Thursday, August 18, 2011
Cool idea, very similar to Notsnik.
"The problems and delays faced by ARCA while attempting to to launch rockets using balloon carriers prompted the development of an alternative launching device. The IAR-111 Excelsior rocket plane had been secretly in development since early 2010.
The IAR-111 program aims to create a supersonic high altitude airplane intended to extend ARCA’s HAAS II rocket launch capabilities in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, and for developing space tourism related technologies. The typical flight sequence of this aircraft includes takeoff from the sea surface, followed by a horizontal acceleration at low subsonic speeds, followed by rapid ascension, in approximately two minutes, to the altitude of 48,000 feet. At this altitude the airplane will release the Haas II rocket, that will follow its own flight sequence. IAR - 111 without its attached payload will return in glided flight to the sea surface. IAR - 111 will have supersonic flight capability of Mach 1.5 at 48,000 feet, having Haas II rocket as payload, and as space tourism technology development platform, it will reach the speed of Mach 2.6 at 90,000 feet.
The aircraft will have a crew of two persons, the pilot and the navigator, aiming to become the first Romanian supersonic airplane. The aircraft cabin is detachable and is equipped with two rocket propelled parachutes. As such the cabin can be separated form the aircraft at speeds between Mach 0-1.2 and heights above 300 feet and can return the crew safely on the sea surface.
The geometric and weight data of the aircraft have not been disclosed, but it shares an obvious resemblance to the YF-23.
Completion is scheduled for the middle of 2012, followed by the first takeoff at the end of 2012. First supersonic flight is estimated for the first half of the year 2013. Starting February 1st 2011, the public will be able to track the construction of the IAR-111 Excelsior daily.
The new moon rocket, named HAAS II is of a conventional design, unlike its predecessor HAAS, in order to fit underneath IAR-111. It's also powered by an 85% hydrogen peroxide mixture."