£ 27.50

French Secret Projects 3 – French and European Spaceplane Designs 1964-1994

AUTHOR – J-C Carbonel


FORMAT – Hardback

PAGES – 232


ISBN – 978 1 91080 991 4

Out of stock

Category: Product ID: 11250


In 1963, Eugen Sanger, became head of the Eurospace organization which promoted the ‘AeroSpace Transporter’. In response to a Eurospace call, aircraft makers in France, Germany and UK designed recoverable, winged spacecraft. From 1964 to 1970 the French government led studies to evaluate the feasibility of the concept. Those studies, under the leadership of the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), coalesced into the Hermes spaceplane which was then adopted by the European Space Agency. In parallel, Germany and UK proposed fully recoverable designs while other countries, including Japan, India and Russia came to CNES to share ideas about spaceplane design. Unfortunately Hermes was never launched and by 1994 was abandoned after many alternative propositions were discussed. This book relates the story of these remarkable concepts, crossovers between aircraft and spacecraft beginning with the ‘antipodal bomber’ of 1944 and continuing to Aerospatiale STS-2000 project through the Transporteur Aero-Spatial, VERAS, AW Pyramid, Bumerang, Sanger II, HOTOL, Hermes, and Taranis. Non-European projects like Dyna-Soar, Hyperplane, HOPE, and MAKS are also covered. It provides a fascinating and detailed account of these projects which, being half-way between aircraft and spacecraft, have hitherto often been therefore often neglected by aviation writers and historians. Illustrated with 500 photographs.

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Weight1.2 kg


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