Boeing plans to launch rockets from a carrier aircraft
20 October 2016
According to PatentYogi, a recent application discloses Boeing’s big plans for future space missions; deploying a rocket from a carrier aircraft.
Some time ago, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg revealed the company’s plans for commercial space-travel, including hypersonic aircraft shuttling people between continents and its desire to beat SpaceX by sending humans to Mars first.
A recent patent application follows on from this, disclosing Boeing’s plans to deploy a rocket from a carrier aircraft. The rocket is secured to an underbelly of the carrier aircraft’s fuselage.
The rocket will feature four pivotable rocket motors. With the motors in a stowed positon, the rocket fits nicely under the aircraft carrier. Two of the motors will face the belly of the aircraft and the other two face the ground.
The plan will see the carrier aircraft take off and fly to a target altitude and speed. Then, the carrier releases the rocket and as this happens, spring-loaded housings urge the rocket towards its deployed positions. After the rocket is moved to the desired position and is safely away from the carrier aircraft, the motors are started. Once the rocket is ignited, its thrust force is much larger than any of the other forces (aerodynamic, inertial or structural) acting on the rocket. This means that stable orientation of the rocket motor is maintained during the flight.
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