Unfortunate news about the Roton

Unfortunate news about the Roton

Postby Armand Dillo on Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:43 am

:( Roton Rockets has closed its doors last year after some promising landing tests of its roton landing system. Roton was trying a very radical design that had a lot of promise. But a radical design means lots of money for R&D and that they did not have. The parts and test vehicle have been bought up by Scaled Composites of Mohave California who had been building most of the roton from carbon fiber. Scaled Composites is still trying for the X prize with a design that is pretty good if they can build it in time. Scaled Composites are the people who built and flew the Voyager airplane around the world.
Just information for people who care about getting into space.
:D
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Postby Kellogg on Fri Dec 20, 2002 7:16 am

Welcome aboard Armand!

Actually, that's better news than I hoped for! I'm afraid I went looking
for the Rotary Rocket Company yesterday to provide the link, and found
they'd shut down. I couldn't find any information on what happened to
the test vehicle.

It's great that Scaled Composites took it over! Burt Rutan seems to
really know what he's doing!

The Roton is just too good an idea to be put away. The problem
with the DCX is you've got to save a LOT of fuel in order to land it
on it's tail. I'd be worried about the rotor blades of the Roton on
re-entry, but coming down by helicopter makes a lot of sence.
The air is there, so why not use it to land?

Anyway, I hope that the Roton will be revived when the economy
gets back on track and we can afford to go at it again. Certainly
by 2066, I expect to see Roton flying! :)
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Postby Batty den on Sun Dec 22, 2002 5:20 pm

Kellogg wrote:
Anyway, I hope that the Roton will be revived when the economy
gets back on track and we can afford to go at it again. Certainly
by 2066, I expect to see Roton flying! :)


Wow... look at all those clean, easy to render shapes... :D

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Re: Unfortunate news about the Roton

Postby ZOMBIE USER 6611 on Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:34 pm

Roton trivia bits: Rather than the normal array of complex fluid pumps to supply the liquid fueled engines, the Roton design spun the entire lower engine mounting disk, feeding fuel by centrifugal force.

Tom Clancy was famously involved with this company, and had contributed approximately a million dollars to the effort.

And when you called 1-800-ROTARY ROCKET for information during the Big Roll Out, your calls terminated in this building. Rick Tumlinson of the Space Frontier Foundation gave the opening speech, and MC'd the roll out. Very windy day, unfortunately, and there was about as much wind noise as voice on the live webcast.

The engines were being sourced out to Space America, and successful ground firings were done of the engine design.

Rotary Rocket did successful take off and landing tests using the rotor blades, amazingly enough. And then, the beginnings of the Dot Com crash, and related factors, clobbered their funding.
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