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Speed Limits On 747 Space Shuttle Carrier  
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4384 posts, RR: 19
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 5906 times:

Trying to find out what the speed / mach and altitude limits are on the Nasa 747SCA with a space shuttle attached for ferry flights.



Also, are there any speed / mach / altitude limits on the SCA when it is not carrying the Shuttle ?


Just wondered if those struts and different vertical tail set up might affect it.


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2314 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5884 times:
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NASA says 250kts/.60M with or without a Shuttle on top. They don't list a maximum altitude, but mention "typical" cruise altitudes of 13-15,000ft (mated) and 24-36,000ft (unmated). I'd expect that with the huge drag of the Orbiter, and the significant fall-off in engine performance with increasing altitude, the maximum achievable altitude (mated) is not that far beyond the 15,000ft listed.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/FactSheets/FS-013-DFRC.html


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4384 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5873 times:

I knew they had some pretty restrictive limits while carrying the Shuttle i'm just surprised the restriction remains when
it is not carrying it.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineSinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1637 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5706 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 2):
I knew they had some pretty restrictive limits while carrying the Shuttle i'm just surprised the restriction remains when
it is not carrying it.

From reading http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/FactSheets/FS-013-DFRC.html
I'd venture a guess that the speed restriction relates to the two extra vertical stabilizers and the altitude restriction related to the tempature limit of 15F(-9C) degs.



My Country can beat up your Country....
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8792 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 1):

NASA says 250kts/.60M with or without a Shuttle on top. They don't list a maximum altitude, but mention "typical" cruise altitudes of 13-15,000ft (mated) and 24-36,000ft (unmated). I'd expect that with the huge drag of the Orbiter, and the significant fall-off in engine performance with increasing altitude, the maximum achievable altitude (mated) is not that far beyond the 15,000ft listed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approach_and_Landing_Tests

During the early tests with Enterprise, the mated pair got up to above 30,000 feet, and 474 mph. The highest altitude the Enterprise was released at was 26,000 feet.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3739 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Trying to find out what the speed / mach and altitude limits are on the Nasa 747SCA with a space shuttle attached for ferry flights.

I would say around 7 Miles/second and around 250 mi high...
 

I'm also guessing the limiting factors are all the appendages added to the SCA to carry the orbiter and stabilize the airflow around the 'assembly'. I doubt either airframe would mind going higher or faster, especially the one on top.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
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