was a NASA requiremnt for the Shuttle! Of course Rockwell bid a flyback first stage, then switched to the ET and SRBs when it became obvious there was no money to develop the flyback booster.
 
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scottb50

Guest
vulture4":12em7zi3 said:
The only concept that used _only_ drop tanks was the Starclipper, a Space Shuttle phase A design from Lockheed. It looked a little like the X-33, a large triangular vehicle with the V-shaped tank surrounding it. It was not even given a Phase B by NASA because (pardon me while I roll on the ground laughing) because the tank was expendable and so it wasn't FULLY reusable, which was a NASA requiremnt for the Shuttle! Of course Rockwell bid a flyback first stage, then switched to the ET and SRBs when it became obvious there was no money to develop the flyback booster.
If you strap on a drop tank you still have to get it off the ground, payload is about the only place to get the extra weight on most rockets that I know of.
 
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