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Starship XN8 - or Fireball XL5?


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You have to be a certain age to remember Fireball XL5, but Elon Musk's Starship XN8 looks awfully similar.  Or is it just me?  Sorry, I am not sure how to post pictures from links, but this is the Starship XN8 (or is it Fireball XL5?):

 

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-high-altitude-launch-debut-date/

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:35 AM, Britman said:

More drama in six minutes than a whole year of EastEnders! Musk did foresee that something dramatic would result from this test flight. Roll out SN9...

 

SN9 might need some Gaffer Tape and some gentle buffing before it's flight ready

 

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I must admit I've always thought that the inspiraition for Elon's latest project was Flash Gordon's Rocket Ship

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Interesting ... The original poster’s link wouldn't do anything but go to a blank page. So I copy & pasted the link and when I opened it my phone locked up. When I was able to get it back up and running there was zero trace of the link or my visit to the page ? 

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Gidday, I'm not much into Sci-fi and rockets and such but I do remember Fireball XL-5. As a kid I loved it, now over half a century ago. (I wish I didn't put it quite like that. 😁) I remember how the spacecraft took off and landed. It took off horizontally, mounted on a trolley on a gantry of sorts, hurtling down the gantry to gain speed. The gantry was horizontal until the end, where it was built up a small hill, allowing the spaceship to become airborne and climb. It would land vertically but in a horizontal aspect, back onto the trolley that had been returned to the start position, ready for the next launch.

     RN ship buffs might relate to this. During the Falklands war in 1982 how did the Harriers take off from the RN carriers? Almost exactly the same way. I've often wondered if whoever thought of the ski-ramp (a RN captain?) used to watch this show as a kid.

     And from what I've seen above are you thinking of Fireball XL-5 or some other show, such as Thunderbirds? Just thought I'd ask. Regards, Jeff.

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On 14/12/2020 at 05:54, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday, I'm not much into Sci-fi and rockets and such but I do remember Fireball XL-5. As a kid I loved it, now over half a century ago. (I wish I didn't put it quite like that. 😁) I remember how the spacecraft took off and landed. It took off horizontally, mounted on a trolley on a gantry of sorts, hurtling down the gantry to gain speed. The gantry was horizontal until the end, where it was built up a small hill, allowing the spaceship to become airborne and climb. It would land vertically but in a horizontal aspect, back onto the trolley that had been returned to the start position, ready for the next launch.

     RN ship buffs might relate to this. During the Falklands war in 1982 how did the Harriers take off from the RN carriers? Almost exactly the same way. I've often wondered if whoever thought of the ski-ramp (a RN captain?) used to watch this show as a kid.

     And from what I've seen above are you thinking of Fireball XL-5 or some other show, such as Thunderbirds? Just thought I'd ask. Regards, Jeff.

The technique of using a horizontal rail for the initial phase of a rocket launch was first put forward in the late 1930s by Eugene Sanger and Irene Bredt with their proposed Sanger-Bredt spaceplane.  Although it was a madly ambitious proposal for the time, being in Nazi Germany, they did actually get funding to look into the proposal. The project went so far as having models made for supersonic wind tunnel testing.

 

The justification for the project was that they claimed it could be used to skip glide its way across the Atlantic, with most of the flight outside the atmosphere, and, when it made it to New York, drop a bomb, and then skip glide its way around the rest of the world until it re-entered the atmosphere and landed in friendly territory - possibly Japan or occupied Russia. It was a mad idea and was eventually cancelled.

 

There were lots of aspects of the Sanger-Bredt spaceplane that were highly dubious. For a start, in the early 1940s, the effects of atmospheric heating on a body were not well understood so I expect that this object would have burned up as it hopped its way around the world, dipping in and out of the atmosphere at over 12,000 mph. The rocket rail launch was also dubious. I've never read anything about the types of speeds that would be achieved by the time the craft left the rail. I would expect it should have been around 1,000 mph at least. I think keeping it on the rail at that sped would have been rather dodgy.

 

Like a lot of German rocket engineers, Bredt and Sanger ended up in the USA after the war where they worked on spaceplane projects for Bell Aircraft. Although the rocket rail idea was not pursued, other aspects of their work was incorporated into the Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar project and, indirectly, into the later Space Shuttle.

 

Hollywood and TV liked the idea of a rocket rail launch as it looks dramatic. A rocket rail system was used by the spacecraft in the movie "When Worlds Collide" and, of course, in "Fireball XL5".

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  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...

It does look a bit like a very fat Fireball XL5!

For those of you unfamiliar with said spacecraft, here's a little reminder of a true classic.  Wonder what happened to all those rocket sleds though!!

Must be hundreds of them lying at the foot of that cliff! 😉😂

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/7/2022 at 2:16 PM, Beermonster1958 said:

It does look a bit like a very fat Fireball XL5!

For those of you unfamiliar with said spacecraft, here's a little reminder of a true classic.  Wonder what happened to all those rocket sleds though!!

Must be hundreds of them lying at the foot of that cliff! 😉😂

 

Blinking sight better than whatever Mr Musk is up to....dont trust him an inch ....especially after the way he conducted himself during that cave rescue.....not that clever.I shut up now before I get a good talking to.

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