"Introduction to the Problem of Rocket-Powered Aircraft Performance"

H. Reese Ivey, Edward N. Bowen, Jr., and Lester F. Oborny
Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)
Predecessor to NASA


....           Actual size is 11 x 8.5-inches

Introduction to the Problem of Rocket-Powered Aircraft Performance

H. Reese Ivey, Edward N. Bowen, Jr., and Lester F. Oborny
Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)
Predecessor to NASA

This historical book investigates the performance possibilities of rocket-powered aircraft performance.  It reviews and summarizes all previous studies, and covers the future of rocket planes.

The text covers in great detail:

  • Limiting velocity of a rocket projectile
  • Limiting velocity of a rocket jet
  • Jet efficiency
  • Nozzle characteristics
  • Maximum attainable altitudes
  • Range
  • Escape velocities vs rocket stages
Formulas are presented relating the performance of a rocket plane to basic weight and nozzle dimensions.  The study explains the relations between performance (range, altitude, speed, etc), fuel characteristics, fuel loads, aircraft weight, and nozzle dimensions, showing how to attain optimum configurations and performance.

Beginning with the basics of rocket motor propulsion, the document moves into the fundamental and advanced equations used in the study of rocket planes--there are 21 pages of mathematic formulae and explanations.  This section is followed with 18 detailed graphs illustrating the relationships between fuel consumption, velocity limitations, and jet efficiency to jet velocity; the effect of ratio of nozzle exit area to throat area on nozzle effectiveness; velocities at end of burning (in a vacuum); variations of drag with Mach number; maximum altitude of rocket projectiles fired in standard air; weight ratios required for several stages to attain escape velocity; variation of range with launching angle; maximum altitudes attained for rockets fired at angle for maximum range; maximum range as a function of ratio of fuel weight to gross weight; two-stage and three-stage rocket calculations, etc. etc.

The book is of special value to engineers, designers, and experimental rocket and aircraft developers, both "amateur" and professional. 

We've found these early U.S. research project reports among the most valuable anywhere for "hands-on" experimental work.  They employ the materials, technology, and tools commonly available everywhere (as opposed to the hard-to-find, expensive exotics used in more recent projects).  Thus, these reports are exceptional reference resources for developers of rocket engines, as well as ramjets, pulsejets, gas turbines, and turbojets.  pulse-jet pulse jet dyna-jet

From 1915 until 1958, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) carried out much of the cutting-edge research in aeronautics in the United States. 

Originally created in an effort to organize American aeronautical research and raise it to the level of European aviation, from the beginning, NACA emphasized research and development.  By 1920, the NACA had emerged as a small, loosely organized group of leading-edge scientists and engineers.

In 1940, Congress authorized the construction of an aircraft engine research laboratory near Cleveland, Ohio. Dedicated in 1943, it became Lewis Research Center in 1948, named after George Lewis, former NACA director of aeronautical research.  These ramjet projects were carried out at the then-new Lewis Laboratories.

NACA was a valuable disseminator of information to designers and manufacturers. Research results distributed by the committee influenced American aviation technology, and its reports served as the basis for many innovations that were built into American civil and military aircraft. 

High-speed flight research after World War II was often a collaboration between the NACA and the U.S. Army Air Force.  In 1945, the U.S. Army Air Forces NACA began the first of a series of experimental aircraft projects, many of which were designed to develop technology for high-speed flight. 

At Lewis, NACA translated German documents on jet propulsion tests that became basic references in this new field of research. Italian and German professionals came to Lewis to work with their American colleagues in these new aspects of flight research.

This book is a collection of some of the most important results of NACA research on rocket-propelled airplanes.  This work was preceded by the first glide flight of the AAF-NACA XS-1 rocket research airplane in January 1946, and the breaking of the sound barrier, on November 14, 1947. 

The NACA ceased to exist on October 1, 1958, succeeded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which was formed largely in response to Soviet space achievements. NACA became the nucleus of the new agency, and all NACA activities and facilities were folded into NASA.

Very hard to find and now out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  47 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size. 


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