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Robo Glider

Robo Glider
Two versions of Robo glider, with vertical fins on fuselage and with vertical stabilisers on wing-tips. The latter was the final version.

American manned combat spacecraft. Study 1955. Hypersonic manned rocket bomber project of the 1950's. Predecessor to Dynasoar.

AKA: Rocket Bomber. Status: Study 1955.

In 1955 the Air Force began extending study of manned hypersonic weapon systems beyond the Bomi work underway at Bell since 1952. Six companies undertook preliminary studies using their own funds in 1955 at the request of the government. On 19 December 1955 the USAF issued a Request or Proposal for preliminary design of a manned hypersonic bomber. Boeing, Convair, Douglas, McDonnell, North American, and Republic responded. SR-126 for a ROcket BOmber was released in June 1956, and Convair, Douglas, and North American received modestly-funded study contracts totaling $860,000. Payload was to be from 740 to 1500 to 11,400 kg, and the bomber was to have a secondary reconnaissance mission. Final reports were presented to the government in June 1957, by which time a total of $ 3.2 million of government and company funds had been spent on manned hypersonic combat aircraft. The level of effort and nature of the contractor approaches were as follows:

The USAF concluded that an operational Robo weapons system could be available by 1970. An experimental version would begin test in 1965 and the full Robo weapons system would be deployed by 1974. The Robo project was rolled into the Dynasoar program in September 1957.

Family: Combat spacecraft. Country: USA. Agency: USAF.
Photo Gallery

Convair RoboConvair Robo
The spacecraft consided of an aft unmanned glider, which contained the nuclear weapon. This would seperate and maneuver independently to the target. The forward manned glider would press on to a landing on friendly territory. The wingtips folded down according to the flight regime to provide lateral stability.

Boost-Glide VehiclesBoost-Glide Vehicles
US Boost-glide vehicles of the 1950's: From left, Bomi, Robo single and parallel booster versions, Boeing Dynasoar with Titan 1 and Titan 2 boosters

Robo vs DynasoarRobo vs Dynasoar
Robo and Dynasoar cutaway views, to scale. Robo, from fore to aft: coolant tanks for active structure cooling during re-entry; landing gear; avionics bay; cockpit for single crew; equipment pay; propellant tank bay; nuclear weapon (ejected through rear); transtage for maneuvering in space. Dynasoar: nose skid; cabin for single crew; conditioned payload bay for experiments, weapons, or additional crew; equipment/transition section with cooling equipment, large hydrogen tank for electrical power generator; transtage for maneuver in orbit.

1956 June 12 - .
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