Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-24A



x24c.jpg
X-23 with X-24
X-23 with Orbital X-24
Credit: Lockheed Martin
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X-24A
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Lifting Bodies
Manned Lifting Bodies
Credit: NASA
lb1.gif
Lifting Bodies
Lifting Bodies Comparative
Credit: © Mark Wade
x24a.jpg
X-24A
Credit: NASA
American manned spaceplane. 28 launches, 1969.04.17 to 1971.06.04 . The X-24A was the Martin Corporation's subsonic test version of the US Air Force's preferred manned lifting body configuration.

This was flat-bellied with canted vertical stabilizers at the end of the rounded upper body. It was of the same configuration as the subscale X-23 Prime vehicle tested on suborbital flights in 1966 - 1967.

Martin and the USAF hoped it would lead to a larger Titan III-launched manned orbital ferry vehicle (cinematically embodies in the 'XRV' spacecraft in the 1969 film version of Martin Caidin's novel 'Marooned'). The X-24A was air-launched from an NB-52 carrier aircraft and reached a maximum speed of Mach 1.6 and a maximum altitude of 21,800 m during its flight test. The X-24A handled well as a glider, but in powered flight it exhibited a nose-up trim change that prevented it from flying at low angles of attack. Air Force interest then focused on 'high fineness lifting body' configurations and the X-24A airframe was converted to the X-24B configuration. The X-24A was also known as the SV-5P configuration. Two nearly identical SV-5J's, equipped with a Pratt and Whitney J60-PW-1 jet engine of 1360 kgf, were built but never flown.

Characteristics

Spacecraft delta v: 1,300 m/s (4,200 ft/sec). Battery: 194.00 Ah.

Gross mass: 5,192 kg (11,446 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 2,712 kg (5,978 lb).
Height: 7.47 m (24.50 ft).
Span: 4.16 m (13.64 ft).
Thrust: 37.71 kN (8,477 lbf).
Specific impulse: 225 s.
First Launch: 1969.04.17.
Last Launch: 1971.06.04.
Number: 28 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • XLR11 Reaction Motors, Thiokol Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. Out of Production. Launch thrust 26.67 kN. Rocket engine developed for X-1 in 1940s to break the sound barrier and used twenty years later to power experimental lifting bodies. Four combustion chambers. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

Bibliography
  • Gatland, Kenneth, Manned Spacecraft, Macmillan, New York, 1968.
  • Miller, Jay,, The X-Planes, Aerofax, Arlington, Texas, 1988.
  • Miller, Ron, The Dream Machines, Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 1993.
  • Zhelyez x-plane book,
  • Houchin II, Roy and Smith, Terry, "X-20 (7 articles)", Quest, 1994, Volume 3, Issue 4, page 4.
  • Peebles, Curtis, "The Origins of the US Space Shuttle - 1", Spaceflight, 1979, Volume 21, page 435.
  • Grimwood, James M., Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA Special Publication-4001.

X-24A Chronology


1957 July - August - .
  • Semiballistic design for a manned reentry spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: X-24A; HL-10. Summary: Alfred J. Eggers, Jr., of the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, worked out a semiballistic design for a manned reentry spacecraft..

1962 September - .
  • M2-F1 lifting body first flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: M2-F2; HL-10; X-24A. The lifting body concept was first tested at Dryden with a plywood prototype designated the M2-F1 built in late 1962. It featured a plywood shell built by Gus Briegleb, a sailplane builder from Mirage Dry Lake, Calif., placed over a tubular frame built at Dryden. The M2-F1 was towed aloft, first behind an auto and then a C-47 more than 100 times, to validate basic lifting body stability and control characteristics. This led to establishment of the formal program which resulted in the HL-10, M2-F2, M2-F3, X-24A, and X-24B lifting bodies.

1969 April 17 - .
  • X-24 Flight 1 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 1. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 763 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 217 sec..

1969 May 8 - .
  • X-24 Flight 2 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 2. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 735 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 253 sec..

1969 August 21 - .
  • X-24 Flight 3 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 3. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 615 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 270 sec..

1969 September 9 - .
  • X-24 Flight 4 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 4. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 647 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 232 sec..

1969 September 24 - .
  • X-24 Flight 5 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 5. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 637 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 257 sec..

1969 October 22 - .
  • X-24 Flight 6 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 6. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 623 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12190 m. Flight Time - 238 sec..

1969 November 13 - .
  • X-24 Flight 7 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 7. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 687 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 270 sec..

1969 November 25 - .
  • X-24 Flight 8 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 8. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 730 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13720 m. Flight Time - 266 sec..

1970 February 24 - .
  • X-24 Flight 9 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 9. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Glide. Maximum Speed - 819 kph. Maximum Altitude - 14326 m. Flight Time - 258 sec..

1970 March 19 - .
  • X-24 Flight 10 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 10. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: First powered flight. Maximum Speed - 919 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13533 m. Flight Time - 424 sec..

1970 April 2 - .
  • X-24 Flight 11 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 11. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 919 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17892 m. Flight Time - 435 sec..

1970 April 22 - .
  • X-24 Flight 12 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 12. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 981 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17587 m. Flight Time - 408 sec..

1970 May 14 - .
  • X-24 Flight 13 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 13. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: 2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 795 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13594 m. Flight Time - 513 sec..

1970 June 17 - .
  • X-24 Flight 14 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 14. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1051 kph. Maximum Altitude - 18593 m. Flight Time - 432 sec..

1970 July 28 - .
  • X-24 Flight 15 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 15. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 996 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17678 m. Flight Time - 388 sec..

1970 August 11 - .
  • X-24 Flight 16 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 16. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1047 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19477 m. Flight Time - 413 sec..

1970 August 26 - .
  • X-24 Flight 17 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 17. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: 2 chambers. Maximum Speed - 737 kph. Maximum Altitude - 12649 m. Flight Time - 479 sec..

1970 October 14 - .
  • X-24 Flight 18 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 18. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: First supersonic flight. Maximum Speed - 1261 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20696 m. Flight Time - 411 sec..

1970 October 27 - .
  • X-24 Flight 19 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 19. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1446 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21763 m. Flight Time - 417 sec..

1970 November 20 - .
  • X-24 Flight 20 - . Crew: Gentry. Payload: X-24A flight 20. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gentry. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1456 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20604 m. Flight Time - 432 sec..

1971 January 21 - .
  • X-24 Flight 21 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 21. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1093 kph. Maximum Altitude - 15819 m. Flight Time - 462 sec..

1971 February 4 - .
  • X-24 Flight 22 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: X-24A flight 22. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Powell's check flight, glide. Maximum Speed - 700 kph. Maximum Altitude - 13716 m. Flight Time - 235 sec..

1971 February 18 - .
  • X-24 Flight 23 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 23. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1606 kph. Maximum Altitude - 20544 m. Flight Time - 447 sec..

1971 March 1 - .
  • X-24 Flight 24 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: X-24A flight 24. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1064 kph. Maximum Altitude - 17343 m. Flight Time - 437 sec..

1971 March 29 - .
  • X-24 Flight 25 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 25. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Fastest X-24 flight. Maximum Speed - 1667 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21488 m. Flight Time - 446 sec..

1971 May 12 - .
  • X-24 Flight 26 - . Crew: Powell. Payload: X-24A flight 26. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Powell. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Maximum Speed - 1477 kph. Maximum Altitude - 21610 m. Flight Time - 423 sec..

1971 May 25 - .
  • X-24 Flight 27 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 27. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: 3 chambers. Maximum Speed - 1265 kph. Maximum Altitude - 19903 m. Flight Time - 548 sec..

1971 June 4 - .
  • X-24 Flight 28 - . Crew: Manke. Payload: X-24A flight 28. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Manke. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-24A. Summary: Final X-24A flight. Maximum Speed - 867 kph. Maximum Altitude - 16581 m. Flight Time - 517 sec..

1991 December - .
  • HL-20 Mock-up tests completed - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: HL-20; X-38; X-24A; Space Station Freedom. NASA, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T University built a full-scale model of the HL-20 for human factors research on the concept. In the end, space station Freedom became the International Space Station. As the initial crew emergency rescue vehicle, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft was selected. However NASA, looking for a higher-capacity alternative and concerned about reliable availability of the Soyuz in the future, did begin development of the X-38 CERV in 1997. The X-38 was however based on the Johnson concept of parachute-assisted landing, and used the pure-USA X-24 lifting body shape....

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