Re: Space Shuttle landing at Groom Lake

Message posted by Gordy on July 04, 2008 at 0:11:10 PST:

Sorry, I'm going to have to call a pooh pooh on this one. The Shuttle is only concerned with orbital mechanics until it enters the atmosphere. From that point on it's a glider, plane (sic) and simple.

As an example, a Learjet at 40000 feet with a 15:1 glide ratio can land (dead stick) in calm wind, anywhere within a 113 mile radius of it's position. The shuttle is no exception. Even in landing configuration it has a 4.5:1 glide ratio. That means at 80000 feet it could maneuver and land anywhere within 68 miles of it's present position even "dirty".

Not sure who we are trying to impress, but the X-15 had skids which were not conducive to pavement. Thus the dry lake scenario. Energy calculations were used to convert altitude to airspeed allowing for drag and lack of thrust, thus preventing a stall on approach, just as we do as commercial pilots every day. BTW, I've spoken with more than one X-15 pilot and they were all surprised with the effect ground effect had on that particular airframe.

In Reply to: Re: Space Shuttle landing at Groom Lake posted by Peter Merlin on July 03, 2008 at 15:19:33 PST:


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