Author Topic: NASA Delta Project  (Read 4114 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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NASA Delta Project
« on: October 21, 2013, 05:27:41 AM »
Mostly forgotten among NASA's many successes are those designs that never quite made the cut. In the early 1970s, NASA was looking for a better way to get up to and back from outer space. By this time, NASA had decided rockets such as the Saturn V, were a technological dead-end and started work on a re-usable space vehicle. Thus, the NASA Delta Project was born.







The small group gathered at Muroc was awed by the new design, and after being towed aloft, the new NASA Delta handled superbly and glided to an almost effortless landing at the desert base. A few months later, the new prototype was attached to a two-stage Jupiter XVII booster, and with experienced astronaut Buzz Aldrin at the controls, the NASA Delta finally flew in space. The mission, dubbed Aries, lasted four days as the Buzz and his crew put the NASA Delta through its paces in near-earth orbit.







The new spacecraft caused quite a sensation and soon became a media darling. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. The NASA Delta, this time commanded by Jim Lovell, docked at Skylab in 1975 which was televised world-wide. Since the new space plane could carry ten passengers along with a crew of four, the scientific community was thrilled at the opportunity provided to increase hands-on research. A new era seemed to have dawned for space exploration.





Unfortunately, this would all come crashing to an end in February, 1976 during an unauthorized flight.



"Mr Jangles", noted space chimp, was living out a sedate retirement near Cape Canaveral. He became excited seeing a NASA Delta launch in December, 1975 and apparently hatched a plan. He escaped from his enclosure and gained access to the launch pad. He was somehow able to sneak into the cockpit, and after punching buttons on the control panel, managed to get the NASA Delta airborne. While he was able to take off, his flight skills, especially when it came to landing, weren't good and "Mr Jangles" was killed when he flew the space plane into the ground near Poverty Gap, Georgia.



While the NASA Delta is mostly forgotten today, much of the work done on this project would lead to the legendary Space Shuttle.

Brian da Basher


Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 05:31:42 AM »
RIP Mr. Jangles, your ability to amuse us with your poo flinging capers will be missed. 

Nice work Brian.  Do you have an assembly line set up now for all of these projects that you are sharing with us?  Nice combination of parts to come up with a neat little delta shape too. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 05:39:57 AM »
This all started with a 1/72 MiG-21 Frank sent me years ago. Recently, Bill sent me some nice delta wings and originally, I was going to build a delta-wing MiG-21 with a nice, big front fuselage intake with a big shock cone. However, I couldn't get the aftermarket intake with cone so it looked like it belonged on the MiG-21 fuselage. The project languished for a while until I noticed the nose from a 1/200 DC-10 seemed like it would fit. Out came the razor saw and here's how it looked before paint.









I added a part from a ballpoint pen into the large exhaust opening to fill the space and then applied a primer coat of artist's gesso. Next were four coats of semi-gloss white primer. I pulled a sheet of NASA titles and insignia from the decal stash and some odd windows and doors as well as flags and codes from spares made up the rest of the markings. The NASA decals could've used a clear coat prior to using them. The ink seemed especially fragile and I did my best to paint in portions of the famous NASA logos.









I've had this one in the works for the last month or so, but if you subtract the time it spent in limbo, it only took me a little longer than a week to build it. I hope you enjoyed my NASA Delta and a little of the forgotten history of the U.S. Space Program.

Brian da Basher

Offline Frank3k

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 05:40:19 AM »
That's a great design, Brian!

Glad to see some of my dead kits coming back to a wonderful life!

Offline deathjester

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 06:52:06 AM »
Wonderful work mate!  Love it, and your backstories... ;D ;D

Offline Tophe

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 07:41:49 AM »
Lovely space-liner! :-*
And thanks for the explanation saying this is a DC-10 derivative (somehow).

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 08:36:16 AM »
Your ingenuity and creativeness...not to mention humour...never ceases to amaze Brian! :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 08:43:11 AM »
Another gem!   ----       :) :) :)

Offline ed s

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 09:17:00 AM »
Well done, Brian. Another brilliant and well done kitbash.

Ed

Offline finsrin

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 04:34:47 PM »
What a kitbash - yet again  :)
I'm with the others in what they said.  With those wings it must have been glidey enough to make it to many alternate fields.
Since my 70's memory is sorta foggy, your refresher is appreciated.  Next trip to book store I will ask what they have available on NASA Delta Project.
There was a 80s movie about chimps taught to fly airplanes.  NASA Delta Project was likely inspiration behind the movie.

Offline Queeg

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 05:12:41 PM »
That's a really great kit-bash - love the airliner nose !!!!!!!!!!!!  :icon_beer: :icon_beer:

Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2013, 11:26:43 PM »
^^^^^
Agreed!

And above all, this is a beauty! :-* :-* :-*

Offline Camthalion

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2013, 07:51:42 AM »
very cool

Offline elmayerle

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Re: NASA Delta Project
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 11:09:48 AM »
Very neat, and not too far off the wing the shuttle was sporting in 1971.