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astronautix.com X-24C

X-24C
X-24C -

Credit: USAF. 13,695 bytes. 392 x 175 pixels.



Class: Manned. Type: Spaceplane. Nation: USA. Manufacturer: Martin.

As the X-15 program wound down in the mid-1960's, NASA and the USAF considered follow-on hypersonic test aircraft. The USAF had significant classified work underway, while NASA Langley undertook two study programs: HYFAC (Hypersonic Research Facility) for a Mach 12 aircraft, and HSRA (High Speed Research Aircraft) for a Mach 8 aircraft. The Air Force revealed it had intentions to build a Mach 3 to 5 test vehicle, and an Incremental Growth Vehicle which would gradually be taken from Mach 4.5 to Mach 9. By July 1974 NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration. Two versions were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. Two of these X-24C NHFRF (National Hypersonic Flight Research Facility) aircraft was to be built under a $ 200 million budet. They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds. By September 1977 (officially) budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black.


Specification


X-24C Chronology


01 July 1974 FDL-8 lifting body configuration selected for the X-24C.

NASA and the Air Force selected the FDL-8 lifting body configuration for the X-24C. Two versions of the hypersonic aerospacecraft were proposed: one with cheek air intakes and air-breathing engines, and one with the XLR-99 rocket engine of the X-15. Two X-24C were to be built under a $ 200 million budet. They would fly 200 flights over ten years, reaching a maximum speed of Mach 8 and being able to cruise at over Mach 6 for 40 seconds.


01 September 1977 X-24C cancelled

Budget overruns were apparent and NASA agreed to cancel further X-24C work. But given the stories of similar USAF test aircraft in the 1980's, perhaps the project merely went deep black.



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