Stratolaunch: a new level of American hypersonic aircraft


The End of the Beautiful Era



The founder of the American venture aerospace company Paul Allen (many probably remember him as a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation) died on October 15, 2018 at the age of 65. Together with him, the idea of ​​creating a universal tool for launching spacecraft by the air start method went away — when the separation of a rocket or a spaceship from the carrier occurs at a significant height, after which the spacecraft gets to its destination on its own.

The main brainchild of Stratolaunch Systems can be called the Scaled Composites aircraft developed by the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch Model 351 aircraft, which was supposed to act as the very carrier. To fulfill the complex role, the machine received a two-body design and six Pratt & Whitney PW4056 twin-circuit turbojet engines. With a wingspan of 117 meters, the aircraft can, with certain reservations, be called "the largest in the world." Well, or certainly - the widest. And he can lift into the air as a payload a mass of 250 tons.

Stratolaunch's plans, it must be said, were truly Napoleonic. In 2018, the company showed the concepts of new spacecraft to launch from a carrier aircraft. It was a Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV) rocket with a carrying capacity of 3,4 tons, an MLV Heavy rocket capable of carrying six tons and a Space Plane, similar to the notorious Boeing X-37. Stratolaunch said it sees Space Plane as a reusable ship.


All this seemed too good to be true. Rather, too ambitious. In January 2019, it became known that Stratolaunch abandoned the creation of rockets and engines, leaving, however, with it the design of the carrier aircraft. The company also laid off some employees: according to sources, 50 people fell under the reduction.

Further problems went on increasing, although on April 13, 2019, after long ground tests, the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch Model 351 nevertheless took to the skies. Already in May, it became known that Stratolaunch is in the process of closing and will sell all of its physical assets and intellectual property rights. Soon a buyer was found.

At the service of Uncle Sam?


Further история looks like a detective. In December 2019, The Drive wrote that the new owner of the Stratolaunch project was a person close to Donald Trump and connected with the US military-industrial complex. We are talking about billionaire Steve Feinberg, who owns Cerberus Capital Management. This is an investment company engaged in the purchase of troubled companies with a view to their further reorganization and profit. To make it clear, over the past few decades, Cerberus Capital Management bought such well-known manufacturers as Remington and Bushmaster.

Experts then almost directly associated this with the development of hypersonic weaponsbeing actively conducted now in the USA. Another is more interesting. Long before that, Quartz specialists stated that the Stratolaunch Model 351 was a secret military project. The argument is simple: an air launch has never been, is not, and probably will not be in demand from commercial firms. Especially, in light of the active development of rocket scientists such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. So from the point of view of the stated goals, the project was probably initially devoid of any meaning. But the presence of a carrier aircraft made it possible to put military spacecraft into orbit, without reference to weather conditions and the readiness of the spaceport.


Current state


Back in 2018, it became known that Stratolaunch is working on hypersonic rocket planes. As it was reported then, at first they want to develop a small Hyper-A device with a length of 8,5 meters and a wingspan of 3,4 meters. It will be designed to fly at a speed six times faster than the speed of sound. Then Stratolaunch intends to build a larger Hyper-Z with a length of 24,4 meters and a wingspan of about 11 meters. It will fly at a speed above the speed of sound ten times.

The devices are planned to be equipped with deltoid wings with a large sweep along the leading edge. At the wingtips, vertical stabilizers and rudders will be placed. Both devices should receive liquid-propellant rocket engines running on a hydrogen / oxygen fuel mixture, but the prospects for creating engines are all the more obscure after a formal abandonment of their development. Hyper-A and Hyper-Z should land like regular planes, which dramatically increases their versatility.


One would think that both hypersonic rocket planes have sunk into oblivion, in the wake of the rockets mentioned above. However, it is not. In January 2020, Stratolaunch confirmed the development of hypersonic aircraft. “Stratolaunch is studying the development of aerospace vehicles and the technologies needed, including for reliable, regular access to space. This study includes an analysis of the need to significantly expand the country's capabilities in the design and operation of hypersonic vehicles, ”said company representative Art Pettigrew in a statement sent to GeekWire.

Of course, it is still difficult to draw concrete conclusions about the state of Stratolaunch and the direction of its work. One thing is obvious: the company has the means and development strategy, within the framework of which promising hypersonic devices are created. It is important to note that since the change of ownership, the company began to recover. In his December 10 tweet, Jean Floyd, president and CEO of Stratolaunch, said the company grew from 13 to 87 employees in two months. Floyd also noted that the company's mission is to "be the world's leading provider of high-speed flight test services."


It is impossible to speak with confidence about the purpose of high-speed systems. But experts say that the United States now does not have reliable means that would make it possible to perform a wide range of tests in the field of microgravity and high-speed atmospheric flight: until 1968, these tasks partially lay on the shoulders of the X-15 rocket plane.

As The Drive rightly notes in its Stratolaunch Was Crafting Hypersonic Vehicles Before Its Official Pivot To High-Speed ​​Testing, even if Stratolaunch has no clear plans to build any of the complexes described above, the experience gained during their development, would be very valuable in the context of the company's new orientation on hypersonic testing services. Whether this will help the Americans to create new hypersonic weapons, time will tell.
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  1. NEXUS 8 February 2020 06: 13 New
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    Maybe I will voice an seditious thought for someone, but for some reason there is a strong feeling that they will not develop anything. And it’s not even a matter of drinking money, or public relations. In aviation, the weakest link today is electronics. It is more and more complicated every year, and its failures are becoming more common. Mattresses complicate aircraft to the stop, and each node, each chain is that weak link that is potentially capable of breaking. The most reliable technique is the one in which there are fewer nodes and assemblies. Well, in this case, I think there are so many of these weak links that there’s nothing really acting. I’m talking about the carrier. As for hyper-speed aircraft, mattresses cannot create a stable rocket yet.
    1. Inspector 8 February 2020 06: 57 New
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      And espionage for what. Fu-35 is also made.
      1. NEXUS 8 February 2020 07: 14 New
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        Quote: Inspector
        And espionage for what. Fu-35 is also made.

        F-35 did not appear due to espionage, but a deal with Yakovlev Design Bureau. This was one of the many bonuses that the Anglo-Saxons received when the USSR collapsed. Well, our elites got their 30 pieces of silver. Although even in this, the Anglo-Saxons are retelling the truth, claiming that it was they who destroyed the USSR and won the “Reds”. But I am convinced that the battle has been lost, but not the war, and it continues to this day. Although the front line of this war has been passing through our lands as well.
        1. fider 8 February 2020 09: 26 New
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          You convinced yourself that the Americans tore off the F-35 scheme from KB Yakovlev and live with it. It's easier than admitting that they are ahead.
          1. ZAV69 8 February 2020 10: 13 New
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            Quote: fider
            It’s easier than admitting that they’re ahead.

            So they are a lot in front, and as for the unit named F35 ..... The unit is of dubious value, which is very much hyped. But the staff has no other, so they push it with great force.
          2. NEXUS 8 February 2020 10: 16 New
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            Quote: fider
            You convinced yourself that the Americans tore off the F-35 scheme from KB Yakovlev and live with it. It's easier than admitting that they are ahead.

            Well, to begin with, I did not persuade myself ... mattresses themselves recognize this fact and it is far from secret. Secondly ... What are they ahead, you can find out? In which area specifically?
            Any developed country is in some ways better than others.
            1. Octopus 8 February 2020 14: 57 New
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              Quote: NEXUS
              mattresses themselves recognize this fact and it is far from secret.

              What other fact? What did the vertical take-off system do the British experience in the development and operation of Harrier?
              1. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 10: 50 New
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                Really?
                You read how the system works on your harrier and on the yak
              2. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 11: 06 New
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                However, the main basis for rumors of plagiarism is the design of the rotary nozzle of the Pratt & Whitney marching propulsion engine, which directs the jet downward, allowing the aircraft to take off vertically. Both the Yak-141 and the F35, it consists of three sections of a special shape and rotates in the same way.

                True, the vertical take-off system of the two machines is different in the front part, where two small jet engines were installed on the Yak-141, and the F35B had a turbofan operating through the drive from the main engine. And still, there are more similarities between them than the vertical take-off systems of other similar machines (Yak-38 or Harrier).
                1. Octopus 9 February 2020 13: 23 New
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                  Quote: Uncle Izya
                  Both the Yak-141 and the F35, it consists of three sections of a special shape and rotates in the same way.

                  Do Americans stole Secret Knowledge of geometry from Russians?

                  Two facts should be distinguished.

                  1. The Americans, having received such an order, really tried to get acquainted and, if possible, buy all the experience that is globally on this issue.

                  2. The Americans took the Tsap-scratch Russian national treasure like that, like the Chinese. Naturally, the Yakovlevites of the 80s had practically nothing of the capabilities of Loxhild, PV and PP in technology, materials and design systems, penguin B with Yakovlev - two completely different planes.
                  1. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 13: 33 New
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                    Well, one thing they are related by vertical take-off
                    1. Octopus 9 February 2020 13: 45 New
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                      Quote: Uncle Izya
                      Well, one thing they are related by vertical take-off

                      There are still wings, a nose-strut chassis, jet engines, generally one garbage more or less.
                      1. DDT
                        DDT April 29 2020 12: 43 New
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                        Quote: Octopus
                        Quote: Uncle Izya
                        Well, one thing they are related by vertical take-off

                        There are still wings, a nose-strut chassis, jet engines, generally one garbage more or less.

                        Yes .. and all this evil Yankees, Uruses and other Sakts stole from the Fritz ... am
        2. Narak-zempo 8 February 2020 14: 26 New
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          Quote: NEXUS
          But I am convinced that the battle is lost, but not war, and it continues to this day

          War with whom? With the Anglo-Saxons or with capitalism?
        3. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 10: 52 New
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          Brzezinski said that Russia will have no one nuclear bag and it will not use it. Your elite in our banks holds 500 billion so your elite has become ours
    2. Bar2 8 February 2020 13: 17 New
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      but for our hyper and airplanes you don’t have to do it, they put Iskander for a moment31 and catch Hi America.
    3. Simargl 8 February 2020 13: 58 New
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      Quote: NEXUS
      In aviation, the weakest link today is electronics.
      In aviation, electronics has always been reliable. %% accidents and disasters through her fault is minimal.
      Here is the software - yes: today it is of great importance.
      But most accidents and disasters where there was no human factor are, nevertheless, mechanization.
      Quote: NEXUS
      Mattresses complicate aircraft to the stop, and each node, each chain is that weak link that is potentially capable of breaking.
      Not quite so: new materials came to aviation and the ability to control flight on the verge of stability. Hence the shoals.
    4. voyaka uh 8 February 2020 16: 11 New
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      "The most reliable technique is the one in which there are fewer nodes and assemblies" ////
      ----
      This is steel scrap. The most reliable. smile
      He has only one part, zero nodes and zero units.
      If we return to modern technology, then electronics is not a weak link.
      The electronics are reliable. The weak link is mechanics. Moving parts break.
      Example: NASA spacecraft on Mars. One works, moves for 9 years.
      Extremely complex electronics, much more complicated than in aviation.
      The problems were always mechanical: wheels, manipulators.
      1. NEXUS 8 February 2020 20: 13 New
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        Quote: voyaka uh
        The electronics are reliable. The weak link is mechanics.

        You tell Boeing this by mentioning Boeing 747-8 ... yeah ...
      2. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 10: 58 New
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        The crowbar is not a mechanism but a blank, the robot on Mars is made in a single copy; there are no maximum loads on the robot; the main thing is to lower it carefully. But when the probe lowered the Venus of the USSR there and the maximum load was a monstrous temperature and pressure. Israel sent the probe to the moon and everything was down the drain
      3. 16329 9 February 2020 13: 08 New
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        Based on the experience of operating European-made Industrial Gas Turbine Engines in one of the CIS countries, I can say that the simplest instrumentation elements - sensors (TS, thermocouples) constantly fail, then seals, gaskets, membranes, etc., and auxiliary devices fail, e.g. oil system equipment, etc.
        Accidents of the mechanical part rarely occur and mean complete failure of the Equipment with the need for factory repair
  2. Vladimir_2U 8 February 2020 06: 14 New
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    You can blame the Americans as warriors, scientists, politicians, but as engineers they are still very strong!
    1. shinobi 8 February 2020 07: 04 New
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      Yes, they are great traders, yes, but not engineers. While emigrants from Europe during the great war were alive, German prisoners of war, America was ahead of the rest. The old people ended and the victorious procession ended right away. for a while they held on, but that’s all. The funny thing is that now, even having bought and lured an intelligent specialist, they are not able to implement its decisions. There simply aren’t, or very few, competent personnel. And I judge far from the estimates of domestic uraSMI , and the general literacy of the average American. It’s some kind of atas. And I finished off when on YouTube I came across statistics of reviews on a video proving that the earth is flat. 60% of Americans sincerely believe in it! I’m justified in noting that among ours there are such, but the percentage is at the level of statistical error .USA in less than 70 years has managed to lose the basic material and technical base. It comes to curiosities when technology components are purchased from officially designated enemies.
      1. fider 8 February 2020 09: 29 New
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        Americans are a nation made up of entrepreneurial expats. Everything else is nonsense.
        1. shinobi 8 February 2020 14: 15 New
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          Yes? Once upon a time, about 200 years ago. Now the average American is an uneducated native of Latin America and Central Africa. You should not believe in the beautiful stories of Hollywood about the American dream. As the white Americans themselves say, the dream died long ago and its corpse thoroughly decomposed .
          1. nickname7 8 February 2020 15: 16 New
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            this is an uneducated native of latin america

            Not only. The St. Petersburg Mathematical School selects and educates geniuses who emigrate to the United States.
          2. voyaka uh 8 February 2020 16: 16 New
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            "Now the average American is an uneducated native of
            Latin America and Central Africa "////
            ----
            This is the Russian Wishlist so that it is. Negroes were 11 percent,
            and it remains. Latinos receive secondary education.
            And on the contrary, they are now booming at engineering departments. Prestigious.
            Thanks to Ilon Mask with his many innovative firms.
            1. abc_alex 9 February 2020 10: 54 New
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              Quote: voyaka uh
              Latinos receive secondary education.

              What do you know about state secondary education?

              Quote: voyaka uh
              Thanks to Ilon Mask with his many innovative firms.

              Since when did Musk become an engineer? He is an engineer like Steve Jobs.
              1. voyaka uh 9 February 2020 12: 41 New
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                "He's the same engineer as Steve Jobs." ///
                ---
                good You are well done for noting the resemblance.
                Both are geniuses who have dramatically advanced technological progress and changed the world.
                Both are founders of innovative firms, organizers of industrial production.
                To do this, it is not necessary to be a certified engineer. But to have
                a bright head and indomitable energy - a must.
                1. abc_alex 9 February 2020 17: 37 New
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                  Quote: voyaka uh
                  Both are geniuses who have dramatically advanced technological progress and changed the world.

                  Geniuses of what? Marketing. Sales skills. Neither of them advanced technological progress by a millimeter. Only capitalized the achievements of other people. Neither one nor the other has a single invention. They did not change the world, but completely different people.

                  Quote: voyaka uh
                  Both are founders of innovative firms, organizers of industrial production.

                  What "innovative" gave birth to Musk?

                  Quote: voyaka uh
                  To do this, it is not necessary to be a certified engineer. But to have a bright head and indomitable energy is a must.

                  What is "this" for? Parasites on the mind and work of those with an engineering background? Yes, not necessarily. But no mask masks will go anywhere but their indomitable energies, unless professional engineers are next to them.
                  1. voyaka uh 9 February 2020 17: 52 New
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                    "if professional engineers are not near them." ///
                    ----
                    But professional engineers will not create anything if they
                    will not unite in any breakthrough project, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs
                    or other similar genius with a vision of the future.
                    In numerous Mask companies there are lines of candidates from engineers. They are asked, not "which university did you graduate from?" , and "what kind of work did you do yourself?"
                    In America, the boom of recruitment to engineering departments thanks to Mask.
                    By the way, Tesla came out in profit, and the Battery Gigafactory came out in profit.
                    Tesla's capitalization is 130 billion, more than Volkswagen. The other day SpaceLink
                    set aside in an independent company, and it goes on the stock exchange. With 240 satellites
                    communications are already in orbits.
                    Elon Musk is ... approximately Korolev and Kurchatov combined.
                    1. IS-80_RVGK2 9 February 2020 20: 50 New
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                      Quote: voyaka uh
                      Elon Musk is ... approximately Korolev and Kurchatov combined

                      Let’s slow down. So far, she has not entered into complete frank stupidity.
                      1. voyaka uh 9 February 2020 21: 06 New
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                        Okay... drinks I clean Kurchatov, leave the Queen. good
                      2. IS-80_RVGK2 9 February 2020 21: 46 New
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                        Yes, probably it will be more accurate. Although it seems to me Musk is still more an entrepreneur than an engineer.
                  2. abc_alex 10 February 2020 19: 34 New
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                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    But professional engineers will not create anything if they
                    will not unite in any breakthrough project, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs
                    or other similar genius with a vision of the future.

                    This is debatable. Without the Masks and Jobs, human civilization developed quite successfully. The period of mask-job is no more than 50-100 years. A period insignificant by historical standards when the financial market has developed so much that it has become possible to develop with borrowed money. Yes, no doubt, some of Jobs’s decisions are delightful, but he wouldn’t have anything to run around the market with if there weren’t any engineers in the world.

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    In numerous Mask companies there are lines of candidates from engineers. They are asked, not "which university did you graduate from?" , and "what kind of work did you do yourself?"

                    So what? Does this somehow differ from the situation in other firms? For example, somewhere there is a queue of top managers, and engineers and designers ask them: "what university did you graduate from?", "And which organization were able to get the best performance?" :)

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    In America, the boom of recruitment to engineering departments thanks to Mask.

                    The allegation, not confirmed by anything.

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    By the way, Tesla came out in profit, and the Battery Gigafactory came out in profit.

                    Will there be evidence? Tesla owes investors such amounts that it’s there to zero, like walking to the moon. Not that up to profit.

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    Tesla's capitalization is 130 billion, more than Volkswagen.

                    Capitalization is a synthetic parameter that reflects the real state of affairs in almost nothing. Volkswagen produces hundreds of thousands of cars a year, owns different brands, successfully operates in different markets. But Tesla cannot really establish the production of a couple of models and sell them under conditions of TOTAL state support.

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    The other day, SpaceLink will be singled out as an independent company, and it goes public. With 240 communications satellites already in orbits.

                    Which in itself does not mean anything. Exactly the same actions are done with chronically unprofitable branches and non-core assets of large companies during a period of economic difficulties. It may mean, for example, the fact that the project within the company is recognized as economically unpromising and is simply removed from the balance so that the reporting on capitalization does not spoil.

                    Quote: voyaka uh
                    Elon Musk is ... approximately Korolev and Kurchatov combined.


                    This is neither Kurchatov nor Korolev. I remind you: Korolev, first of all, is an excellent designer, Kurchatov is, first of all, a world-famous scientist, a nuclear physicist. If you want comparisons of this level, then they are closest to Beria. Here he was a talented organizer with indefatigable energy. And in exactly the same way he was absolutely nobody in physics or in rocket science.
                    1. voyaka uh 10 February 2020 19: 41 New
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                      "Tesla owes investors such amounts" ///
                      ---
                      Tesla's debt is $ 13 billion. This is negligible compared to its turnover and growth rates. In China, a plant began to work, which immediately doubles the production of its cars.
                      Tesla blew up the global car market, like SpaceX - space.
                      In short, follow the Mask. :)))
                      There will be many more interesting things.
                      You are firmly stuck in the past. Like many in Russia ... sad
              2. IS-80_RVGK2 9 February 2020 20: 47 New
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                Quote: voyaka uh
                dramatically advanced technological progress

                STA? !! Is it possible from now on in more detail?
                1. voyaka uh 9 February 2020 21: 11 New
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                  Apple: smartphones. New era - take a look around: find a person
                  without this device.
                  SpaceX: reusable cheap rockets. Orders to launch satellites are issued
                  on the internet. Like ordering pizza, roughly smile
                  1. IS-80_RVGK2 9 February 2020 21: 31 New
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                    Already funny. Well, I will know what progress looks like in the eyes of the Israeli citizen. smile
                    1. voyaka uh 9 February 2020 21: 43 New
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                      And what is technological progress in your eyes?
                      Give some examples, please.
                    2. Liam 9 February 2020 21: 50 New
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                      Quote: voyaka uh
                      And what is technological progress in your eyes?
                      Give some examples, please.

                      It’s as if you don’t know. The production of oil, gas, steel, a hammer and chisels. Well and tanks. Only cast iron, only hardcore
        2. Uncle Izya 9 February 2020 11: 01 New
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          Oh come on what boom what are you talking about?
          Basically, Latinos are illegal, and blacks at 13 percent already have the same drugs and banditry
  3. nickname7 8 February 2020 15: 11 New
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    extremely few competent staff

    Nonsense. This is due to the peculiarity of their education - specialization. To ask about the shape of the earth it was necessary for the geographer, or geophysicist, they would answer. Narrow specialists they are quite excellent.
    1. shinobi 8 February 2020 15: 51 New
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      All (without exception) breakthrough technologies appear at the junction of different disciplines. To understand each other, specialists should have common conceptual knowledge. And what common knowledge does a set of narrow specialists have? At my place there is such a "narrow specialist" sitting, eti, higher economic education with a red diploma. Zam main. Without a calculator, simple two-digit numbers can not be counted, with which I am a simple person from a machine tool in my mind.
      1. voyaka uh 8 February 2020 16: 23 New
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        "And what general knowledge can a set of narrow specialists have?" ////
        -----
        You have a misunderstanding of the technical realities of the 21st century.
        Firms have special people who are taught to work at the joints:
        to organize narrow specialists in common large projects.
        They do not take business, money. They are technical generalists.
        Not specialists, a generalists. wink
        1. abc_alex 9 February 2020 11: 04 New
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          Quote: voyaka uh
          Firms have special people who are taught to work at the joints:
          to organize narrow specialists in common large projects.

          This is called a system integrator. It was like that in Soviet design bureaus, the level of lead designer. And there is now. About 50 years old. That’s as soon as the technology became more complicated than the competencies of one design bureau, they appeared. Of course, they were not called generalists. Just people whose work was the organization of narrow specialists in the work on the project. The clearest example from the Soviet past is the development of the Mriya aircraft. So, for God's sake, one does not have to pass off as innovative techniques for creating sophisticated technology with a half-century history.

          You are not told about that.
  4. Bar2 8 February 2020 16: 18 New
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    Quote: shinobi
    While emigrants from Europe during the great war were alive, and German prisoners of war, America was ahead of the rest. The old people ended and the victorious march ended.


    I would even say worse, it is the white population that disappears, and these are the creators, those who move culture and civilization. Well, they are not white. For example, Latin America has long been developing only in an extensive way, that is, the consumption of everything that they see around. There is no space industry, aircraft manufacturing is almost zero, the information industry is zero, they themselves are not doing anything, and yet this is a whole continent of Latinos, and Africa? There is nothing to talk about.
    In short, the destruction of whites and plus capitalism-merchanting, that’s the end of civilization.
  • Last centurion 8 February 2020 06: 38 New
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    but why use such a large test medium ... for a missile, a standard B bomber is suitable. in the meantime, there are no commonplace rockets to build spaceplanes is obviously early. Stratolunch will come in handy in 5-10 years. he clearly overtook time. for there is no sane payload for him
  • Vasily Ponomarev 8 February 2020 07: 05 New
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    "The argument is simple: an air launch has never been, is not, and probably will not be in demand from commercial firms." - you don't say that to galactic virgin
    1. shinobi 8 February 2020 14: 22 New
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      Pulling a couple of bored moneybags into the stratosphere is one thing. And putting loads into orbit is quite another. How much money you don’t push into the process of accumulating knowledge, it won’t get any faster. As long as there is no intelligible concept, size will not help.
  • Nikolaevich I 8 February 2020 07: 47 New
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    Well, yes ... wide yeroplan! No more! Here you can’t take a palm from the Shtatovites! But with the "calism of the engines" they went nuts! After all, “Mriya” also has 6! Where is the record "bust"? As for the scheme itself, I personally like the scheme! I proposed such a scheme for an air platform (with a nuclear power plant from Burevestnik ...) with the goal of “acquiring” AWACS, electronic warfare systems, repeaters, a local positioning system, an anti-submarine system, a missile defense platform in a local missile defense system of cities ...
    1. shinobi 8 February 2020 14: 30 New
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      Calculate how much such a platform will consume fuel alone. There is a much simpler and cheaper solution that is being developed both by us and them without any noise. Platforms based on unmanned semi-rigid airships. DRLOs surely sculpt. In the air it can hang from MOT to MOT.
      1. Nikolaevich I 8 February 2020 16: 16 New
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        Waiting! Have you read my comment? It seems like not ... try to read! ... hi
    2. Saxahorse 8 February 2020 20: 13 New
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      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      Well, yes ... wide yeroplan! No more!

      That's just the scheme and absolutely do not like it! A system with as many as six engines widely spaced is obviously unstable, and it is better not to recall the strength on sudden side loads .. A scheme called a flying board from the roof. God forbid that he gets into turbulence, he’ll immediately spin it into a marine node!

      Horror! Horror! laughing
      1. Nikolaevich I 9 February 2020 03: 52 New
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        Quote: Saxahorse
        That's just the scheme and absolutely do not like it! A system with as many as six engines widely spaced is obviously unstable, and on the strength for sudden lateral loads

        But the fact is that I’m not for the scheme "with as many as six engines wide apart ..."! (In the first comment, I “embarrassed” put it!). I was referring to the “double-fuselage or double-beam” “vobche” scheme! And such a scheme can be 2-motor! And I meant, rather, not a plane, but a specialized LA- "air platform" using a 2-fuselage or 2-beam scheme ... the Fokke-Wulf-189, Lightning 2MV flew! Or, in the USSR (RF), an attack aircraft of an “unusual” configuration-Sh-90 was developed!
    3. abc_alex 9 February 2020 11: 09 New
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      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      As for the scheme itself, I personally like the scheme!

      There is doubt that it is resistant to mechanical deformation along the longitudinal axis of the wing. In particular, twisting. The wing of such an extension cannot be rigid in itself ...
      I remind you that nobody really experienced a plane. He didn’t even fly empty ... And even more so with a load.
  • rocket757 8 February 2020 08: 13 New
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    Beautiful dream!
    That's only when the most important / big dreamer .... leaves, things happen.
  • Cowbra 8 February 2020 08: 31 New
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    As The Drive rightly notes in its Stratolaunch Was Crafting Hypersonic Vehicles Before Its Official Pivot To High-Speed ​​Testing, even if Stratolaunch no clear plans to create any of the above complexes

    It is called
    Stratolaunch: a new level of American hypersonic BAEK

    Now they will spread fairy tales and fables at a supersonic speed laughing
  • Ham
    Ham 8 February 2020 10: 16 New
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    it’s like in the movie “aviator” - the dude slammed a lot of money and time - and even took off ... only there was no benefit from its design!
    type - the dream has come true, and the efficiency is 0! like usa ...
    1. nickname7 8 February 2020 15: 20 New
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      type - the dream has come true, and the efficiency is 0! how similar to usa ..

      Yes, it’s better to take out the money and buy an estate.
      1. Ham
        Ham 9 February 2020 08: 26 New
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        you did not understand! we already have an estate (and not one) and money is also not enough ... you need to take a lot of money from the treasury (spend it with Russia!) and spend it on your dream ... it can even take off only
  • Undecim 8 February 2020 10: 21 New
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    Another is more interesting. Long before that, Quartz specialists stated that the Stratolaunch Model 351 was a secret military project. The argument is simple: an air launch has never been, is not, and probably will not be in demand from commercial firms. Especially, in light of the active development of rocket scientists such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. So from the point of view of the stated goals, the project was probably initially devoid of any meaning. But the presence of a carrier aircraft made it possible to put military spacecraft into orbit, without reference to weather conditions and the readiness of the spaceport.
    Quartz is a news site and does not have such specialists.
    The Pentagon was really interested in the possibility of using Stratolaunch to launch satellites as part of its “operationally responsive space” program - the rapid deployment of satellite constellations to monitor hot spots or establish communications during certain operations. But no one kept this question secret.
    To this end, in July 2017, then Air Force Minister Heather Wilson visited Mojave and met with Stratolaunch CEO Gene Floyd, as reported on Twitter. Secret projects are not reported via Twitter.
  • remal 8 February 2020 11: 22 New
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    Atmospheric oxygen can be used more in such schemes. The first stage is to disperse the aircraft to supersonic. Then turn on the ramjet engine of the second stage of the aircraft. And only at hypersound exit from the atmosphere and launch some sort of payload with a plasma engine, etc. Accordingly, the primary carrier ship should be like the Tu-160, only with a looser suspension. Or add a start-lunch but add a solid fuel accelerating block, which works after separation, but here the overall efficiency will drop, with all the complications.
  • Nikolaevich I 9 February 2020 14: 13 New
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    Quote: abc_alex
    The wing of such an extension cannot be rigid in itself ...

    I understand your "fears" ... but what can be given in contrast? Is that the famous U-2 reconnaissance aircraft? He possessed an elongated wing, which caused considerable concern among the Americans, precisely because of his lack of "rigidity"! But, however, the U-2 was produced and flew ... albeit with requirements: "carefully, carefully!" And since then, and "some" progress in the materials could happen ... what
  • Kerensky 10 February 2020 12: 36 New
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    Wow, I'm a conspiracy theorist!
    They pile it for something concrete. You can’t hide such a fool and he will still have to fly. But then you can let the fog in: pictures - concepts - models ... While people are wondering what they’re going to attach to it, this “something” can wait in its own hangar under the tarp of its hour.
    So it seems to me that they have an “egg”, it’s they who finish the “chicken” under it.
  • honest people 11 February 2020 16: 25 New
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    Quote: voyaka uh
    "Tesla owes investors such amounts" ///
    ---
    Tesla's debt is $ 13 billion. This is negligible compared to its turnover and growth rates. In China, a plant began to work, which immediately doubles the production of its cars.
    Tesla blew up the global car market, like SpaceX - space.
    In short, follow the Mask. :)))
    There will be many more interesting things.
    You are firmly stuck in the past. Like many in Russia ... sad

    Urya, the patriots sense that the end is near and they meander good
    The past quarter of the year ended with Tesla's record revenue of $ 7,384 billion, an increase in annual terms of 17%, and in quarterly terms - by 2%. The total gross margin in quarterly terms increased by 72 basis points - from 4,1% to 4,9% (but the annual decline was 87 basis points); GAAP operating profit was $ 359 million, which corresponds to a 38% increase in quarterly terms and a 13% decline in annual terms. Operating expenses rose slightly - from $ 1,029 billion to $ 1,032 billion. Of these, $ 345 million was spent on R&D, compared to $ 356 million a year earlier.
    Prospects
    Production (Fremont): Model S / Model X - 90, Model 000 / Model Y - 3 machines per year
    Production (Shanghai): Model 3 - 150 cars per year
    - Throughout 2020, car deliveries must exceed 500 units. Due to the production of Model 000 in Shanghai and Model Y in Fremont, production is likely to outstrip deliveries this year.
    - Solar and energy storage systems should increase by at least 50% in 2020.
    - We plan that the production volume of Model Y will be equivalent to Model 3.
    - We expect continued positive free cash flow in the quarters of 2020 with possible temporary exceptions, especially
    due to the launch of a new product line. We continue to believe that our business has grown to the level of self-financing.
    - We expect that in the future a positive GAAP net income will be received, with the exception of possible temporary quarters due to the launch of new products of the company.
    - We plan to produce limited volumes of Tesla Semi this year.
    - We will begin the first deliveries of Model Y by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
    - Production of Model Y in Shanghai will begin in 2021.
    - The first deliveries of cars with GigaFactory 4 in Germany are planned in 2021.
    - FSD (Full Self Driving) - full autonomous driving function
  • Vovo 11 February 2020 21: 19 New
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    Well, we have like this