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astronautix.com MiG 105-11

MIG 105 at Monino
MIG 105 at Monino - The MIG-105 EPOS (Experimental Passanger Orbital Aircraft displayed at the Monino Air Museum outside of Moscow.

Credit: A Zhelyeznakov. 18,419 bytes. 400 x 266 pixels.



Code Name: Spiral EPOS. Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Nation: Russia. Manufacturer: MiG.

The MiG OKB had studied a two stage manned orbital spacecraft in collaboration with the Korolev (overall system integration) and Tupolev (Mach 6 airbreathing first stage) since 1965. Go-ahead to actually proceed with development of the manned orbital vehicle was given on 26 June 1966 and Lozino-Lozinsky was selected as project manager. However the ambitious project never had the leadership support or funding to meet its aggressive schedule. A cosmonaut training group was formed, but went through many changes before being dissolved. After the decision to proceed with the Buran space shuttle, all that was left of Spiral was a subsonic aerodynamic test vehicle, now designated EPOS (Experimental Passanger Orbital Aircraft) and flown by Air Force test pilots. On 11 October 1976 this made its first flight, taking off from an old dirt airstrip near Moscow, flying straight ahead to an altitude of 560 m, and landing at the Zhukovskii flight test center 19 km away. One year later, on November 27, the first air-drop launch from a Tu-95K (used previously for Kh-20 air to surface missile tests) was made from an altitude of 5,000 m, with landing on skids on a beaten earth air strip.The eighth and final flight was made in September 1978, resulting in a hard landing and the writeoff of the aircraft. First and last flights were made by test pilot A. G. Festovets. The eight flights were considered sufficient to characterize the spaceplane's subsonic aerodynamic characteristics and airbreathing systems. Although the MiG 105-11 was designed by the bureau to be adapted directly into a manned orbital spaceplane for launch from a Vostok or Soyuz booster, the decision was taken to use the configuration but develop a larger manned orbital vehicle for launch from the Zenit booster or by other means (see Uragan and Bizan).

The 105-11 incorporated the airframe and some of the systems of the planned orbital version. The spaceplane itself was a flat-bottomed lifting body with a large upturned nose that earned it the nickname 'Lapot' (wooden shoe). The nose design was found to greatly reduce afterbody heating during reentry and was adopted by NASA in its HL-20 proposal of the 1980's. The load-bearing structure, like that of the US X-20, consisted of a network of struts and longerons. The outer skin was articulated to permit thermal expansion during reentry. A unique feature of the spaceplane were the variable dihedral wings. These were set at a 60 degree angle above horizontal during launch, orbit, and reentry, where they served as vertical stabilizers. After becoming subsonic, dual electric actuators moved them to a horizontal position, where they served as wings, substantially increasing the lift of the spaceplane for airbreathing operations. The main body of the spaceplane had a sweepback angle of 78 degrees, and the wings, 55 degrees. The large vertical stabilizer had a sweepback of 60 degrees. Aerodynamic controls consisted of the vertical rudder, elevons in the wings, and air brakes mounted at the top rear of the fuselage. Landing gear normally consisted of four skids, in a tail-dragging configuration, the long frontal skids deploying in a complex manner from landing gear bays mounted on the sides of the spaceplane above the heat shield.


Mig-105 back viewMig-105 back view

Credit: Stefan Wotzlaw. 15,293 bytes. 359 x 219 pixels.


The airbreathing propulsion consisted of a Koliesov RD-36-35K turbojet of 2,350 kgf with 500 kg of fuel, which amounted to 10 minutes of cruise at full thrust. This was used, with wheels attached to the forward skids, for takeoffs from unpaved airstrips. In the orbital version, it would give the spaceplane a chance to 'go around' or divert to a secondary airfield in the event of bad weather or a missed approach (the US Shuttle was originally to have such engines, but they were dropped for weight reasons). The 176 kg engine was fed from a dorsal intake at the base of the vertical stabilizer. This intake was covered during launch and orbital operations; an actuator opened the housing once the spaceplane reached subsonic speed.

Orbital propulsion consisted of a 1,500 kgf primary engine, with two 40 kgf backup engines. Orbital attitude control and translation were provided by two reaction control system (GDU) pods at the rear of the spaceplane flanking the backup engines. There were a total of six 16 kgf engines for coarse adjustment and ten 1 kgf engines for fine maneuvers. Fuel tanks for these system were located in the center of the spaceplane.


Spiral 50-50Spiral 50-50

Credit: © Mark Wade. 14,186 bytes. 333 x 180 pixels.


The cosmonaut-pilot sat in an insulated escape capsule, which could be ejected free of the spaceplane in an emergency. Normally the pilot had to climb into the spaceplane through a hatch above the seat. Controls consisted of a conventional control column and rudder pedals, with separate controllers for the jet engine and the rocket engines. An automatic navigation and control system (SNAU) operated the aerodynamic or reaction controls according to the fight regime. Manual backup was available for the aerodynamic controls.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 1. Total Length: 8.5 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.8 m. Total Mass: 4,220 kg. Total Propellants: 500 kg. Primary Engine Thrust: 1,500 kgf. Electrical System: Batteries.


MiG 105-11 Chronology


18 June 1964 USSR five-year military space plan issued.

Ministry of Defence Decree 'On military space programs for 1964-69, including the R spaceplane' was issued. The decree was issued by Defence Ministry Marshal Rodiono Yakovlevich Malinovksiy. Included in this plan were new versions of the automatic Zenit, More-1 (US series) spacecraft, the Spiral spaceplane, the Soyuz-R manned combat spacecraft, and others. Chelomei's Raketoplan spaceplane was cancelled.


01 January 1965 Spiral development at MiG bureau authorised. Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.

Decree 'On plan of work on Spiral at OKB-155' was issued.


01 June 1965 Beginning of Project Spiral

With the cancellation of Chelomei's desultory R spaceplane development, the job is handed to 'the profis' - the fighter design bureaus of MiG and Sukhoi. Both would use an air breathing first stage (the XB-70 clone T-4 in Sukhoi's case, a huge new Tupolev hypersonic aircraft 'to be developed' in MiG's case). Second stage would be a conventional expendable rocket stage which would carry the relatively small Spiral spaceplane into orbit. Korolev had been doing some 'back door' work with MiG in competition to Chelomei's R project for some time (Began with 1962 Mikoyan study '50-50': Hypersonic first stage to Mach 5.5; rocket stage with one man), and immediately proposed tests from atop R-7 rockets as early as 1967. At the time all this was begun Dyna Soar was still an active US program.



Spiral 3 viewSpiral 3 view - Spiral 3 view drawing

Credit: © Mark Wade. 27,623 bytes. 628 x 458 pixels.


26 June 1966 Development of Spiral spaceplane authorised Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.

Lozino-Lozinsky was selected as project manager. The Spiral system consisted of three main components: the GSR reusable hypersonic air-breathing launch aircraft; RB expendable two stage rocket; and the OS orbital spaceplane.


01 June 1967 Original planned date for first Spiral subsonic tests

This would actually not occur until ten years later.


30 June 1969 Spiral project cancelled

No competing US project any more, huge obstacles in getting Tu-144 SST to fly at Mach 2 sustained let alone Mach 4 sustained for Tupolev's Spiral first stage.


30 June 1970 Original plan for tests of Spiral

Original planned date for first flight tests of Spiral with rocket first stage.


30 June 1974 Spiral project resurrected


Spiral MiG-105-15Spiral MiG-105-15 - Spiral MiG-105-15 drawing

Credit: © Mark Wade. 8,355 bytes. 379 x 121 pixels.


Glushko supports modest project to do subsonic flight tests of Spiral orbiter configuration.
11 October 1976 MiG 105-11 first flight Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.

The EPOS spaceplane made its first flight, taking off from an old dirt airstrip near Moscow, flying straight ahead to an altitude of 560 m, and landing at the Zhukovskii flight test center 19 km away. Pilot was A. G. Festovets.


30 June 1977 Originally planned full up Spiral flight

Original planned date for flight test of Spiral with airbreathing hypersonic first stage.


27 November 1977 MiG 105-11 first air-drop Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.

The first air-drop launch from a Tu-95K (used previously for Kh-20 air to surface missile tests) was made from an altitude of 5,000 m, with landing on skids on a beaten earth air strip.



Mig-105 back viewMig-105 back view - Mig-105 back view closeup

Credit: Stefan Wotzlaw. 26,623 bytes. 434 x 240 pixels.


01 September 1978 MiG 105-11 final flight Launch Vehicle: Spiral 50-50.

The eighth and final flight resulted in a hard landing and the writeoff of the aircraft. First and last flights were made by test pilot A. G. Festovets. The eight flights were considered sufficient to characterize the spaceplane's subsonic aerodynamic characteristics and airbreathing systems.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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