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Progress Report on the Development of Protected Construction for Hypersonic VehiclesThe structural problems of re-entry occasioned by aerodynamic heating are now generally well known. Typical of these heating problems is the environment experienced by the manned lifting vehicle re-entering from a low altitude orbit. Figure 1 shows typical curves of lower surface temperature as a function of time for a wing loading of 25 Ibs/ft(exp 2), and a lift-drag ratio of 2.5. The two curves cover a practical range of re-entry angles, the lower curve representing an ideal re-entry path with zero dive angle and the upper curve assuming a 2° error in the re-entry angle. Maneuvers for course change or correction are also added to the upper curve. Significant factors from this curve are the relationship between the maximum temperatures and the capabilities of available metallic material, and also the long re-entry time and its effect on total heat load. If a very shallow re-entry is made, maximum lower surface temperatures reach 2000°F which is just within the range of conventional superalloys. To accommodate practical re-entry angles and maneuvers, however, the temperature capability must reach about 2500°F which requires refractory metals. The re-entry time may be as high as 100 minutes, which gives total heat loads of approximately 40,000 BTU/ft(exp 2). A heat load of this magnitude, with equilibrium surface temperatures of the values shown, suggests that a lighter airframe can be constructed by dissipating the heat by radiation from the surface, rather than by absorbing it with a heat sink, or surface cooling, or ablation. Air Force programs to provide airframes for this type of environment have involved the parallel development of a number of different structural concepts. The development to be discussed here was carried out by Bell Aerosystems Company for the Fabrication Branch, Manufacturing Technology Laboratory, Directorate of Materials and Processes, Aeronautical Systems' Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, under Contract AF33(600)-40100 (Double-Wall Cooled Structure).
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Wilfred H Dukes (Bell Aerosystems Buffalo, New York, United States)
Date Acquired
August 1, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1962
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the National Meeting on Manned Space Flight (Unclassified Portion)
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
National Meeting on Manned Space Flight(St. Louis, MO)
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: AF33(600)-40100
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Reentry vehicle
Hypersonic speed

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IDRelationTitle19620004468Analytic PrimaryProceedings of the National Meeting on Manned Space Flight (Unclassified Portion)
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