BOE773
Topic Author
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Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:25 am

Would anyone have a picture or even have seen the C-5 that transports the Aurora hypersonic spaceplane to and from Groome lake and various other airfields. I read about it in Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine that two C5s was modified by widening their forward fuselages to accept the Aurora's wings without them having to be removed for air transporting. I'm not sure as to the exact model of C5.
Thanks.
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:18 am

The C-5A was the standard model that first appeared in 1968, around 75 were made. C-5Bs were improved models of the C-5A. Two C-5Cs were modified for use by NASA for transporting large payloads.

Maybe that is it, but why not just fly the Aurora?

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
Spacepope
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:41 am

Just to clarify, the C-5Cs were modified by removing the rear troop deck for increased internal height, not by expanding the fuselage.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:22 am

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 2):
Just to clarify, the C-5Cs were modified by removing the rear troop deck for increased internal height, not by expanding the fuselage.

You might want to check out wikipedia's entry on the C-5.

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:55 pm

My original post has turned into major thread creep!!

I am not interested in a history lesson as to how many C-5As were produced, nor modified to C-5Bs, nor modded to -Cs. Thanks anyway.

The specific C5s that I'm interested in had two 'blisters' built into the forward fuselage just at the fwd ramp cut-out to accept the Aurora's wingspan.

Now, has anyone have any more info?
Thanks.
 
aislepathlight
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:03 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 3):

You might want to check out wikipedia's entry on the C-5.

Sorry to be off topic, but do you actually believe Wiki? It is all classified, and all one can do is guess.
bleepbloop
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:18 pm

Quoting BOE773 (Reply 4):
The specific C5s that I'm interested in had two 'blisters' built into the forward fuselage just at the fwd ramp cut-out to accept the Aurora's wingspan.

I can tell you, No C-5 has been modified in the fwd fuselage area. The only 2 that were modified were 68-213 and 216, to C-5Cs, and as stated above, had the troop compartment removed, and aft door complex re-done to allow additional height clearance. Where ever you got that info, is false information.
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:22 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 6):

AWST magazine.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:34 pm

Post the article, although I can probably still say they are FOS.
 
jwenting
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:43 pm

Well, since Aurora doesn't exist there's no need to transport it  Smile
I wish I were flying
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:18 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 8):
Post the article, although I can probably still say they are FOS.



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 9):
Well, since Aurora doesn't exist there's no need to transport it

Im going to go with both these posts - Aurora is a myth, its a legend, a set of wishes.
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:51 pm

When the Blackstar/Blacklight project article in AW&ST was published about six months ago it was quickly agreed that there was a lot of very poor reporting, conjecture, and questionable claims. One of these was the existance to two visibly modified C-5s with cheek cowls to accomodate bigger (wider) loads. It was generally agreed that no C-5 has ever been seen publicly with such a modification, and those in the C-5 world agreed that all of the airframes were accounted for. Furthermore, the supposed aircraft serial numbers were bogus. A little googling will help in your search for these C-5s.

I suspect your seach will be a fruitless one. Good luck nevertheless....

SLCPilot
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:55 pm

Quoting AislepathLight (Reply 5):
do you actually believe Wiki? It is all classified, and all one can do is guess.

Who would claim that type of information to be false???? If you want to delve deeper, look into LM's production figures for the L-500 1986-1989.
UH-60's suck!!!
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:41 pm

Quoting Migfan (Reply 12):
Who would claim that type of information to be false???? If you want to delve deeper, look into LM's production figures for the L-500 1986-1989.

Not entirely sure what you are trying to say exactly. Production from 1986 - 1989 on the L-500 line was the production C-5B series of 50 aircraft and two C-5Cs produced in 1988 and 1989 with tailnumbers 213 and 216, both currently reside at Travis AFB.

All production numbers of the C-5 can be accounted for.

Wikipedia is a very unreliable source of information, it should never be quoted without many other trustworthy and reliable sources also quoted to back it up.
 
Spacepope
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:08 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 3):
You might want to check out wikipedia's entry on the C-5.

/M

As a researcher, I know crap data when I see it. Wiki is useless as a resource if ANY degree of accuracy is required. In any case, according to wiki:

Quote:
Two specially modified variants of the C-5C were created for NASA. These aircraft, numbers 68-0213 and 68-0216, were redesigned for use in transporting large payloads, such as satellites and, as such, have a larger internal cargo capacity than any of the other C-5 variants.

So, do you think these aircraft have the special "cheeks" for the "Aurora", or do you think that a simpler method of increasing internal volume was used?

Next time try a RELIABLE SOURCE. Here's Globalsecurity:

Quote:
The C-5C is a Space Cargo Modified Galaxy specially modified to carry satellites and other large cargo. It is the only modified version of the C-5 that provides special airlift support for satellites. With the troop compartment removed and modification to their rear loading doors, it has a larger cargo area than other C-5s. There are two places to plug in external power, one for aircraft power and one to provide power for the payload canister. These two aircraft (68-0213 and 68-0216) are assigned to the 60th Airlift Wing at Travis AFB. According to some reports, the 68-0216 aircraft was chosen for the modification after it had landed with the nose gear up, and it was in need of refurbishment in any event. The the 68-0213 aircraft was supposedly selected after a fire in the troop compartment during depo maintenance.
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Spacepope
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:10 pm

And here's a pic of 68-0216.... no cheeks here....


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert M Rossman

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deltadc9
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:14 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 3):
You might want to check out wikipedia's entry on the C-5.

Some of these nutcases here on A.net are more reliable than Wikipedia

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 10):
Im going to go with both these posts - Aurora is a myth, its a legend, a set of wishes.

Which is exactly what they said about the U-2, SR-71, F-117, B-2, and many other planes. Or did the US suddenly forget how to build bleeding edge designs?

Since black projects still exist, the fruits of their labors must exist also.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:31 pm

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 16):
Which is exactly what they said about the U-2, SR-71, F-117, B-2, and many other planes. Or did the US suddenly forget how to build bleeding edge designs?

The Aurora has been rumoured since the 1970s, and in 1986 got its 'name' from a Fiscal budget report line item.

The B-2 was made public before it flew.

The F-117 was made public 10 years after it first flew.

The U-2 was made public less than 6 years after it first flew.

The SR-71 was made public less than 2 years after the A-12 flew, and the same year the SR-71 prototype flew.

Are you seriously saying the Aurora has been kept secret since the 1970s? over 20 years since the fiscal line item was made public? This cutting edge aircraft thats been rumoured to exist now for nigh on 30 years?

Yes, the USAF is probably developing advanced aircraft, but Im sorry - the mythical aircraft that is the Aurora just doesnt exist.
 
AirRyan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:59 pm

Is this the Aurora, because I have seen it before?!  Smile

 
XC5Eng
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:56 am

LOL...  rotfl  this is some funny stuff! Well, whether it exists or not we can positively say that no C-5 fuselage modification exists to transport a fixed-wing aircraft. You want to transport an aircraft with a C-5?  hyper  Just cut the wings and stabs off and slide her in... nooo problem!  tongue 
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:09 am

Ok, I get it...

No one gives Wiki any credibility, that's is why millions of people use it.

BELIEVE ME, I understand. I work at a University, and no professor accepts Wikipedia sources, BUT the articles are only as good as the one writing it. That is the great thing, anyone can add and contrbute. Thus, allowing a better chance for truth to surface.

The responses listed above also illustrate the dated views some folks have.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 17):
Yes, the USAF is probably developing advanced aircraft, but Im sorry - the mythical aircraft that is the Aurora just doesnt exist.

Can you say that with absolute, 100%, beyond a reasonable, prove-it in a court of law, certainty? I don't think any of us can...

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
AirRyan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:25 am

Quoting Migfan (Reply 20):
Can you say that with absolute, 100%, beyond a reasonable, prove-it in a court of law, certainty? I don't think any of us can...

And we can't even be certain of who shot JFK, either. Anything is possible, I guess.

 
RichardPrice
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:33 am

Quoting Migfan (Reply 20):
Can you say that with absolute, 100%, beyond a reasonable, prove-it in a court of law, certainty? I don't think any of us can...

I can say with 100% absolute certainty that the aircraft everyone has been talking about for the past 30 years doesnt exist.

Come on, take a look at the range of 'capabilities' the Aurora has been touted to have, and then take a look at the level of technology we currently have - sure, extrapolate for black projects being 15 years ahead but even then it comes nowhere near enough to fulfil the Aurora fantasy that theorists have.
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:01 am

I am sorry, that just sounds like a biased opinion, and a "glass is half-empty" one too. We don't know what the USAF and the US Govt. has tucked away. We only know what the Govt. lets us know, and in these days that is becoming less and less.

It may not be "Aurora", which the name proven to be a piece of artistic license, but something is out there. Look at the expansion Area-51 has undergone in the last ten years. The place is huge, with one on the longest runways in the world!

That is a lot of airbase and secrecy for nothing...

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:19 am

Quoting Migfan (Reply 23):
I am sorry, that just sounds like a biased opinion, and a "glass is half-empty" one too

And yours sounds like the wish of a schoolboy.

Im a realist, I look at the technology available today, the technology available 30 years ago and extrapolate.

30 years ago we were flying at Mach 2 in comfort, at Mach 3 in spacesuits. Today nothings really changed.

30 years ago we were sending up astronauts on essentially large tanks of fuel. Massive tanks of fuel actually. Today nothings really changed.

30 years ago we were struggling with audible sonic booms. Today nothings really changed.

30 years ago we were having issues with fuel efficiency. Today nothings really changed.

Theres nothing at all to suggest that a hypersonic suborbital craft with a fuel efficiency that means it doesnt require spaceshuttle sized fueltanks, that is able to fly extremely fast without producing sonic booms for extended periods of time within the atmoshpere is within our capability to produce at this moment in time.

And all of that is supposed to happen within a military procurement structure that the Soviets had penetrated to a significant degree in the 1970s and 1980s - with the amount of money they were throwing at operatives, traitors and spies during that era, some leak would have occured and we would have found out about that when the KGB and GRU archives were opened in the 1990s.

I just cannot believe that the USAF funded, developed, built, operated and retired (supposedly) a hypersonic aircraft that by todays standards couldnt be built in complete and utter secrecy for 30 years.

And for the obvious 'well, stealth wasnt capable until the F-117 was built' comment - the concept for the F-117 design came from a Soviet scientists research paper in the public domain, in which he had even laid out complex algorythms. His name was Pyotr Ufimstev.
 
XC5Eng
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:41 am

This is getting real good!
 bouncy   bouncy   bouncy   bouncy   bouncy 
 
lehpron
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:05 am

I am approaching this from a purely technocal sense, this is far from a humorous subject, IMO.

The cargo bay of the C-5 (even something like An-225) is simply not wide enough for a piloted hypersonic airframe. The required fuel load alone to accelerate it up and maintain this speed for at least an hour to perform its mission would be the size of the Space Shuttle, minimum. (It is more practical to ferry outside that inside.) Plus most hypersonic vehicle concepts even from the 1980's til now do not use wings to lift, they use shoe-horn shaped lifting-bodies that are not foldable like wings. Such a vehicle is never going to get inside a plane like a C-5, which is like trying to fold a burrito without stuff coming out the sides.

The issue with Aurora is not just the plane, there apparently are at least a half dozen other vehicles that get associated with the project, makes the whole thing seem like a myth as nobody can get their facts straight - there are none, everything is hush-hush for the most part.

For all practical purposes, as per current technology, a machine that may be able to fit inside a C-5 is not Aurora but one of the other machines that get associated with it. It may not even be flyable, with all the stuff that get's associated with classified military programs, it could be some time of equipment for the plane, etc.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
dw747400
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:35 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 24):
I just cannot believe that the USAF funded, developed, built, operated and retired (supposedly) a hypersonic aircraft that by todays standards couldnt be built in complete and utter secrecy for 30 years.

Your assumption seems to rely on looking at the rumors and conjectures as either all accurate or all false. It is more likely that some information regarding USAF development projects is rooted in fact, other the work of conspiracy theorist. Just because the rumor of a hypersonic aircraft has been around since 1970 doesn't mean that is when the aircraft was built--or else it couldn't exist. Speculation about projects happens all the time, but it is neither accurate enough to say for certain a project exists or if a project does not exist.

I personally have no idea if Aurora exists-- but given the glints of insight I've gotten from trusted individuals involved with certain programs, I think you may not fully realize where USAF R and D is today, and thus where it has been in the past.

I'm not trying to promote a conspiracy theory or state the aircraft is real--just that there is not sufficient evidence to say for sure it is not!
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
MigFan
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:03 am

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 26):
the whole thing seem like a myth as nobody can get their facts straight - there are none, everything is hush-hush for the most part.

I think that is the idea.

Also, the one thing that stops progress was not mentioned, money. We are not flying faster, farther, and comfier because it is not profitable. Big defense budgets from the cold war are gone. There is too much cost conscious insight to development to have a pioneering business plan.

If Airbus thought that a mach 3 airliner would be profitable, they'd build one.
If anyone really gave a hoot about space exploration, we would be going.

As long as a satellite can be launched to sell bandwidth for communcations companies, the space race will be considered won.

Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 27):
I'm not trying to promote a conspiracy theory or state the aircraft is real--just that there is not sufficient evidence to say for sure it is not!

E-X-A-C-T-L-Y ! ! !

Saying that you know for sure, without any proof, and just your opinions makes for a bad arguement. I am not saying that aurora exists, but I do not doubt it either.

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:26 am

Quoting BOE773 (Reply 7):
Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 6):


AWST magazine.

A fantastic publication - but they aren't flawless.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
seefivein
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:25 pm

Being that the Air force Owns the C-5's - I do not know of any project the original post has asked .

Maybe a B-52 that NASA has purchased might be the canidate or one of Airbuses freighter might be the one to handle that job

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...um%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26sa%3DG
 
L-188
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:42 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 3):
You might want to check out wikipedia's entry on the C-5.



Quoting Spacepope (Reply 14):
Here's Globalsecurity:

Quote:
The C-5C is a Space Cargo Modified Galaxy specially modified to carry satellites and other large cargo. It is the only modified version of the C-5 that provides special airlift support for satellites. With the troop compartment removed and modification to their rear loading doors, it has a larger cargo area than other C-5s. There are two places to plug in external power, one for aircraft power and one to provide power for the payload canister. These two aircraft (68-0213 and 68-0216) are assigned to the 60th Airlift Wing at Travis AFB. According to some reports, the 68-0216 aircraft was chosen for the modification after it had landed with the nose gear up, and it was in need of refurbishment in any event. The the 68-0213 aircraft was supposedly selected after a fire in the troop compartment during depo maintenance.

They had a C-5C and a C-5A/B on display at Arctic Thunder a couple of years back. It was an interesting comparison.

Checks no-reworked doors and the rear troop compartment floor removed-Yes.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Blackbird
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Sun Jul 23, 2006 10:41 am

First of all, someone here stated that in the 1960's we could do Mach 2 with comfort, and Mach 3 in space-suits. That is not entirely correct. Lockheed did build a SST-contender that was to fly at Mach 3.0 at a cruising altitude between 71,500 feet and 76,500 feet using ordinary Jet-A. In many ways it was more advanced than the Boeing contender in various technical points, including the fact that it didn't require variable geometry inlets to achieve a self-starting high-pressure recovery inlet. It's wings naturally due to it's elaborately tested and constructed conical camber and twist caused the forward delta to take over the bulk of the lift production supersonically countering the nose-down tendency with a nose up one using no variable geometry wings (something Boeing required). It's design was also significantly lighter than Boeing's design. Boeing effectively won the countract because they "bought" the contract: meaning they effectively used their monetary means and political connections to bribe the countract. Technically Boeing's design did theoretically have a lower take off velocity and a slightly higher L/D ratio which some have questioned it's accuracy. Even despite buying the contract, their design had a number of short-comings. The complex wing-pivots, and aeroelasticity problems all added weight to the design. The wing-pivot's weight may have been honestly underestimated, or deliberately fudged to make it look acceeptable figuring they could lower the weight with various machining techniques when it really counted. But in either case, the plane ended up going through various modifications to the tail, flaps and wings, and a fuselage widening that would have made it nearly as wide as a 767, and lengthening that would have probably made the airplane nearly 320-feet long. Canards were also added to the design as well. The plane ended up fully loaded before a single person stepped aboard. They tried to lower the weight-- they failed, and even tried simpler swing-wing configurations before just giving up and using a more conventional looking tailed double-delta wing. The plane still probably would have flown had environmentalists, and various congressmen opposing the amount of taxpayer's funding on it would have bit the bullet. The plane was physically constructable in other words.

Had the L-2000 won the competition, they probably could have got the plane into the air before environmentalists were able to make a sufficient stink to endanger the program. It also was a simpler design that was constructed by people that probably had far more experience with titanium alloys and machining said alloys to save weight. The program called for a first prototype flight in 1970 continuing on to 1972. The production prototypes would have first flown in 1972, and would have been certified and entering airline service in 1974. As most people know, 1973 was the OPEC Oil Crisis: The Arab nations got together and decided to place an embargo on all nations that defended Israel during the Yom Kippur War (1973) as a vindictive punishment. I don't think any SST would have entered service as a result of that-- but such a plane was physically build-able.

The Aurora most people discuss about is often envisioned as a 75-degree delta winged plane capable of flying at Mach 6 at 100,000-something feet. Even if such a real aircraft was to exist, nobody knows if Aurora was it's name. Aurora was a name listed on an appropriations bill that was listed by accident because a censor slipped. It could have been anything, a high-altitude drone, the B-2 bomber, some other aircraft.
In 1989, a man named Chris Gibson while working on a rig off the North Sea noticed an aircraft with a 75-degree sweep next to two F-111's with their wings in a low-sweep configuration (all the way out) off of the plane's port side. The 75-degree delta appeared to be refuelling with a KC-135 tanker. Chris Gibson was a member of the Royal Observer Corps who also competed in competitions where they would flash a picture of a plane in a far-off, unusual attitude position and they would have to get the right answer: Allegedly he excelled at this. Sure it could have been an F-111 with it's wings stuck in the fully swept position trying to take on fuel before it crashed into the ocean, or it could have been what Chris Gibson claimed. Gibson could not talk about it for about a year or two because of the Official Secrets Act he was still subject to.

Many believe Aurora was a replacement for the SR-71 Blackbird, a plane retired in 1990, then reactivated in the mid 1990's, and retired again. Some people believe because the "Aurora" wasn't good enough. They were almost right.The Blackstar if I recall it's name right was an aircraft powered by some type of rocket, and carried up to altitude by a mothership aircraft-- another plane that many people have claimed to see. It was around 100-200 feet long with a fighter like canopy, delta wings with two rectangular boxes under the wings with two engines per box, with up-turned wingtips. Some reports said it had canards, others said it didn't. Some say it had chines, others said it didn't... but the basic plane, around 150 feet long, two engine boxes with two engines per pod, white, with up-turned wing tips has been sighted enough times to make one wonder. Hypothetically at Mach 3.0 at 70,000 feet, if you launched a rocketplane like vehicle you could get the aircraft into low earth orbit. You could also scream along the upper atmosphere for a bit even if just on momentum.

Whether true or not, I don't know.

In regards to the "Mach 3 in space suits" referring to the Blackbird, you are likely wrong. The Blackbird's speed is still officially classified. The "Official" Manuel for the Blackbird seems to be heavily sanitized. First of all, there is not that much of a temperature rise from Mach 3.0 to 3.2. Mach 3.0 would net you around 500 something degrees (derived from the SST figures) generally speaking. The bulk of kinetic heating increases will occur usually once past Mach 5 when in hypersonic flight. The X-15 for example reached Mach 6, and was designed to withstand 1,200 F. The bulk of that increase in temperature from 500-1200 occured probably from Mach 4.25 to 6.

You folks probably all heard of the XB-70 Valkyrie. It was a beautiful bomber, looked something out of a Sci-Fi movie actually. The X-279E engine that was to power it and it's competitor (the Boeing 804-4) before it was selected as the champion was rated at Mach 4. That's right, a turbojet rated for Mach 4-- by the way the X-279E was the J-93. I'm not making this up either-- in fact I have a book ( a very highly detailed book ) on the XB-70 which confirms this fact.
The Boeing 804-4 was even stated to have Mach 4 performance as well. Allegedly the book states that the XB-70 won because of it having a better L/D ratio. I could understand them picking the slower one if the difference was Mach 0.3 different, not a whole Mach number, even if the slower one's got a humungus lift/drag ratio. To make it interesting I did a search and found a rather interesting NASA document talking about an inlet desgn for the XB-70 that was capable of providing 90-percent efficiency (which is the commonly listed efficiency of the inlets) at Mach 3.8. Now that is more logical... XB was slightly slower but far more aerodynamically efficient, the other jet was a little bit faster, but poor aerodynamics... That makes more sense-- the difference in speed between the two was only around 65 to 67 miles an hour. Big difference if you're in a cessna-- not much for a high-speed bomber. Especially when this slightly slower bomber has twice the bomb-load (50,000 pounds vs 25,000 pounds). Since the XB-70 was capable of Mach 3.8, it was probably also able to fly at higher altitudes as well, probably getting close to 100,000 feet.

Back to the Blackbird, another thing even more interesting about the Blackbird is it's engines. The J-58. It was originally derived from the J-91, one of the other engines in the XB-70 competition. It had a pressure ratio of only 7:1 to allow it to fly at such high speeds. The Navy needed a high-speed interceptor capable of blazing speed, and Pratt n Whitney scaled the J-91 down to 80% and increased it's pressure ratio to get more thrust out of the engine, and used a Inlet Guide Vane to lower the AOA on the compressor, producing around the same pressure ratio as the larger engine, yet allowing nearly all the thrust of the larger engine at lower speeds and altitudes -- around 26,500 (J91 = 28,000), and up to 45,000 on afterburner (J91 Normal = 44,000 / J91-w-HEF-3 in Afterburn = 48,000). The J-58 was even considered as an alternate XB-70 engine powerplant periodically as the XB-70 was built. In some ways it was a far simpler design than the J-93. The J-93 ultimately was used to power the XB-70 throughout all it's flights to my knowledge. The J-93 and J-58 were considered pretty much equivalents in terms of their maximum operating Mach number and thrust levels probably.

The A-12 to fly at Mach 3.2 would not have required such extensive changes to the engine. It would have flown at Mach 3.2 at 85,000 feet just fine with an unmodified J-58-- I don't even think it would have needed the afterburner (could be wrong here!). In fact, the A-12 could have flown up to Mach 4.0 with those engines using continuous afterburn.
As for the exact speed of the A-12/SR-71, I don't know: It's classified. However I can speculate. It's faster than the XB-70 Valkyrie obviously since it's engines have so many modifications to fly faster. How much faster I'm not really sure. It does use a different fuel (JP-7, which can sustain higher temperatures) than the XB-70 (JP-6), and the SR-71's fuel allegedly can take nearly 1,200 degrees without lighting off.
The X-15 achieved Mach 6 and skin temperatures equalling 1,200 degrees. It featured a blunt-chined fuselage with a slightly blunted nose, and tapered, highly sharp wings. During some of the Mach 6 flights the plane was burned to a crisp in some areas. However, there were derivatives of the WWII V-2 rocket which featured fins that were extended like chines all the way to the nose and were capable of achieving 3,500 nm range. They were probably even faster than the regular V-2's Mach 5 capability, and would have had to have held a high speed for at least some time without falling apart. And that was with 1940's metallurgy. Metallurgy of the late '50's were considerably improved-- stronger and probably lighter, and by the late '50's there were certain titanium alloys are almost as temperature resistant as stainless steel. Combined with a black coating to re-radiate some heat back, and a broad-chined design, even without a blunted nose, some very heat-absorbant fuel, and the right engine, an aircraft could at least in theory achieve or slightly exceed Mach 5 for dashes, and achieve mid/upper Mach 4, to Mach 5 for sustained cruise.
The modified J-58 featured extensive modifications over the original engine. It featured a bypass on the fourth-stage, forming into six bypass tubes which feed just downstream of the turbines, the exact degree of bypass is dicated by compressor inlet temp. The compressor geometry was changed, the turbine casing was designed to allow the blades to expand a little bit, probably better turbine cooling, various metallurgical changes, a more efficient afterburner with vernier control, a engine-trim to lean the fuel/air ratio and a de-rich setting to lower the fuel/air ratio in the afterburner. All these various changes were to increase the maximum speed the engine can fly at, and to increase efficiency. The nozzles were attached as part of the airframe instead of on the engine as originally to save weight and possibly for greater efficiency. The J-58 variant that powered the A-12 was vastly faster than the original design, and probably was capable of hypersonic speed with the correct inlet and airframe.
The Blackbird's inlets are quite an impressive design. They did inordinate amounts of tests on them, probably in various scale models and various speed wind-tunnels. Generally speaking, variable geometry inlets are usually shorter for the same efficiency at a given mach number than fixed inlets-- even despite the variable geometry configuration the inlets take up a large portion of the length of the overall nacelle's length which indicate a very high operating speed. The most notable characteristic about the airplane's inlets are it's centerbodies-- football shaped spikes which are turned in at lower speed and less turned out at higher speeds exposing the centerbody's flared shape which forms a series of oblique shockwaves to produce a higher pressure recovery. While the spikes aren't as flared as you would think, the throat is flared considerably more so the bulk of the shockwaves are most likely formed on the walls of the inlet. The thickest area of the spike feature a series of holes which is used to skim off turbulent airflow. Struts connect the spikes to the walls of the ducts. The strut which connects the front of the engine to the inlet spike features a powerful motor that can extend or retract the inlet through it's full range of travel. The inlet-duct walls feature a series of bypass-door vents, which at low speed act like blow-in doors to add extra airflow to the engine, and close as the speed increases until a certain airflow temperature or a certain mach number is achieved, where they then open to dump some air overboard and relieve the inlet pressure. As the speed increases past a certain point the drag levels become too extreme, so an aft set of bypass doors located just in front of the engine begin opening-- the airflow goes around the engine and feeds into the afterburner plume. The forward and aft bypass door arrangements generally work opposite of each other (ie One opens more, the other closes more). Eventually the forward bypass is kept minimally open or closed, the aft bypass doors in the A position or closed. The engines bleed-bypass system would be operating at this point and would increase as necessary the bypass level. The engine-trim would probably be used around this point to lower the turbine inlet temp by leaning the fuel/air ratio, and eventually using the afterburner de-rich to increase fuel efficiency and possibly to avoid overheating the burner.
The J-58 due to the fact that the turbine-casing was designed to expand a little and allow the blades to expand as well to allow a higher operating temperature. The problem was that they didn't expand at exactly the same rate requiring a climb schedule.

There were observational reports of a plane that was waverider like in appearance with a comrpession ramp on the underside and a couple of engines wrapped along the underside of the ramp with the back part flared up. They said from the front it looked like an evil grin (the intakes). It allegedly made a noise that sounded like the sky ripping open. A rocket-based combined cycle boosted ramjet engine could produce acoustical characteristics described. Such an engine would be able to produce thrust levels equivalent to the fully loaded weight of the airplane, and efficiencies at 25,000 feet subsonic speeds equal to a 1960's military turbofan. The engine could probably run on the ramjet/RBCC together up to Mach 6, with a ramjet only mode of Mach 8 to 9.
If these reports are indeed correct, I'm not sure Lockheed built it. I think McDonnel Douglas did it: they made lots of highly swept-back, compression ramped waverider designs which resembles the aircraft allegedly spotted over the north sea and in at least one potential other sighting. Their NASP contender also looked very similar.

Goodnight. Hope I said everything right. I started typing this post in the morning, and then added more later, and finished up now
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:48 pm

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 32):
The strut which connects the front of the engine to the inlet spike features a powerful motor that can extend or retract the inlet through it's full range of travel.

was a screwjack used to move the spike fwd and aft ?
 
aislepathlight
Posts: 549
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:58 pm

Quoting Blackbird (Reply 32):

Hands down the longest and most informative post
 bigthumbsup 
bleepbloop
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:13 am

Thanks for that excellent post with all that good info pulled together, even though I've read most of this in various publications already.

http://www.labiker.org/xb70.html
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:14 am

 
MigFan
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:50 am

RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting AislepathLight (Reply 34):
Hands down the longest and most informative post

No kidding, great stuff ! I had to read that twice...
UH-60's suck!!!
 
checksixx
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:38 pm

I can tell you that there are some strange things flying out at Groom. Been out on the ranges late at night and seen some amazing things. I don't really want to know though.

-Check
 
BOE773
Topic Author
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 3:51 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 38):
I can tell you that there are some strange things flying out at Groom. Been out on the ranges late at night and seen some amazing things. I don't really want to know though.

What was your specific location, lat/long?
Man, there is great futuristic stuff going on at Groome.
I'm all on for it but average joe public has no business in knowing about top secret developmental ideas.
 
MigFan
Posts: 710
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:49 pm

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 38):
I don't really want to know thou

You mean you don't know...

They're UFOs man !!! Probably DIA folks with a bunch of R/C models messing with the folks freezing in the night time desert.

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
deltadc9
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RE: Modified C-5 To Airfreight The Aurora?

Mon Jul 24, 2006 10:30 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 17):
Are you seriously saying the Aurora has been kept secret since the 1970s? over 20 years since the fiscal line item was made public? This cutting edge aircraft thats been rumoured to exist now for nigh on 30 years?

What I am saying is that is it more than likely that a SR-71 replacement is active. The on again off again retirement of the SR-71 is a key clue.

I do not buy in to conspiracy theories or put more stock onto the black projects than they deserve, but you are going a little too far in the other direction IMHO.

There are plenty of secrets that have been maintained far longer than your list would suggest. I have been "lucky" enough to have seen a few "secrets" for myself while I had top secret classification status with the U.S. Navy. They are pretty damned successful in their efforts to keep a lid on most things, you can trust me on this, but I do not expect you to.

They are very persuasive also, my uncle went to his grave keeping WWII code breaking secrets because the 50 year limit was not up yet. The alternative was just not an option.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny

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