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X-30 NASP v1.0 2012-06-21


Mesh by Matr5153.
The X-30 National Aerospace Plane (or NASP) was a single-stage-to-orbit runway-launched vehicle which used airbreathing engines most, or all, of the way to orbit. 
     In the end, it was not to be.  Uncertainties in the aerodynamics meant that no one could be certain to how high a Mach number a scramjet could continue to provide positive thrust.  That number was continually revised downwards, until the X-30 was boosting on pure rocket power from Mach 14 to Mach 25.  This doomed the concept, as, with all the installed weight necessary for scramjets and LH2 tankage, the X-30 made a poor rocket.
     NASP and X-30 were never officially cancelled, but simply petered out into the normal low level of hypersonic scramjet studies toward the end of 1993.
     The X-30 modeled here is the “merged” configuration, with performance as estimated before 1990.  This version flies almost all the way to orbit while breathing air.
     In this add-on, two versions of the X-30 are included.  X-30 tail #1 is a pure X-ship, with a very small payload and a small payload / instrumentation bay behind the flight crew.  It suffices to put a small satellite in orbit.  X-30 tail #2 is a revised “X-30B” model (a designation invented for purposes of this add-on) which improves the dry weight, improves the scramjet performance, and moves the payload bay to a larger one in the top center of the craft.  This approximates the promises of future NASP-derived vehicles.
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