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XCOR Presentation

Dan DeLong starts off by telling Paul Breed that they learned a long time ago at XCOR that green is bad, stop right now.

This talk is more than just Lynx, they'll be talking about the other things they're working on as well. Can't talk about the Rocket Racer, because Rocket Racing League controls information on that. The piston pump is working well on it, though, and it's the same pump that will be used on the Lynx, for both fuel and LOX.

There is no more Xerus. The concept has been changing, business model changing, aero changing, and they decided that they have a new stable configuration that they can give a name to. That is Lynx.

They're having trouble with the computer display. Making jokes about Microsoft, and saying that their flight software won't be windows. Dan talking about conversation he had night before with Russ Blink of Armadillo, with Russ saying that he'd rather fly a rocket controlled by a computer than one controlled by a human. Dan responded that while it made sense to do a vertical vehicle with computers, but it didn't seem that good to do it with software based on a package called "Doom."

Showing a flow chart of a meat hunt, with overanalysis. Their emphasis is analyze a little, and test a lot.

Showing various past projects--NRO thruster, DARPA LOX pump, methane engine.

Showing video of putting bomb inside of a methane engine to test combustion stability. Four bomb tests, all successful.

Talking about the valves that they've developed, because none were available that met their needs. Also doing own composites for the Lynx. They've come up with a glass-fibre and teflon resin, neither of which will react with oxygen.

Not talking about Lynx. Sunk cost so far $7m, with an estimate of $9M to complete. Showing a video of 50-lbf attitude control thruster, running nitrous/ethane, that will sit in the strakes. This video wasn't shown at the press conference.

Mark II will have hard points on outside. Will carry upper stage dorsally, that can put 10-20 kg payload into LEO. Purpose of the contract is not to help build vehicle. It's for analysis, demonstration and knowledge sharing of its responsive features. Air Force is looking for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS). Air Force has space they need the "OR." XCOR has the "OR" but not the "S." Everyone understand that you can't be cheap at nine times per year, but because XCOR is commercial, they have to make it cheap, which happens by flying often. So Air Force gets the benefit.

Lynx requirements:

Two people
Fly under FAA-AST rules

Goal was to build smallest vehicle that met those requirements.

Showing video of firewall test stand, successive engine runs with increasing pauses, with minimum off time of two seconds. About a half second to start up.

Showing video from press conference now.

Fuel is carried in wing strakes, LOX in fuselage. About two gees at burnout, heading straight up at Mach 1. Mark II will be three gees. Landing speed about 95 knots, takeoff about twice that.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 28, 2008 11:31 AM.

Unreasonable Rocket Update was the previous entry in this blog.

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