Optimized concept launch rocket from a plane
Optimized concept launch rocket from a plane

Optimized concept launch rocket from the aircraft.


Author: Igor Makarov.


Part 1.


Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5.

The article is devoted to the idea of ​​creating a flying mobile cosmodrome, considering the possibility of establishing it on the basis of the plane An -225 and Ukrainian rocket Cyclone -4 production. The article deals with the strategy launch booster from the aircraft and provides the necessary calculations and graphics.

Relevance of the article is to provide a booster launch from the aircraft, which includes a combination of two different approaches to the launch of the booster from the aircraft. The first part of its trajectory the rocket flies like an aircraft. The second part of the trajectory of the rocket overcomes using a braking parachute and thanks to him appears to proper starting position.

The study used a method of constructing a mathematical model in the programming environment "Delphi-7» Pascal. The authors constructed a mathematical model of the first flight of the booster to the wing after its separation from the aircraft. The second mathematical model was established to describe the flight of the booster after the shooting of bearing surfaces and braking with a turn to the desired position for the subsequent run.

Keywords: Air start, booster, mathematical model, bearing surfaces, braking parachute ovalovidne wing aircraft.

The history of world aviation is closely linked with our country. Back in the last century, the 1910 engineer Alexander Kudashev in Kiev, built the first aircraft capable of actually perform controlled flight (when the pilot controls the aircraft with the help of the wheel).

Also in Kiev began his aviation career world famous Igor Sikorsky. No less famous Oleg Antonov, who created the world's largest transport aircraft An and An -124 -225, which are known far beyond the borders of the USSR, also worked for many years in Ukraine and created the most developed and modern aviation -Scientific technical complex that bears his name - the State Enterprise im.O.K.Antonova.

Our country is also a space power, because in our country there are such giants of the space industry as Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash, which are engaged not only in the production of rockets and satellites, but also produce them in a serial plant. It is thanks to such enterprises of Ukraine that it participates in many international projects, such as the project of a new type of Vega engines (under the aegis of the European Space Agency), the Sea launch (launch of a launch vehicle from the offshore platform in the Pacific), where the Ukrainian Zenit rocket - 3SL is used as the main carrier of satellites, processing of intercontinental ballistic missiles "Dnepr" for launching small satellites; The project "Cyclone-4" together with the Brazilian space agency for launches from the cosmodrome "Alcantara" and many other projects.

In this paper, we propose a new project under the name "Air Launch". The project provides start launcher "Cyclone -4» from the aircraft AN - 225 «Mriya».

The economic component of the project

The very idea of ​​launching a booster rocket from an aircraft is not new, because even during the twentieth century in such countries as the Soviet Union and the United States of America, scientists developed projects based on various aircraft, but through numerous risk factors, none of the projects were implemented. However, the idea of ​​building a mobile cosmodrome was implemented in the international project “Sea Launch”. This is a refurbished offshore oil production platform, which is located in the neutral waters of the Pacific Ocean and is able to move in order to be as close as possible to the equator during a launch of a booster, because each degree deviation from the equator results in an increase in speed of 100 m / s that adversely affects the energy capabilities of the launch vehicle. 


Command ship (behind the platform) and the launch platform of the Sea Launch international cosmodrome. 

Command ship (per platform) and starting the international platform of the cosmodrome "Sea Launch".


Thanks to this transport booster, saving startup booster from the aircraft approximately 2-2,5 million.


Launch strategy


Air Launch - a way to launch rockets or aircraft from a height of several kilometers, delivered the machine to run. Delivery vehicles often serves as another plane, but may also serve a balloon or airship

With the launch of Air should highlight the "Air Launch into orbit." Air Launch into orbit - a method of launching boosters and / or spacecraft high into the air from jet aircraft horizontal takeoff both subsonic and supersonic so. When this method is used for launching a extraordinary advantages over conventional vertical launch missiles, including by reducing the weight, power and cost of countering missiles.

On the ground, a booster rocket is loaded with attached bearing surfaces onto an aircraft using a special lifting mechanism (similar in design with a lifting platform for the Buran orbital vehicle used to lift cargo (Buran) to 25 meters, lowering it with cranes to the height necessary for loading and joining the ship to the aircraft). Schemes of such devices exist, which facilitates the implementation of this development in life. 

After these operations, the aircraft takes off and is sent to the launch area. At the border of the launch area, the aircraft should gain altitude of 10000 m and reach the required (calculated) speed (860 km / h). At achievement of such parameters of flight the plane passes in automatic control system, it is deduced on a corner of a pitch in 10 degrees. At this point, the automatic system separates the locks holding the rocket - the carrier on the plane. The next step will be the departure of the carrier rocket and the maneuvering of the aircraft. The aircraft makes an evasion maneuver with a decrease, and the booster carries out the "hill" maneuver. The maneuver of the booster is described below. It is necessary to resort to maneuvering the aircraft after the rocket has been fired and begins deceleration and reduction with simultaneous roll to the side (the left or right side of the roll depends on the direction of the wind at the moment the missile is shot from the aircraft). The missile, after reaching the maximum maneuver height, begins to decrease and set speed. The plane leaves the trajectory of the rocket and returns to the airfield. The missile, with the help of controls (ailerons, elevator controls, steering boom) stabilizes and adheres to a given trajectory. After reaching the altitude, when the rocket will have a small pitch angle (calculated by 9360m), the bearing surfaces are removed and the brake chute is released. After the opening of the brake parachute, the speed of the rocket continues to decrease and the missile turns to a vertical position relative to the center of gravity. After performing such actions, the booster starts the main engines of the first stage, fires the brake parachute and starts the flight in normal mode.

A similar development strategy and the air Start

The author only considered analogues that launched rockets with a mass of not less than 15 tons, since such carrier rockets have the necessary energy characteristics for commercial use. In 1960-ies and later in the United States were created such, launched from aircraft carriers, experimental rocketplanes, including the first hypersonic aircraft - the suborbital manned spaceplane North American X-15, also Bell X-1, Lockheed D-21 Boeing X - 43 and others. Similar (but not suborbital) systems were also in France (Leduc) and other countries. The air launch was used to test the Spaceplane Enterprise in the large-scale program of the Space Shuttle reusable space transportation system. The first of the detailed ACS projects with airborne launch was the unrealized system "Spiral" 1960-x - 1970-ies with hypersonic aircraft - Razgonschiki, LV and orbital plane. The air start was used for the flights of a subsonic airplane-an analog of its orbital plane.

American projects: in the United States, the system has long been implemented by Pegasus (RN) / L-1011 (aircraft). Developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation. The launch is carried out using an L-1011 aircraft from the Lockheed Corporation, specially equipped for this. The separation of the rocket from the carrier aircraft occurs at an altitude of 12 km. The mass of the carrier - 18500 kg (Pegasus), 23130 kg (Pegasus XL) The mass of the payload launched into low-earth orbit by the carrier Pegasus is up to 443 kg. Launch cost (as of 1994) - US $ 11 million. From 1990 to 2008, only 40 launches of the Pegasus carrier were carried out, with artificial satellites in orbit, of which 3 were unsuccessful. Another system is being developed and there are other ACC projects.


Aircraft and Lockheed -1011 booster "Pegasus"

Lockheed -1011 aircraft and rocket "Pegasus"


Russian - Ukrainian projects: in Russia, the detailed projects of the AKS-BAX and the "Air Launch" were proposed. In the first project, a spaceplane with an external fuel is launched from the side of the super-heavy An-225 (325) "Dream". The main element of the second project is a specially re-equipped heavy AN-124-100 all-Ruslan aircraft, from its side at an altitude of about 10 km, developed by the State Rocket Center " Makeeva "technology is carried out the so-called" mortar "launch of the launch vehicle, which delivers a payload to the calculated orbit. There are also projects "Burlak" and others, in which LV from the satellite is launched from the board of various aircraft carriers Tu-160, An-124, Tu-22M.

Ukrainian projects: in Ukraine, using the AN-225 carrier aircraft, the Svityaz (RN Zenith) ACS ACRK "Aurel" and "Lybid" (winged spaceplane) projects were developed. Aircraft An-225-100 is being developed by Antonov ANTK and is a modification of the basic An-225 airplane "Mriya". The aircraft is equipped with special equipment for mounting the booster over the fuselage, inside the sealed cabs, the onboard launch equipment and operators necessary for launching the launch vehicle are placed. The Svityaz carrier rocket is created on the basis of units, aggregates and systems of the Zenit launch vehicle. It is built according to a three-stage scheme. Uses non-toxic components of fuel - liquid oxygen and kerosene. When launching spacecraft to the geostationary orbit, the booster is completed with a solid-fuel apogee stage.

AKRK "Eagle" two-stage aviation -kosmichesky complex. As the first stage of the complex plane will booster the development of the Kiev Aviation Scientific - Technical Complex. Antonov AN - 124 («Ruslan"). The second step will be a booster payload development Dnepropetrovsk CB "South", which should start with the fuselage samoleta- carrier.

At the first stages of the creation of the Ukrainian AKRK "Orel" will be a one-time spacecraft. In the future, multiple spacecraft will also be sent to space and return to Earth. Unlike the "Shuttle" and "Buran", the launch of the booster will be carried out not from the external suspension of the carrier aircraft, but from its center, that is, from the fuselage. In the world there were no similar scientific and technical solutions. Such a scheme for launching a payload into a near-Earth orbit has a number of undeniable advantages. This includes the improved aerodynamic design of the ACSR as a whole, the higher safety of separating the second stage in the form of a booster rocket, the more optimal technical and economic indicators, the higher the concealment of the ACKR's dual-purpose tasks (both purely scientific and commercial and special, for military purposes) .

 Kazakh-Russian project: Kazakhstan is proposing the project AKS Ishim (MiG-31 + РН). AKS projects with aerial launch of spaceplanes were created in Germany (Senger -2), Japan (ASSTS), China (the Shenlong prototype and AKC of the next generation), etc. With the help of an air launch, private sub-orbital spaceplanes SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, M -55 are launched and other similar projects. An air launch from a balloon of a suborbital manned rocket is provided for in the Stabilo ARCASPACE project in Romania.

The main competitor of the strategy launch, proposed in a Russian, with the AN - 124- 100Vse because American counterpart has 10 times lower weight of the payload. The main factor, which does not allow to realize and commercial use of Russian space launch strategy is a "mortar" shooting missiles from the aircraft. Now Russian experts are working to resolve this problem. The first launch is scheduled for 2015 year.


Placing on the plane PH An-124 "Ruslan".

Accommodation in RN aircraft An-124 «Ruslan».


Heavy-purpose transport aircraft An - 225 «Mriya"


Development of the aircraft, for moving bulky items of space systems (in Vol. H videoconferencing "Energia - Buran") began in 1985 year. First flight An -225, built in the Kiev aircraft factory, was realized in December 21 1988, 13 and 1989 May -225 An already moved "Buran" with Zhukovsky to Baikonur. This aircraft has been found 106 world records.

Aircraft design

Fuselage. It has two decks: the top is the cabin crew and cabin attendant staff, utility rooms (kitchen, cloakroom, toilet), below - the cargo cabin. It is possible to place loads of up to 250 tons. To ensure the use of loading and unloading ramp and front gruzolyuk.

Wing. The wing is made of long objects (up to 30 meters) pressed panels. The panels are interconnected titanium fastening, sealing and provides a high level of resistance.

The plumage of the aircraft. Dvuhkilevoe. The stabilizer has a span 30 meters, has a caisson made of molded panels and rolled plates from aluminum alloys. The elevator has six sections, three on each console. ELEVATOR - two sections on each fin.

Chassis. Consists of a two-post front and fourteen-post main landing gear. All Strut have the ability to split release to avoid landing without landing gear. Also on the chassis is a mass and centering control system. The brakes are carbon.

Engines. D-225T engines are installed on the An-18 aircraft (starting thrust of one engine is 23,06 tons). The engine is a three-shaft turbofan with a fuel consumption of 0,57 kg of thrust per year in cruising mode.

Systems All aircraft systems are highly automated and require minimal crew attention during the flight. Their performance is supported by 34 on-board computers. Flight - navigation and radio-technical complexes provide control of the aircraft in automatic and manual modes at all stages of flight, as well as processing and issuing to the on-board systems of the aircraft and the indicator lights in the cockpit all the necessary flight - navigation information. The control system includes an electrohydraulic steering control system with fourfold redundancy and an electric remote control system for wing mechanization with double redundancy. The hydraulic complex consists of four main and two backup hydraulic systems that ensure the functioning of the steering surfaces, wing mechanization, raising and release of the chassis, opening and closing of hatches and doors.