A preliminary study on a small hypersonic airplane for a long duration space tourism mission is presented: Hyplane. It is also consistent with a point-to-point medium range (6000 km) hypersonic trip, in the frame of the “urgent business travel” market segment. Main idea is to transfer technological solutions developed for aeronautical and space atmospheric re-entry systems to the design of such a hypersonic airplane. A winged vehicle characterized by high aerodynamic efficiency and able to maneuver along the flight path, in all aerodynamic regimes encountered, is taken into consideration.
Rocket-Based Combined Cycle and Turbine-Based Combined Cycle engines are investigated to ensure
higher performances in terms of flight duration and range. Different flight-paths are also considered, including
sub-orbital parabolic trajectories and steady state hypersonic cruise. The former, in particular, takes advance of
the high aerodynamic efficiency during the unpowered phase, in combination with a periodic engine actuation,
to guarantee a long duration oscillating flight path. These trajectories offer Space tourists the opportunity of
extended missions, characterized by repeated periods of low-gravity at altitudes high enough to ensure a wide
view of the Earth from Space.
La presentazione tenuta da Gennaro Russo del Center for Near Space alla 20° International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference dell’AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) tenutasi a Glasgow dal 6 al 9 luglio 2015, sul progetto Hyplane.