MANNED SPACE CONCEPTS
Sub Orbital Waverider
Much of this work was developed in collaboration with Rick Newlands, a very talented aerospace engineer, with a wealth of practical knowledge on waveriders. Rick has been working on waverider concepts since 1987, whereas I became involved 6 years later in 1993. Much of his early practical work involved working with John Bonsor of STAAR Research in Scotland, where subsonic, rocket powered waverider research continues to this day.
The concepts Rick and I examined the use of 2 and 3 person waverider spaceplanes for point to point sub orbital rocket flight, then, when the X-prize was announced, the feasibility of using the designs for that purpose was investigated.
Multiple concepts were evaluated, all revolving around spaceplanes using waveriding cavities, and hybrid and liquid rocket propulsion.
The most recent development over the past few years, has been Rick Newlands "Swift" waveriding spaceplane, which is a single occupant, hybrid rocket powered waveriding sub orbital spaceplane. Presentations have been made on the Swift at the 2008 UK Space Conference, and it was referenced in a presentation to the BIS in 2007.