Turbine Powered R/C Rocket Spacecraft

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Eronious

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Good evening everyone, we all the know future of spacecraft leaving the earths atmosphere will be a complete combination of supersonic air breathing engines with rockets. I really want to make a model/buy one that reflects this future. The only one I have ever found for sell that is now discontinued was the ME-163 kit from Durafly, anybody out there interested in the same thing? I’m an avid rocketeer working to get my class 1 but have a background in r/c planes I just want to see both worlds combined! Yes the rocket will be short lived during flight but man what a sight it will be.
 

teepot

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Take a look at Dynasoar rocketry. They do R/C rocket gliders. Some real cool stuff.
 

Eronious

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Take a look at Dynasoar rocketry. They do R/C rocket gliders. Some real cool stuff.
I agree I have already spoken to Frank B there about this too he said he use to make a ME-163 kit that wasn’t very popular and we talked science on my ideas and weight issues but if built big enough it would work. I have the Aurora Clipper he makes at its a lot of fun
 

KenECoyote

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I actually have the Durafly ME-163, but haven't flown nor assembled it yet. I had planned on doing so last year before Covid and may this year at my local flying club, but I have to work on more flight skills first. Unfortunately life seems to get in the way of fun all too often.
The ME163 was electric prop driven with the rocket as an auxiliary boost...that's a very far cry from what you first described. Could you please provide more detail on what you mean by "turbine powered"?
 

jimzcatz

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just remember actively real time controlled rockets are illegal You put a jet engine on a rocket it ceases to be a boost glider and is a guided missile, Keep the r/c stuff in planes and boost gliders. Just my .02
 

KenECoyote

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just remember actively real time controlled rockets are illegal You put a jet engine on a rocket it ceases to be a boost glider and is a guided missile, Keep the r/c stuff in planes and boost gliders. Just my .02
Hey Jim! How about RC rocket boost gliders? I see it all the time being controlled/"guided" by rc while being launched under boost. I just read a post today on someone noting just that to control the flight up.
I think the difference may be if it's not a glider or plane and purely a rocket?
Edit: Oh, you mean non-rocket powered & rocket powered separate?
 

jimzcatz

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That's just under boost until motor burns out, put a jet turbine and it can fly under human control for miles. That's not what this hobby supports in my opinion
 

Eronious

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I’m talking about a better version of the ME-163 it is a plane with a booster attached, for in flight boost. But I want a turbine edition, rockets are fun but, the sport has not changed in 30 years. The kits back then are the same now. Yes technology got better but it’s still the same. The future of space flight will not be in the shape of a rocket as we know it today, our missions to space will be taking off from a runway and then boosting itself that last mile out of our atmosphere switching from air breathing engines to a rocket propulsion system, I see no reason why we can not make miniature versions for our enjoyment and teaching purposes. I’m working on a design as we speak
 

Eronious

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Truth be told if the ME-163 kit by Durafly was still available I probably would have stopped there but now I’m designing what I think the space craft of the future will look like. I’m talking to some people and learning a lot about the re entry problems when returning to earth so I can design a way to cover/protect the air breathing engines so that they don’t get damaged and are able to start once back in earth atmosphere. But a back up is the plane can be a glider as last resort just like the space shuttle. On a side note if anyone wants a really neat and interesting designed rocked I just picked up the (Flying Machine) kit from Apogee thy only have 3 left.
image.jpg
 

Reinhard

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just remember actively real time controlled rockets are illegal You put a jet engine on a rocket it ceases to be a boost glider and is a guided missile
Do you have a source for that?

Reinhard
 

Eronious

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Do you have a source for that?

Reinhard
# Reinhard I’m sure it’s out there, with just a few modifications to our sport rockets they can become self guided very quickly. I’m not trying to break any laws or create a guided weapon I just want to advance our sport and advance our ways of travel to the stars.
 

jimzcatz

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Don't have to look, it's just common sense. Or should be to anyone passionate about protecting our hobby and not looking for things that go boom. I realise you are not advocating weapons but the alphabet agency's are quick to judge "for public safety". I cannot and will not in good conscience support this endeavor. I am perfectly clear that you do not require my support.
 

teepot

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It's not common sense. It's your opinion. If putting a jet engine on an RC aircraft was illegal then there would be a lot of RC fliers that were criminals.
 

jimzcatz

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You totally miss my point. Hobby rocketry is so far removed from r/c aircraft it's rediculous. The fact that you can't see the problem with what you propose is just sad
 

KenECoyote

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I’m talking about a better version of the ME-163 it is a plane with a booster attached, for in flight boost. But I want a turbine edition, rockets are fun but, the sport has not changed in 30 years. The kits back then are the same now. Yes technology got better but it’s still the same. The future of space flight will not be in the shape of a rocket as we know it today, our missions to space will be taking off from a runway and then boosting itself that last mile out of our atmosphere switching from air breathing engines to a rocket propulsion system, I see no reason why we can not make miniature versions for our enjoyment and teaching purposes. I’m working on a design as we speak
This is out of my area of "fakexpertise". ;)
 

Eronious

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This is out of my area of "fakexpertise". ;)
If you ever think about selling you ME-163 kit let me know I’d love to have it. I’m moving forward with my planes to create a better version, build a new class of R/C Rocketry
 

Scott_650

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I’m talking about a better version of the ME-163 it is a plane with a booster attached, for in flight boost. But I want a turbine edition, rockets are fun but, the sport has not changed in 30 years. The kits back then are the same now. Yes technology got better but it’s still the same. The future of space flight will not be in the shape of a rocket as we know it today, our missions to space will be taking off from a runway and then boosting itself that last mile out of our atmosphere switching from air breathing engines to a rocket propulsion system, I see no reason why we can not make miniature versions for our enjoyment and teaching purposes. I’m working on a design as we speak
Have fun with your project - sounds interesting. But the future of space flight isn’t going to be SSTO space planes - even the most likely design for a sustainable space plane, Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser, gets to orbit via on top a ULA Vulcan rocket. And whether Dream Chaser is really going to haul cargo to the ISS for NASA could be iffy - SNC just pushed their first Dream Chaser launch from June this year until 2022. Space planes are a niche concept, the advantage over conventional rockets being recovery, hypothetically, on any long commercial runway. The continuing improvement in computing power and materials technology that lets rockets like the SpaceX Falcon vertically recover under power makes the space plane concept a bit superfluous. Now, if there was a huge breakthrough in propulsion where the ISP needed to fly in and out of orbit was available that could make the utility of a space plane worth the disadvantages...
 

KenECoyote

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If you ever think about selling you ME-163 kit let me know I’d love to have it. I’m moving forward with my planes to create a better version, build a new class of R/C Rocketry
Probably not likely, but I'll keep that in mind, thanks. Back to your idea, I do think it is cool to think of ideas like that, but to put it into practice or testing is another matter. For any of us to get a rocket into space alone is extremely difficult...let alone a turbine powered craft...let alone a foam powered craft. If you're serious about this, I'd recommend first just researching what it takes for an individual to get an object up there far enough that the air it too thin for a regular engine/turbine/etc. I think you'll be surprised at the amount of engineering, power, fuel and strength of build it would take. Good luck!
 

Eronious

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It won’t be foam I have already talked to a machine shop that will cut my pieces from aluminum cheap I’m drawing up a single wing design and they sell small high altitude motors for r/c planes the highest they go is 34,500 feet. I don’t plan I’ll make it to space but I will have fun!
 
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Scott_650

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I’m talking about a better version of the ME-163 it is a plane with a booster attached, for in flight boost. But I want a turbine edition, rockets are fun but, the sport has not changed in 30 years. The kits back then are the same now. Yes technology got better but it’s still the same. The future of space flight will not be in the shape of a rocket as we know it today, our missions to space will be taking off from a runway and then boosting itself that last mile out of our atmosphere switching from air breathing engines to a rocket propulsion system, I see no reason why we can not make miniature versions for our enjoyment and teaching purposes. I’m working on a design as we speak
Truth be told if the ME-163 kit by Durafly was still available I probably would have stopped there but now I’m designing what I think the space craft of the future will look like. I’m talking to some people and learning a lot about the re entry problems when returning to earth so I can design a way to cover/protect the air breathing engines so that they don’t get damaged and are able to start once back in earth atmosphere. But a back up is the plane can be a glider as last resort just like the space shuttle....
It won’t be foam I have already talked to a machine shop that will cut my pieces from aluminum cheap I’m drawing up a single wing design and they sell small high altitude motors for r/c planes the highest they go is 34,500 feet. I don’t plan I’ll make it to space but I will have fun!
Would you like to share who "they" are?
I think we have what my grandfather would call “a character” in the OP...
 

Antares JS

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Have fun with your project - sounds interesting. But the future of space flight isn’t going to be SSTO space planes - even the most likely design for a sustainable space plane, Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser, gets to orbit via on top a ULA Vulcan rocket. And whether Dream Chaser is really going to haul cargo to the ISS for NASA could be iffy - SNC just pushed their first Dream Chaser launch from June this year until 2022. Space planes are a niche concept, the advantage over conventional rockets being recovery, hypothetically, on any long commercial runway. The continuing improvement in computing power and materials technology that lets rockets like the SpaceX Falcon vertically recover under power makes the space plane concept a bit superfluous. Now, if there was a huge breakthrough in propulsion where the ISP needed to fly in and out of orbit was available that could make the utility of a space plane worth the disadvantages...
Precisely correct. Dealing with all that extra drag as it climbs horizontally pretty much negates any advantage the space plane has. It's imperative to get the atmosphere out of the way as quickly as possible, which necessitates vertical launch.

Not going to say it's impossible to build a practical one, but after learning about this stuff in college and trying it out in Kerbal Space Program, I'm pretty skeptical of space planes.
 

Scott_650

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Precisely correct. Dealing with all that extra drag as it climbs horizontally pretty much negates any advantage the space plane has. It's imperative to get the atmosphere out of the way as quickly as possible, which necessitates vertical launch.

Not going to say it's impossible to build a practical one, but after learning about this stuff in college and trying it out in Kerbal Space Program, I'm pretty skeptical of space planes.
Space planes are one of those things that appear to be the more sophisticated/elegant solution to access LEO and beyond but simply aren’t. The downsides from the compromises needed to make a trans atmospheric aerospacecraft means you end up with something that’s not a very good airplane or a very good spacecraft. There’s some spirited debates out there on whether a follow-on to the X-15 would’ve been a viable basis for the US to “win” the space race and the conclusion is, generally, no.

(Quick aside - I LOVE the X-15! It is one of the most audacious and astonishing airplanes ever built and we’ll not see the like of the pilots who flew her to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere and back ever again)

The materials and computer engineering necessary simply didn’t exist then (and barely exist now) to build an operational follow-on to the X-15. Could NACA/NASA/USAF have built a “super” X-15 that could’ve achieved orbit and safely return? Maybe - and it’s a big maybe - the level of thermal and kinetic energy you have to successfully manage during reentry from orbit is staggering. How many test pilots would’ve ended up vaporized during reentry until the correct combination of materiel and technology was achieved? Or, more likely, public outcry would’ve brought the whole endeavor to a limping halt after the first 2-3 fatalities. (The less said about the Space Shuttle, the most “successful” craft we’ve built that could be called a space plane, the better.) As crude as lobbing humans into space on the nose of modified ballistic missiles appears it really was (and is) the most rational way to get it done. Now, whether flying to the Moon a handful of times was a better goal than building sustainable orbital space stations is certainly something debatable...

Things like the X-37, Dream Chaser, and SpaceShip are tailored to very specific missions that take advantage of the strengths of lifting body type space planes and none of them are ever intended for development into SSTO versions.

Fun to debate and discuss and it’s nearly impossible to deny the romance of a steely eyed pilot hoping in his or her rocket plane for a heroic flight to the Lunar Colony...or the planet Mongo 😉
 

David Schwantz

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there are several things to overcome with a jet engine powered rocket. First, as stated in the article is to aquire control speed before it leaves the rail. If you have to strap on boosters, then why do it?? Some of my planes have more than 1:1 thrust ratio. And still take 600' to rotate. Next is landing. Most rockets land tail first, even if it is a powered landing, even worse. Ever see what happens to a turbine that gets dirt in it? If there is by chance a hot start, and you need to evacuate the engine of fuel, it must be tipped nose down to allow it to drain. All that kero in the airframe is not a good idea. Most of us run air traps, as one tiny bubble the size of a pin tip will cause a flame out. Also, what about air intake, you will need some ducting to allow for this. And last, but not least, what about fire?? These things run hot for extended periods of time. I use ceramic heat blanket along with a ceramic heat shield paint coating to prevent my planes from catching on fire. You overcome these items, along with many I am sure I have not thought about and I will be the first one to come and watch. Good luck.
 

Eronious

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I’ll keep everyone updated on the projects progress here. Thanks everybody for commenting.
 

cerving

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It won’t be foam I have already talked to a machine shop that will cut my pieces from aluminum cheap I’m drawing up a single wing design and they sell small high altitude motors for r/c planes the highest they go is 34,500 feet. I don’t plan I’ll make it to space but I will have fun!
FYI, the legal ceiling for R/C aircraft is 400' AGL, or as specified by the FAA. Flying to 34,500' is going to get you a lot of attention from people that you really don't want to be dealing with... and a few years sitting in an itty bitty room to think about it afterwards.
 

icyclops

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Hahaha...I can just see it. Sitting in your cell and your cellmate asks “what are you in for”? Flying my RC plane too high....Yuk Yuk.
 
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