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Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 pm
by Northwest1988
Came across this earlier. They’re saying it could be the next spruce goose. What is everyone’s thoughts? Could someone else use the massive plane for something?

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ain-future

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:24 pm
by Waterbomber2
Paul Allen should have had a transition plan in place for when he's not around anymore.
That he didnt have that ready shows that he wasn't working for the greater good but for bragging rights.
The project is most likely to die now.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:37 pm
by KFLLCFII
Northwest1988 wrote:
They’re saying it could be the next spruce goose. What is everyone's thoughts?


At least the Stratolaunch got out of ground effect, unlike the Spruce Goose.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:56 pm
by ManoaChris
Waterbomber2 wrote:
Paul Allen should have had a transition plan in place for when he's not around anymore.
That he didnt have that ready shows that he wasn't working for the greater good but for bragging rights.
The project is most likely to die now.


After initial concerns about the probate being chaotic, it's proven quite orderly. Jody Allen apparently is fully empowered to handle his various enterprises and charities and has earned praise for managing the two highest-profile business - the professional sports franchises.

So I don't think this is an issue of poor transition - just a situation where this particular bet isn't panning out and Vulcan is ready to move on to the next thing.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:09 pm
by Phosphorus
Well, if Stratolaunch closes down, and all assets are auctioned off, then Northrop Grumman seems like the most natural bidder for the "Roc" airplane:
1) they've built it, so they know all there is to know about it
2) they will eventually need to replace their L-1011, the last of a kind, in air-launch role

realistically, no-one else needs Roc, right?

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:46 pm
by KFLLCFII
Phosphorus wrote:
realistically, no-one else needs Roc, right?


On paper, it appears to have an even greater maximum payload figure than the An-225...No idea about the comparison of payload-range scope, though.

Considering if it could carry a greatly-oversized piece of cargo compared to the 225, perhaps an oversized cargo "capsule" could be designed to contain and carry such cargo slung underneath the wing from where a rocket would have been hung...Wouldn't even need to be pressurized (saving weight and complication), just aerodynamically sound. May hypothetically be lucrative as a 225 replacement, or even upmarket from the 225.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:41 pm
by mikejepp
KFLLCFII wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
realistically, no-one else needs Roc, right?


On paper, it appears to have an even greater maximum payload figure than the An-225...No idea about the comparison of payload-range scope, though.

Considering if it could carry a greatly-oversized piece of cargo compared to the 225, perhaps an oversized cargo "capsule" could be designed to contain and carry such cargo slung underneath the wing from where a rocket would have been hung...Wouldn't even need to be pressurized (saving weight and complication), just aerodynamically sound. May hypothetically be lucrative as a 225 replacement, or even upmarket from the 225.


With the wide gear stance, unique non-production design, and huge wingspan.... can it even go to other airports? Has MHV been specifically modified to handle it?

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:05 am
by KFLLCFII
mikejepp wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
realistically, no-one else needs Roc, right?


On paper, it appears to have an even greater maximum payload figure than the An-225...No idea about the comparison of payload-range scope, though.

Considering if it could carry a greatly-oversized piece of cargo compared to the 225, perhaps an oversized cargo "capsule" could be designed to contain and carry such cargo slung underneath the wing from where a rocket would have been hung...Wouldn't even need to be pressurized (saving weight and complication), just aerodynamically sound. May hypothetically be lucrative as a 225 replacement, or even upmarket from the 225.


With the wide gear stance, unique non-production design, and huge wingspan.... can it even go to other airports? Has MHV been specifically modified to handle it?


https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/ ... nch-608617

"What size runway does the plane need? Is that a limiting factor?"

There are many runways. Think about almost every Air Force base you could use, most international airports you could use. Then you have the East Coast shuttle landing facility and the West Coast shuttle landing facility. You have Puerto Rico, which we could use if we want to go equatorial. We could use Hawaii. Almost any airport that can accommodate a 747 can accommodate this.

The issue is the stance of the vehicle, the width, not the runway length. More importantly, we have to be careful with the width of the taxiway. Taxiways aren’t normally wide enough to accommodate a 100-foot width. So we could use lots of airports, but we may not be able to taxi off the airport.


I can't find that MHV was modified to handle it.

On second thought, getting certified for commercial cargo operations would probably be the biggest hurdle.

I read elsewhere mentioning potentially a 2,000 mile operational range.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:18 am
by zuckie13
I wish I could say this is shocking, but its really not.
They launched this great airplane, but with no companion launch vehicle, what was the point? The only one they had is the Pegasus, which already has it's L1011 launch platform. Nothing new or bigger makes this a plane with no purpose.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:40 am
by TWA772LR
KFLLCFII wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
realistically, no-one else needs Roc, right?


On paper, it appears to have an even greater maximum payload figure than the An-225...No idea about the comparison of payload-range scope, though.

Considering if it could carry a greatly-oversized piece of cargo compared to the 225, perhaps an oversized cargo "capsule" could be designed to contain and carry such cargo slung underneath the wing from where a rocket would have been hung...Wouldn't even need to be pressurized (saving weight and complication), just aerodynamically sound. May hypothetically be lucrative as a 225 replacement, or even upmarket from the 225.

Thats a good idea on paper but how about in practice? Was Stalratolaunch designed to land with the rocket/weight if the mission were to be aborted?

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:40 am
by SuseJ772
I had a thought, which I am certain is wrong, but it does have me curious.

The design of it always looked almost unbelievable to me that structurally it would hold up. The spar/wing between the two fuselages seemed to be a weak point to me. Like in heavy turbulence would it snap? It just seems like a lot of weight could be creating forces in ways a wing/spar has not been fully vetted through historical aerospace.

Now again, I am sure I am wrong, but I do wonder if they figured something out during the test flight that found the engineering wasn’t as sound as they would hope.

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:09 am
by zanl188
SuseJ772 wrote:
I had a thought, which I am certain is wrong, but it does have me curious.

The design of it always looked almost unbelievable to me that structurally it would hold up. The spar/wing between the two fuselages seemed to be a weak point to me. Like in heavy turbulence would it snap? It just seems like a lot of weight could be creating forces in ways a wing/spar has not been fully vetted through historical aerospace.

Now again, I am sure I am wrong, but I do wonder if they figured something out during the test flight that found the engineering wasn’t as sound as they would hope.


It's no worse than a conventional aircraft with a wing box thru the fuselage. In fact the weight is better distributed along the wing

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:00 am
by c933103
SuseJ772 wrote:
I had a thought, which I am certain is wrong, but it does have me curious.

The design of it always looked almost unbelievable to me that structurally it would hold up. The spar/wing between the two fuselages seemed to be a weak point to me. Like in heavy turbulence would it snap? It just seems like a lot of weight could be creating forces in ways a wing/spar has not been fully vetted through historical aerospace.

Now again, I am sure I am wrong, but I do wonder if they figured something out during the test flight that found the engineering wasn’t as sound as they would hope.

According to the rumor it's basically decided before the first flight

Re: Rumor: Stratolaunch shutting down. Fate of Stratolauncher unclear.

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:02 am
by qf789
Topic already being discussed, refer to

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1028393&p=21401363#p21401363