Encyclopedia Astronautica

Saenger Bomber
Saenger Antipodal bomber designs
Credit: © Mark Wade
Saenger Silverbird
Credit: © Mark Wade
Saenger Silverbird
Saenger Silverbird 3 view
Credit: © Mark Wade
German sled-launched intercontinental boost-glide missile. Saenger-Bredt antipodal bomber - sled launched, boosted to suborbital velocity, 'skips' off upper atmosphere to deliver bombload on target, recovery back at launch site. Fascinated Stalin, led to US Dynasoar project.

Eugen Saenger conceived of a winged spaceplane while a doctoral candidate at the Vienna Polytechnic Institute. His 1933 Silverbird concept was for a Mach 10 glider that would cruise at 160 km altitude. The aircraft was to have a spindle-shaped fuselage and low aspect ratio wedge wings. Saenger published Techniques of Rocket Flight' privately in late 1933. By 1934 he had refined the design to a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle. It would have a hypersonic L/D ratio of 5.1, reach a top speed of Mach 13 at burnout of its rocket motor, and then enter a 5,000 km long glide, reaching a stable Mach 3.3 cruise at 50 km altitude. By the end of the 1930's Saenger had refined the Silverbird aerodynamics to a flat-bottomed, half-cone slender body, with a hypersonic L/D of 6.4 and a subsonic L/D of 7.5. The final refinement to the design was his 1944 report Concerning Rocket Propulsion for Long-Range Bombers, which featured a spaceplane 28 m long with a 15 m wingspan and 100 tone take-off mass. The glider would reach a top speed of 21,800 kph and have a range of 23,400 km.

in: 1985 dollars. Flyaway Unit Cost $: 16.000 million. Standard warhead: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Maximum range: 25,000 km (15,000 mi).

Stage Data - Saenger

  • Stage 0. 1 x Sanger Sled. Gross Mass: 34,000 kg (74,000 lb). Empty Mass: 6,800 kg (14,900 lb). Thrust (vac): 6,860.000 kN (1,542,180 lbf). Isp: 245 sec. Burn time: 10 sec. Isp(sl): 210 sec. Diameter: 2.32 m (7.61 ft). Span: 2.32 m (7.61 ft). Length: 14.02 m (45.99 ft). Propellants: Lox/Alcohol. No Engines: 6. Engine: Sanger-Bredt Sled. Status: Study 1943.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Sanger-Bredt. Gross Mass: 99,773 kg (219,961 lb). Empty Mass: 19,955 kg (43,993 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,428.800 kN (321,207 lbf). Isp: 306 sec. Burn time: 168 sec. Isp(sl): 210 sec. Diameter: 2.32 m (7.61 ft). Span: 15.00 m (49.00 ft). Length: 28.00 m (91.00 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: Sanger-Bredt. Status: Study 1943.

Status: Study 1943.
Gross mass: 133,773 kg (294,918 lb).
Payload: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).
Height: 34.00 m (111.00 ft).
Diameter: 2.32 m (7.61 ft).
Thrust: 6,000.00 kN (1,348,800 lbf).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Dynasoar American manned spaceplane. Cancelled 1963. The X-20A Dyna-Soar (Dynamic Soarer) was a single-pilot manned reusable spaceplane, really the earliest American manned space project to result in development contracts. More...

Associated Engines
  • RDKS-100 Dushkin Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 980 kN. Sanger. Developed 1946-51. Isp=285s. More...
  • Sanger-Bredt Notional Lox/Kerosene rocket engine. 1428.8 kN. Study 1943. Used in Sanger-Bredt. Isp=306s. More...
  • Sanger-Bredt Sled Saenger Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 1144.1 kN. Study 1943. Isp=245s. Used on Sanger launch vehicle. More...

See also
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Saenger German manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Saenger, Germany. More...

  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ley, Willy, Rockets Missiles and Men in Space, Viking Press, New York, 1968.

Associated Stages
  • Sanger Sled Lox/Alcohol propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 34,000/6,800 kg. Thrust 6,860.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 245 seconds. More...
  • Sanger-Bredt Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 99,773/19,955 kg. Thrust 1,428.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 306 seconds. More...

Saenger Chronology

Late 1933 - . Launch Vehicle: Saenger.
  • Saenger begins rocket engine tests. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Saenger. Summary: Eugen Saenger begins a series of rocket engine tests in Vienna. He methodically explores various propellant combinations and additives through the end of 1934..

1933 December 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Saenger.
  • Rakatenflugtechnik published. - . Nation: Germany. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. Summary: Eugen Sänger of Germany published his classic Rakatenflugtechnic, which dealt with rocket motor design and high-speed flight in the atmosphere..

August 1944 - . Launch Vehicle: Saenger.
  • Saenger antipodal bomber - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Saenger. Spacecraft: Dynasoar. Eugen Saenger and Irene Bredt issue their final 400-page report on the Saenger antipodal bomber - a rocket boosted skip-glide spaceplane with global range. Only 100 numbered copies are printed, and distributed to German political and scientific leaders. The futuristic scheme would have taken many years to develop and was of only academic interest to the German government. But copies of the report fell into the hands of the Americans and Russians after the war, spawning major development projects in the fifties.

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