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cerving

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I'm a bit skeptical... sounds a lot like the guys who think they can get to orbit by launching from a balloon. It ain't the altitude... it's the velocity that matters, and launching from a jet adds an insignificant amount to the velocity needed to get to orbit.
 

kuririn

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Well, US has launched a Pegasus anti-sat missile from a fighter jet a couple of decades ago.
I think it intercepted a target in low earth orbit.
Aevum calls the drone the "first stage" of the rocket.
And it's big: 55,000 lbs.
If it can lift the second stage above most of the atmosphere then the rocket would have substantially less aerodynamic drag to contend with.
I'm hoping they succeed. Many hurdles to clear first.
EDIT: The anti satellite missile was an ASM-135 launched from an F-15 in 1985, not a Pegasus. It successfully destroyed a gamma ray spectroscopy satellite in orbit 345 miles high.
 
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georgegassaway

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Wonder if this could be done on the hobby scale with a quad copter?
Sounds like a challenge.
Was done 6 years ago. A custom-built quadcopter that seemed to be very well designed as a "flying launch pad". I had nothing to do with this, ran across the video years ago, and took a bit of searching to find it now.


I would be tempted to someday convert the old Estes "Bigfoot" launch pad into a quadcopter launch pad. Those four feet stick out almost like a quadcopter arms. Just need four motors to be mounted face-up on the feet. And, well, also a big battery, and a flight controller and R/C gear, and.......
 

BABAR

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Was done 6 years ago. A custom-built quadcopter that seemed to be very well designed as a "flying launch pad". I had nothing to do with this, ran across the video years ago, and took a bit of searching to find it now.


I would be tempted to someday convert the old Estes "Bigfoot" launch pad into a quadcopter launch pad. Those four feet stick out almost like a quadcopter arms. Just need four motors to be mounted face-up on the feet. And, well, also a big battery, and a flight controller and R/C gear, and.......
Since a QuadraCopter has rotors that rely on air density, are they more altitude limited than either airplanes or balloons (which also rely on air density but are more efficient?)

IOW, if your goal is to get above most of the atmosphere, seems like quad would be much less efficient than balloon or plane. The plane definitely has the advantage as, assuming you are seeking orbit, it provides potentially significant horizontal velocity.

Quick google search suggests helicopter are limited to 30k feet, with maximum hover altitude
Around 10k



 

BABAR

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Rather than a quad drone, an airplane drone has an advantage over a manned aircraft launch if used as a “first stage” to get the “true” rocket above the atmosphere. A drone airplane doesn’t need to carry a pilot and his or her life support equipment (including pressure, oxygen and CO2 management, and temperature controls). Also G forces are less of an issue although I don’t think the flight profile would require excessive G forces unless the system was launched from a rail gun
 

BABAR

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From


NASA has proposed to use a railgun to launch "wedge-shaped aircraft with scramjets" to high-altitude at Mach 10, where they will then fire a small payload into orbit using conventional rocket propulsion.[5] The extreme g-forces involved with direct railgun ground-launch to space may restrict the usage to only the sturdiest of payloads. Alternatively, very long rail systems may be used to reduce the required launch acceleration.[6]
 

kuririn

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Yes, the Aevum drone is an airplane.
I was suggesting a quadcopter drone for hobby rocket launches.
Re: using a railgun to launch orbital payloads, see this thread, post #89
Beginner with big dreams | Page 3 | The Rocketry Forum
Same concept using a super gun or light gas gun instead of a rail gun.
No scramjets needed.
Also google Project HARP and Project SHARP.
Project SHARP actually produced working hardware but was cancelled due to budget constraints.
 

dhbarr

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We'll dub a quadcopter with off-vertical launch inhibit a Sopwith, after the old computer game where you did backflips while dropping bombs :-D
 

georgegassaway

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Since a QuadraCopter has rotors that rely on air density, are they more altitude limited than either airplanes or balloons (which also rely on air density but are more efficient?)

IOW, if your goal is to get above most of the atmosphere, seems like quad would be much less efficient than balloon or plane. The plane definitely has the advantage as, assuming you are seeking orbit, it provides potentially significant horizontal velocity.
I was replying to the comment about doing one with a model rocket. Not about a high altitude launch.

For reasons you listed, a multicopter would not be suited for that. Aerodynamic issues and also practical issues (Battery capacity/mass. Add more battery capacity, weight it down more, fly lower. Would end up with a jet turboprop engine geared to turn 4 or more props plus other control issues)

Air-launching horizontally using a conventional winged carrier craft, after a climb to a high altitude, does work. The "Pegasus" was the first, possibly still the only, rocket vehicle to be launched that way and get payloads into orbit (note, orbit, not "space").


Do keep in mind that about 95%, or MORE, of "new space" ventures, end up going bankrupt eventually. Of the 20-ish "X Prize" contenders, only one made an official flight attempt with a real vehicle. I do not think any of the rest are in business anymore.
 

georgegassaway

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EDIT: The anti satellite missile was an ASM-135 launched from an F-15 in 1985, not a Pegasus. It successfully destroyed a gamma ray spectroscopy satellite in orbit 345 miles high.
NOTE - Anti-satellite missiles do NOT go into orbit. They fly sub-orbitally, intersecting the path of an orbiting satellite.

Again, the massive difference between going into "space" , and orbit.

 

kuririn

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Slick video of the Ravn X drone rollout.
So slick I thought at first this was CGI.
 

BABAR

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Again, the massive difference between going into "space" , and orbit.
Unfortunately there are IMHO too many people just taking up SPACE that I wish we could PUT into ORBIT.

Most of the are concentrated in the DC area......
 

Titan II

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Since we added aircraft/missile combos to the thread.....

 
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