Advanced Tactical Aircraft

Advanced Tactical Fighter at Wikipedia

Image credit: Boeing

Image source: National Archives

1962 Boeing LEM

Apollo Program at Astronautix

Image credit: North American

Image source: Paul Carsola

Boeing Winged Booster

X-20 Dyno-Soar at Astronautix

Image credit: North American Aviation

Image source: AFMC 

Alden Metcalf

Dyna-Soar in space was never to be, for the program was canceled in December 1963. One of reasons was the development of a new type of aerospace plane, the lifting body.

Orbiting Stations: Stopovers to Space Travel

by Irwin Stambler
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965

X-20 Dyno-Soar at Astronautix

Image credit: Boeing

Image source: Numbers Station

Dyna-Soar On A Leash

This drawing from the magazine Air Force and Space Digest shows a proposed NASA “ONE-STAGE-TO-ORBIT” aerospace plane. The craft would be able to take off from a regular airport using turbojet engines, then switch to ramjet propulsion at supersonic speed. To reach orbital speed in space, the aerospace plane would use a third set of engines using rocket propulsion.

In the drawing (above) the combination turbo-ramjet engines are housed in pods, just inside the vertical tailfins (on either side). The huge scoop atop the rear half of the fuselage contains the rocket engines and a novel collection and compression unit for gathering oxygen to burn in the rockets. The other propellant would be liquid oxygen carried in the craft’s tanks.

After it’s orbital mission, the aerospace plane would be able to reenter the atmosphere and land as a conventional aircraft at an airfield. The craft would be about 90 feet long and weigh some 100,000 pounds.


X-20 Dyno-Soar at Astronautix

Image credit: USAF

Image source: Numbers Station

Boeing Art Department

Boeing SPS SSTO at Astronautix

Image credit: Boeing

Image source: National Archives