Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, as applied to X-planes

Clark Lindsey reports on a FlightGlobal article which says that NASA has retrieved both of the X-34's from storage at Dryden and moved them to Mojave.  It looks like this was done in the dead of night. Hmmm.  Now the space conspiracy theorists can get off the California Mystery Missile and on to something more interesting. 

Just a tad of history since I didn't know anything about the X-34. Neither of these hypersonic vehicles had flown under it's own power before the program was canceled in 2001. It is thought that it was canned due to problems with development of the Fastrac engine.  There seem to be few actual photos although FlightGlobal shows one, sans tail, on a flatbed truck.  Well, I guess there couldn't be too big a conspiracy if the media was given a photo and NASA didn't spring for some tarps. I grabbed a photo of a wind tunnel model, which seems as good as an artists conception.