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B-58 Hustler for SpaceShipOne mother ship

Mount X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne under an old B-58 and launch it at mach 2
  (+14)(+14)
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The fuel/bomb pods on the old B-58 Hustler strategic bomber look to be about the same size as SpaceShipOne, the suborbital winner of the X-Prize. Instead of the slow launch plane they use now, if you could find a flying B-58 you could get up to mach 2 before you even lit SpaceShipOne's rocket. Might even double how high it would go. Richard Branson, who's taken a great interest in the SpaceShipOne program, could probably buy one of these with change he found in the love seat of one of his private jets. (Assuming he lets hundreds of thousand of dollars in spare change fall out of his pocket when he sits down, as all Billionaires should.)
doctorremulac3, May 21 2005

B-58 Hustler http://www.aerospac...mber/b58/b58_04.jpg
I'm going for a cup of tea now.......... [normzone, May 21 2005]

Perfomance specs - B-58 Hustler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-58_Hustler
[Klaatu, May 22 2005]

XB-70 Valkyrie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XB-70
[Laimak, May 22 2005]

[link]






       Larry Flynt is an aerospace advocate ? And the band that did "Rock Lobster" is involved ? I can hardly wait to see the paint job.
normzone, May 21 2005
  

       Another reason why space ... vast, empty domain ... doesn't appeal to me as it did when I was a kid: I want to ride slung under a B-58!
reensure, May 21 2005
  

       A far wealthier person than Branson already underwrites Spaceship One.
bristolz, May 21 2005
  

       I just remembered that researching an idea I had for the X prize is how I found the bakery.
I think my idea was a large expandible doughnut shaped balloon with a rocket engine at the center.
Funding would have been a minor problem, though.
Zimmy, May 21 2005
  

       You're going to use energy to get up there & go that fast either way. But it'd be a good idea if you're going up with the B-58 anyway. Kill two stones with one bird.
squogglewonker, May 21 2005
  

       Thank you for the link normzone. Beautiful shot.
doctorremulac3, May 21 2005
  

       The main purpose of the launch plane was altitude, not velocity, but a little extra speed never hurts.
5th Earth, May 22 2005
  

       Actually, this is a great idea. The service ceiling of the B-58 Hustler is over 13,000 feet higher than the White Knight<link>, and with the extra speed, they may be able to milk a bit more altitude out of SpaceShip One. [+]
Klaatu, May 22 2005
  

       Might as well pull an XB-70 Valkyrie out of the museum and use it. Was a beautiful plane and was retired due to a bad luck incident. See link.
Laimak, May 22 2005
  

       If the Valkyrie uses supersonic compression lifting for its high-flying, then you'd screw everything up by toting SpaceShip One under its belly.
RayfordSteele, May 23 2005
  

       B-58 looks like it'd work, though.
Zimmy, May 23 2005
  

       //XB-70 Valkyrie// Dad was a hydraulics engineer on the B-70 construction. As a wee lad I was allowed in the hangar, once, and thought it was God. Bring it back, please.
baconbrain, May 23 2005
  

       //under its belly//   

       Load it on top then.   

       SpaceShipOne is only 16.4 feet long, might even fit in the internal bay.
Laimak, May 23 2005
  

       //might even fit in the internal bay// Hmm, I can believe SpaceShipOne withstands supersonic speeds in flight, but zero to Mach2+ in the time it takes to open the bay doors?
TolpuddleSartre, May 23 2005
  

       I completely fail to comprehend your anno, [TolpuddleSartre]
Laimak, May 23 2005
  

       I was expecting a weight problem with this idea, but it turns out there’s 280kg to spare. However, intuitively (though I’m not qualified to say), I think there’s an aerodynamics problem. Spaceship One would ride *in* the shock wave of the B-58. This is bad, no?   

       Oh, and keep all doors and windows closed at mach 2 – dogs like to stick their head out.
Shz, May 23 2005
  

       [Laimak] I assume the bomb bay maintains zero airflow over its contents until the bay doors are opened. That is going to be one almighty shock hitting a lightweight structure in a very short time when they open - much shorter than the airframe would suffer if the spacecraft were to accelerate itself to that speed. Maybe I misunderstand aerodynamics, which, on the whole, is probably more than likely.
TolpuddleSartre, May 23 2005
  

       Bomb doors on a Concorde? (after all, the original idea was for a long-range, supersonic nuclear bomber as a development of the Vulcan) Mind you, Branson tried and failed to resurrect these too. Also, I agree that dropping the little plastic egg that makes up the fuselage of SS1 out into a Mach 2 airstream could rattle the windows a bit...
Jim'll Break It, May 24 2005
  

       you could use a b-58 if you climbed at a very steep angle at max throttle. once the air got too thin for you to get much useful thrust, the plane would coast in a arc. the top of the arc would be the slowest point in the plane's travel. if the ascent was steep enough, the top point speed would only be a few hundred mph, very favorable for launching eggs into space...
bobenhotep, May 28 2005
  

       What a fantastically thunderbird-style vehicle the B-58 is.
moomintroll, May 28 2005
  

       I think they're breathtaking to look at. I saw a documentary about the B-58 and all the macho, tough-guy pilots said it was the plane's beauty, first and foremost that drew them to want to fly it. One guy said: "It looked like it was going a hundred miles an hour just sitting on the tarmac."
doctorremulac3, May 28 2005
  

       [TolpuddleSartre] the B-58's "bomb bays" are open when it's carrying the pod, which protrudes. However I don't think this'd work easily because SS1 has wings (which the pods didn't).   

       [baconbrain] I assume you're still rummaging around NAA, sleeping behind packing crates, occasionally stopping to post something on the 'net when nobody's around. (I would be)   

       Without insulting the Limeys more than usual, the B-58 is easily in competition with the Vulcan in the "drop dead gorgeous" category.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       Best looking planes in each catagory:   

       WW1 = Sopwith Camel   

       Prop = P-51 (Spitfire, Mosquito, honorable mention)   

       Jet = B-58   

       5th generation jet - F-22   

       By the way, spell checker not recognizing "Sopwith"? Scandalous.   

       By the way again, that being said I'm a big fan of ugly. The P-47 "Jug" and the Hawker Hurricane actually won the war while their prettier sisters got all the acclaim.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  

       Propellers.....   

       Fighters:
inline engine: P51, Spitfire (Honourable Mention: Tomahawk)
radial engine: P47, FW109 (HM to Corsair)
rotary engine: Sopwith Camel
  

       Bombers: He-111, Mosquito   

       Jets.....   

       Fighter: not a real contest: F104D (HM F102)
  

       Bombers: Vulcan for sheer awesome grace, B58 for "Mach 1 while parked" look   

       Modern aircraft... yeah, sorry, the stuff from the '50s still rocks.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       I'd agree with the Starfighter but I'd throw Hawker Sea Fury at the front of the pack for radial engine planes. Even if it was an FW-190 ripoff.   

       I've also seen them race. Breathtaking.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  

       Even airliners: the deHavilland Albatross was quite graceful.   

       Some of the Russian Cold-War bombers were quite swoopy looking too. The (wwii) Mig-3 was overly aerodynamic-looking.   

       FW-109: looks like a dog with a big head - cute, but in a rather masculine way... why would you say the Sea Fury's a FW ripoff ?   

       The Vigilante's a bit old to be considered "modern" . . . for currently in service, I'd go with the Sukhoi: there's that graceful curve at the front.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       From the Wikipedia page: "In an unusual test program, live bears and chimpanzees were successfully used to test the ejection system."   

       How on Earth do you get a live bear into an ejector seat in the first place?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2012
  

       Dunno, but I'd guess you wouldn't get it into the seat twice, without some argument or a tranquilizer dart.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       //How on Earth do you get a live bear into an ejector seat in the first place?//   

       Very carefully.   

       Here's the story of the Sea Fury:   

       "On 23 June, 1942, Luftwaffe Pilot Oberleutnant Arnim Faber erroneously landed his Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3 fighter at RAF Pembrey, apparently having mistaken this airfield for a Luftwaffe channel coast airfield. The British were thereby presented with a working example of the Fw 190 fighter, which had been giving the RAF an extremely difficult time. The Hawker Fury design was a direct result of the examination of Faber's Fw 190A-3."   

       The pilot's story sounds a little suspicious. He might have "accidentally" landed in a place that would result in him surviving the war in an English POW camp as opposed to flying for the Luftwaffe until victory or death. Germany didn't have a 3rd retirement plan. Then again... this was after the Battle of Britain when a couple of thousand German pilots got killed in a totally failed campaign. Just sayin'.   

       By the way, yes, the FW-190 does look like a bulldog.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  

       The Hawker Tempest Mk.2 (predecessor of the Sea Fury) incorporated some captured FWs' canopy design and radial engine mounting features. The Fury would have gotten that second-hand I suppose. I don't think anything else was on it though.
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       Bun for mentioning the B58. But as beautiful and high performance as it was... the Hustler was cancelled because it was a pig to maintain, it cost 3x what a B52 did to keep flying.   

       You'd be able to gain on the original performance though... no cannon, no 1200lb 'computer' ...in fact no pilot... you could fly it remotely.
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2012
  

       over 100 aircraft produced isn't "cancelled".
FlyingToaster, Aug 04 2012
  

       Unless I'm mistaken the aerodynamics of separating a parasite craft at mach speeds are somewhat problematic, and haven't actually been solved yet.
MechE, Aug 04 2012
  

       Haven't heard anything about that. The B-58s under- pod was dropped at supersonic speed with no problem.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  

       ok, 'cancelled' wasn't a great word. But it was tricky to fly, harder to land, was an intensive user of in flight fuelling... it was pretty much unrecoverable in the event of a supersonic engine failure. These factors led to 20% of them crashing... which is a scary number no matter how you slice it, and would be a serious worry for a launch platform.   

       IT was retired from service pretty quickly, 10 years is nothing compared to the service lives of the B52/Vulcan/B1b/F111/B2 .
bs0u0155, Aug 04 2012
  

       I think there was also some questioning of the rationale of having a "supersonic dash" attack profile in the age of increasingly effective ground to air missile systems as well.   

       I also think the ICBM had for the most part reached it's present level of effectiveness so such an expensive nuclear weapons delivery system was hard to justify.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  

       I may be wrong, but I've read it on various parasitic launch sites. There is a significant difference between dropping a tumbling pod (even if it stabilizes during the fall), and separating a craft in a state where it can fire its own engines.
MechE, Aug 04 2012
  

       Well, I'd have to read your reference but I know that missiles are launched from supersonic aircraft. The Space Shuttle also ejects it's boosters at high supersonic speed. You may have to give the separating aircraft a kick though.
doctorremulac3, Aug 04 2012
  
      
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