H.I.L.L.S. SPACE PLANE
H.I.L.L.S. SPACE PLANE
GOT WINGS? Horizontal launch is the Wright Stuff for reusable space launch. It opens aviation opportunities in the atmosphere too
GOT WINGS? Horizontal launch is the Wright Stuff for reusable space launch. It opens aviation opportunities in the atmosphere too Read more
About this project
LOW EARTH ORBIT IN A LOW BUDGET ECONOMY.
THE HILLS TEAM WILL BUILD A MODEL AIRPLANE TO DEMONSTRATE HORIZONTAL IN-LINE LAUNCH STAGING (HILLS)
A PROTOTYPE MODEL OF A REUSABLE MANNED SPACE PLANE
WHAT IS “HILLS”?
Rockets to space may launch and recover in several ways.
VERTICAL LAUNCH is in common use. These are traditional rockets that rely on massive thrust and huge amounts of fuel to fly straight up.
The Space Shuttle orbiter was damaged twice by booster malfunctions, motivating our desire to return to in-line staging as used on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. This places the crew on the upper stages, farther away from the booster during a launch malfunction. Capsules can separate with escape rockets in an emergency. The shuttle was attached adjacent to the booster and was dangerously close to booster violence.
Several good alternatives are being studied now. Flying to space with a winged aircraft is one method that has been studied for decades. We would like to keep HORIZONTAL LAUNCH AND RECOVERY alive as an option.
HORIZONTAL LAUNCH means flying a space plane from a runway, and horizontal recovery is also done by an aircraft landing on a runway like the space shuttle. Such proposals usually need two vehicle stages, with the larger booster carrying the orbiter underneath or on its back. These often expose both aircraft as a large frontal area of drag resistance. Others blend the orbiter in to the carrier, and gain no lift from the orbiter wings.
Horizontal In Line Launch Staging (HILLS) offers staging on a common center line to reduce drag and mass for fully reusable space operations. The upper orbiter stage is installed on the front of the booster aircraft for aerodynamic and safety advantages. When joined both craft contribute to lift, allowing a smaller booster stage. Wings add value on both the ascent and descent phases of the mission. They allow us to reuse the entire vehicle instead of throwing it away on each flight. They let us take off and land gently on a runway without parachutes, water landings, or dangerous rocket powered vertical landings. This adds both comfort and safety for passenger operations.
REDUCED DRAG SOLUTION ILLUSTRATED
THE HILLS TEAM PROPOSES TO DESIGN AND BUILD A 5 FOOT WINGSPAN MODEL OF A REUSABLE ROCKET PLANE TO DEMONSTRATE THE HILLS ADVANTAGE FOR SPACE ACCESS.
STEP ONE: HOP Highly Optimistic Prototype will have a 5 ft. span by 6 ft. length. Powered by ducted fan motors and Estes rockets, it will offer the staged flight demonstration .
We plan to build a basic prototype for flight testing. A second prototype will add landing gear and more features. It will provide a second flight vehicle and also serve as a display model. Designs will lead to blueprints for models that can be built by supporters later. Alternative upper stages may be developed to target non-space applications in the drone market.
A PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATE WILL BE UPDATED SHORTLY:
Here are some costs of a typical ducted fan model production kit:
AIRFRAME $250.00 +ESC $120.00 +EDF $300.00 +BATTERIES $40.00 +SERVOS $72.00 +RADIOS $50.00 =ONE STAGE= $832.00
ORBITER $800.00 +BOOSTER $800.00 +DRONE $800.00 =ASSEMBLY=$2,400.00
ONE TEST MODEL= $2,400.00 +DISPLAY OR BACKUP MODEL $2,400.00 =TOTAL AIRCRAFT= $4,800.00 (IF NO CRASHES)
TRAILER IS BUILT BUT WE STILL NEED A CATAPULT LAUNCHER.
Real world costs will pass these production models quickly while rewards and shipping will also drain the collection plate. After flight and video production We will travel to trade and air shows. It will probably consume the total $10,000 in time to pull some more of my own money in long before we are done. And patent lawyers may still have new inventions along the way too. We want to build an airplane model and a business model at the same time.
reference data: http://www.nitroplanes.com/edfjets.html
STEP TWO: SKIP Scaled Kinda Intermediate Prototype is a 10 ft. span by 12 ft. length. This is not to be built with this Kickstarter funding, but will follow if funding continues past our basic goals. It really needs angel funding or corporate partnership. But this is a prototype with potential for sounding rocket and other missions for several customer needs. We are gathering corporate and university teamwork to engineer this project.
WINGED SPACE LAUNCH IS A VIABLE OPTION
Several horizontal launch or landing space planes are being built now, but none are fully reusable orbital systems. Blended wing bodies are considered efficient, and may be ideal for both horizontal launch and recovery. In-line staging can further reduce drag while using lift from both stages. This will yield a smaller lighter system.
THE COST OF SPACE ACCESS MUST COME DOWN
We can not afford to overlook alternative solutions to the problem. This is the only proposal now being openly considered for fully reusable orbital horizontal launch and recovery. It is a logical option for smaller crewed missions, especially for the comfort and safety of civilian passenger flights. We can no longer afford "expendable" systems that throw away the launch vehicles every time we launch payloads to space.
CAN WE BUILD THIS? YES; WE HAVE BEEN BUILDING IT!
FIRST UNPOWERED GLIDER FLIGHT MAY 14, 2010
SECOND STAGE DROP TEST JUNE 14, 2011
DESIGN AND UTILITY PATENTS PENDING
OUR INVESTMENT TO DATE:
LABOR HOURS: 3602
@ $40 PER HOUR = $144,076.80
CASH INVESTMENT: $ 19,120.04
TOTAL INVESTED TO DATE: $163,196.84
David Luther Design, Management
Roxanne Cottrell Master model builder
Don Eyermann Aero Manufacturing Engr
Vince Jenkins Systems & Controls
Scott Wertel Engineer, Alibre CAD
Andrew Rush Patent Law
Susan McDonald Wyoming Team Leader
HERE IS OUR TEAM AND OUR FLOWN PROTOTYPES:
PREVIOUS MODELS FROM ROXANNE COTTRELL
NOT BAD FOR MODELS HUH?
OUR TEAM CAN BUILD A MODEL AIRPLANE THAT DEMONSTRATES IN-LINE STAGING IN FLIGHT. MORE IMPORTANTLY WE CAN BUILD THE BUSINESS MODEL THAT GROWS WITH THE PROJECT.
We have customer needs targeted for even the first flight models. The first prototypes are aimed at a real commercial target. Those flights will demonstrate several new tools the market has never seen. The next generation prototypes will be larger and aimed directly at production. We’ll sell the small steps before we ask for the big ones.
If you want to see safe comfortable and affordable space flight in the future, you can help build that future. Regular service to low earth orbit depends on truly reusable systems. We need to keep this viable option alive with flying hardware demonstrations.
You are the key; partner with us through your Kickstarter donations. Earn a place on the team, and fly your own part of history in the making.
REUNITE AERO AND SPACE!
Americans pioneered winged flight, we will not abandon the good lessons of the past. The X-15 and Shuttle orbiters will give us lessons again. The atmosphere is part of every journey to space, we can use it instead of fighting it. Join us on line and add to our team effort!
A MODEL AIRPLANE is a good first step, and it is affordable. We need to take this step if we want to go on from here to bigger things. Of course we want to go on to bigger things!
THE NEXT GENERATION: WHERE WE GO NEXT. We have already established a pattern of building and flying in stages. We are looking ahead to a bigger project that will bridge the gap from model airplanes to amateur rocketry…A FULLY REUSABLE SOUNDING ROCKET
This larger design proposes turbine engines and high power rockets as propulsion. That vehicle targets a ten foot wingspan, and a probable wet mass near 200 lbs at launch. It will require sophisticated guidance systems and government approval for launch licenses. This will be a first rate aerospace engineering exercise. There are some interesting market potentials for a reusable sounding rocket, and more applications to follow.
We won’t ask for funding for that project at this point. We will deliver a small step closer to the goal and present or results to a new investor offering. Our rewards program encourages industrial donations with inside information on future plans in the deal. If you have interest in taking the next step, check out the potential for those sponsor and donor packages. How long will it take to grow an industry that can deliver viable orbital launches?
Volunteer design and fabrication services by aerospace students and professionals may be more valuable than cash donations. If you care about the future of space development, help us validate a viable option for increased access to space.
WORDPRESS: Exodus Aerospace
Facebook group: OrionCraft
WANT TO TRY IT OUT? BUILD THE GLIDER! Both aircraft can balance and still fly balanced when joined together. Blueprints are one of the perks offered to donors.
WE HAVE BEEN HOLDING OUT ON YOU: THE "ZANGER"
This is the "next generation" cruise missile. Actually it is an easy build plywood model with radical lines so we named it something like the Sanger skip bomber. We are offering the blueprints only, but the Autocad Files can be sent directly to laser cutting for easy build. No compound curves and light weight may offer great flights.
ZANGER HAS THE SAME AIRFOIL WITHOUT THE COMPOUND CURVES. This is a good flight representation of the HILLS system at a smaller more affordable scale.
NOTE: All blueprints, images, plans, data, and the like are provided for personal, non-commercial, novelty use ONLY. All rewards are offered "AS IS" and are not subject to any warranty, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We are not liable for damage cause by rewards, or damage you cause in using such rewards. All images contained herein and in rewards are copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be distributed, modified, reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission of the patent and copyright holder.
© 2013 David Luther. All Rights Reserved
Risks and challenges
We started contributing design services to rocket projects over ten years ago. We have met experts with propulsion solutions, but none with the airframe solutions to match. After applying for a patent to solve this need we have gathered the talent for building a good model.
We have built and flown two models already and this one will advance the scale and mechanical features. We have professional engineers, modelers, and designers, so we will work the problems as they come. See our Exodus Aerospace blog for years of performance history on the job. We are persistent and consistent to complete our projects. Similarly we have chronicles on the Facebook group "OrionCraft". My own model building is augmented by Roxanne's career building models for aerospace and movie industries. We can do this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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