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Tsien's Rocketplane
Tsien's Rocketplane - Tsien Hseu-Shen's 10 passenger transcontinental rocket transport, 1949.

Credit: © Mark Wade. 13,193 bytes. 1 x 1 pixels.

Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Nation: China.

In 1949 Tsien Hsue-shen, the leading expert in high-speed aerodynamics working in America, applied the knowledge learned from German rocket developments to the design of a practical intercontinental rocket transport. He proposed a 5,000 km single stage winged rocket clearly derived from V-2 aerodynamics. The 22,000 kg rocket would carry ten passengers from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes. It would take off vertically, with the rocket burning out after 60 seconds at 14,740 kph at 160 km altitude. After a coast to 500 km, it would re-enter the atmosphere and enter a long glide at 43 km altitude. Landing speed was to be 240 kph. Tsien’s fundamental theoretical work on this concept lead to him being called the ‘Father of the Dyna-soar’ (a 1950’s/1960’s delta winged spaceplane that was the ancestor of the space shuttle).


Craft.Crew Size: 10. Total Length: 24.1 m. Maximum Diameter: 4.9 m. Total Mass: 44,000 kg. Total Payload: 2,000 kg.

Tsien Spaceplane 1949 Chronology

01 January 1949 Tsien Passenger Spaceplane

Tsien Hsue-shen proposed a 22,000 kg single stage winged rocket that would carry ten passengers from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .