Encyclopedia Astronautica
X-24C



x24cmodl.jpg
X-24C
Credit: USAF
American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1977. Two X-24C NHFRF (National Hypersonic Flight Research Facility) aircraft were to be built under a $ 200 million budget.

They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds. They were cancelled in 1977 after budget overruns.

As the X-15 program wound down in the mid-1960's, NASA and the USAF considered follow-on hypersonic test aircraft. The USAF had significant classified work underway, while NASA Langley undertook two study programs: HYFAC (Hypersonic Research Facility) for a Mach 12 aircraft, and HSRA (High Speed Research Aircraft) for a Mach 8 aircraft. The Air Force revealed it had intentions to build a Mach 3 to 5 test vehicle, and an Incremental Growth Vehicle which would gradually be taken from Mach 4.5 to Mach 9. By July 1974 NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration. Two versions were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. By September 1977 (officially) budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

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

Bibliography
  • Miller, Jay,, The X-Planes, Aerofax, Arlington, Texas, 1988.
  • NASA Report, Configuration development study of the X-24C hypersonic research airplane, Web Address when accessed: here.

X-24C Chronology


1974 July - .
  • FDL-8 lifting body configuration selected for the X-24C. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: X-24C. NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration for the X-24C. Two versions of the hypersonic aerospacecraft were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. Two X-24C were to be built under a $ 200 million budet. They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds.

1977 September - .
  • X-24C cancelled - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: X-24C. Summary: Budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black..

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