XCOR Lynx: Aeroshell 101

Thursday Aeroshell
The Lynx aeroshell shape demonstrates why author Michael Belfiore calls it a “Space Corvette”

As discussed, Thursday 9am Pacific is the time each week that we discuss aerodynamics, modeling, simulation, test process and results. [Note: we delayed today’s post by 20 minutes to make room for some other excellent news from our neighbors].

Developing the outer aeroshell for Lynx has been a long and detailed process. From early concepts to wind tunnel tests and “schlieren” shockwave photographs, we will give you a visual tour of what it is like to design an airfoil for a spacecraft, and hear from the people who are doing just that.

XCOR uses computer modeling, simulation, and analysis tools in the aeroshell development process. We have also used subsonic, transonic and supersonic wind tunnels to test and analyze the aeroshell design from very low speeds up to over Mach 4. This will continue into actual flight tests, where we will use an incremental “expand the envelope” approach from slow speed taxi tests to supersonic flights.

This is the approach most aircraft have used for over 100 years, including the rocket aircraft predecessors of Lynx like the Bell X-1 and the North American Aviation X-15.

Tomorrow, find out how you can communicate with us and share what you learn with others.

  • Robert van de Walle

    Sweet looking little ride!

  • QuantumG

    That’s beautiful.

  • http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/ Robert Clark

    I want one.

    Bob Clark