back to article LOHAN teases with quick flash of spaceplane

It's with a portentous drumroll and fanfare of trumpets that we reveal today the design of our Vulture 2 spaceplane - the rocket-powered vehicle at the centre of our audacious Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission. Click here for a bigger version of the LOHAN graphic At the end of 2011, a heavyweight …

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  1. taxman
    Thumb Up

    Oooooh Ahhhhhhh

    Light up the sky with.......

    A nice challenge to try to mimic using Estes kit bits and pieces!

  2. Mike 140
    Boffin

    Looks strangely familiar

    Have you got a stash of issues of Eagle?

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Oh!

    Ah!

  4. Vulch
    Boffin

    Mmmmm.....

    On purely visual grounds, a Fireball XL5 style vertical stabiliser on the tip of each main wing would finish it nicely.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Mmmmm.....

      Yes - the drawing is missing the wingtip rudders.

      1. Vulch
        Happy

        Re: Mmmmm.....

        Ah, splendid!

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Mmmmm.....

        Thanks, Lester - I was wondering where the vertical control surfaces were going to be (I *had* read the Bootnote, but was still going to ask much the same question as Vulch!)

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Mmmmm.....

          Yes, it looks a bit unstable without the rudders.

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    Pointy and barbed. What kind of warhead will it carry?

    1. Return To Sender
      Go

      Re: Nice

      In the light of recent, errmm, misdaventures, possibly something anti-shipping would be appropriate?

    2. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Nice

      A shark with frikkin' laser beams

  6. ISYS
    Coat

    Aerodynamics

    I think all that purple text will make it unstable........

    Sorry

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Aerodynamics

      Pardon me while I both up-vote you and boo you at the same time.

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Joke

    Space Shuttle?

    At least it's a proven design! Then again, that thing flew like a brick and was tiled with bricks.

  8. Medium Aardvark
    Thumb Up

    Testing?

    Looks great.

    Will you be flight testing the airframe & autopilot this time? either dropping it from a balloon or chucking it off a skyscaper / cliff should do the trick.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Testing?

      Some testing is certainly in order.

  9. Mondo the Magnificent
    Devil

    Rest assured....

    .. that the concept design diagram you submitted will soon appear in the Iranian press as a "homebrewed Iranial rocket powered drone that will singlehandedly lead to the destruction of the enemies of the ayatollah"

  10. annodomini2
    Boffin

    Stabilisation

    Will there be sufficient air pressure at the launch altitude to allow the winged surfaces to stabilise the direction of the craft?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Stabilisation

      The design guys are on the case. It's all about how fast the aircraft exits the launch rod...

      1. Vulch
        Coat

        Re: Stabilisation

        Test firing at ground level in a LATTE?

        Low Altitude Test of Truss Exit...

  11. Annihilator
    Go

    Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator

    Low Orbit *Hydrogen* Assisted Navigator. My one man campaign to update the name continues... :-)

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator

      It's a lonely path you're treading, but stick with it

  12. 7-zark-7
    Thumb Up

    Gerry Anderson would be proud

    Please tell me it's missing a high 'T-tail' and the cockpit is going in the tail section.

    Fireflash was such a great looking idea. As i child, i really couldn't understand why passenger jets a) never looked this cool b) weren't nuclear powered.

    1. David Given
      Go

      Re: Gerry Anderson would be proud

      Someone did Fireflash in XPlane! Kick-ass video link and writeup follows:

      http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=15156

      The conclusion seems to be that it's a really stupid design for an aeroplane. Looks fantastic, though.

  13. PKM
    Mushroom

    Kerbal Space Program

    ... would provide a fun (if not particularly informative) simulation of this design.

    What's that? XPlane? Too much like hard work...

  14. paulc
    Thumb Up

    don't forget...

    the "This way up", "Other side up" decals on the wings... plus the playmonaut needs a blister/window...

  15. Katie Saucey
    Go

    First thing to my mind when I saw the shape was "lawn dart"

    The lawn-dart-like design does have a fairly successful historical precedent, i.e North American X-15 space plane.

  16. lawndart

    says

    Looks like someone has been channelling Chesley Bonestell.

    Which is only right.

    It looks superb.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: says

      'Looks like someone has been channelling Chesley Bonestell.'

      Or Wile E Coyote.

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: says

      I was thinking Willy Ley, myself -- but, yes, they would be proud. This is what a space-plane is SUPPOSED to look like!

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: says

        I couldn't agree more. Doubles all round for the Southampton chaps.

  17. Peter Simpson 1
    Thumb Up

    "Rest assured, the thing will fly"

    Carved on a granite marker at the launch site, it will be.

    //Orville and Wilbur nod and smile, knowingly

  18. Dave Bell

    Handley Page lives!

    This all puts me in mind of the Handley Page Victor. The wing shape is similar.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Handley Page lives!

      Not quite the scimatar/crescent wing of the Victor but I see what you mean.

      Back end similarities with Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52, General Aircraft GAL.56?

      Frederick and George Miles would no doubt approve of a canard/tandem wing design

  19. ukgnome Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Awesome - in remindes me of fireball xl5

  20. Harvey Trowell
    Thumb Up

    Nice 'poon. Next stop moon?

    We're whalers on the Moon, we carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales so we tell tall tales and sing our whaling tune.

  21. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Will it scale?

    You know, So it prints in a single go on let's say a 7" x 7" work area. Hypothetically, of course. Oh and you wouldn't happen to have a link to such an STL file would you?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Will it scale?

      The links to such files, if they in fact exist, would be highly classified.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Will it scale?

        Alright then, I'll just have to settle for the desktop model of Vulture 1 and not a matched set. heavy sigh

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: Will it scale?

          Fret ye not. We'll release all the CAD stuff when the project's wrapped.

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Will it scale?

            You know what? You guys are half left regardless of that fella who says you're all right. Cheers!

  22. Steve Mann

    Bah!

    If this contraption is capable of planoforming it will need to be big enough to hold a couple of pinlighters and a snoozing of cats in addition to the Playmonaut or "Go Captain" to use the correct term. This will in turn require a much bigger launch truss and volume of whatever lift gas is deemed best.

    I look forward to the acrimony of the cost-overrun committee meetings.

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