The History and Technology of Rocket Planes

Michel van Pelt

ROCKETING INTO THE FUTURE: The History and Technology of Rocket Planes Rocketing into the Future journeys into the exciting world of rocket planes, examining the exotic concepts and actual flying vehicles that have been devised over the last one hundred years. Lavishly illustrated with over 150 photographs, it recounts the history of rocket planes from the early pioneers who attached simple rockets on to their wooden glider airplanes to the modern world of high-tech research vehicles.

The book then looks at the possibilities for the future. The technological and economic challenges of the Space Shuttle proved insurmountable, and thus the program was unable to fulfill its promise of low cost access to space. However, the burgeoning market of suborbital space tourism may yet give the necessary boost to the development of a truly reusable spaceplane.

Table of Contents

Author's preface

1. Introduction
2. A crash course in rocket plane design
3. Germany's wonder weapons
4. Non-German wartime rocket fighters
5. The rise and fall of the rocket interceptor
6. Breaking the barrier
7. Rocket plane spaceflight
8. Future spaceplanes
9. Joyriding a rocket plane
10. Man versus robot
11. Conclusions

Appendix: Aircraft maximum velocity and altitude evolution

Extent: 384 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
Binding: Paperback
Published: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4614-3199-2

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