1554. Weight Trends of a Fully Reusable Advanced Single-Staged Shuttle


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Ian O. MacConochie: 1554. Weight Trends of a Fully Reusable Advanced Single-Staged Shuttle. 1983.



The rate at which subsystem weights grow with vehicle gross weight is assessed and is shown to be critical
to the efficiency of large Earth-to-orbit transports. Some subsystems grow as the square of vehicle size,
others grow as the cube of vehicle size, and still others remain nearly constant irrespective of vehicle
size. The overall trend, however, is a reduction in the inertias as a percentage of gross as the vehicle size
is increased. For this reason, the larger the vehicle, the greater the payload weight delivered per pound
of vehicle manufactured.
Other critical issues addressed include the effects of wing loading and wing size on wing weight, the effect
of entry planform loading on thermal protection system weight, the impact of power demand on cooling system
and prime power weight, and tank fineness ratio on insulation weight. The effects of body shape and various
internal packaging arrangements on weight and balance are also discussed. Of greatest impact on overall vehicle
weight is body shape and internal packaging and could account for weight savings of up to 30 percent in body
structure. Other subsystems are important but the savings are much smaller in relation to overall vehicle
weight–individually less than one percent.


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