ZEro Length Launch (ZELL) Systems

Started by apophenia, January 17, 2009, 12:36:18 PM

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apophenia

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dy031101

#1
Quote from: Dork the kit slayer on January 18, 2009, 11:39:21 AM
You surley jest my little Danish Pastry ;D..................they were the staff of life  :wub:to us older wiffers. "Eiko" was the mainstay of the JSDAF. Many a tear was shed at there passing.

Some were actually passed to the ROCAF...... I heard that they were (along with an earlier batch of F-104As reengined with the same powerplants as those of F-104Gs) considered hot rods due to their lighter airframes...... they didn't fare as well as second-hand Gs in terms of safety record, though, and were quickly retired.

Anyways, on the subject of ZELL, I was reminded of the fighter catapult ships and catapult armed merchantmen...... I personally am not a big fan of the concept behind those two (I prefer those that can actually recover their planes) though.

In the 1990s whenever I tried to have a rational discussion in military forums run by Mainland Chinese, I got force-fed "essays" on ZELL J-6s and J-7s onboard converted freighters- like Churchill needed to find a way to protect his merchant ships from German Fw-200s, they needed to find a way to sink foreign merchant ships protected by ROCAF F-16s (and bomb Taiwanese airfields on the eastern half of the island).  ;D
To the individual soldiers, *everything* is a frontal assault!

====================

Current Hobby Priority...... Sigh......

To-do list here

pyro-manic

There's an anime called "Stratos 4" that features ZELL-equipped TSR.2s which are used to shoot down falling meteors. They have under-wing boosters, and an additional rocket motor mounted in the tail fin. (It also has Yak-28s as trainers, wearing silver and dayglo orange.)



The series isn't particularly impressive IMO, but it's nicely animated and features the aircraft in question quite heavily. There was a feature in a Japanese hobby magazine on it, where someone converted the Airfix TSR.2 to the ZELL version. Pretty cool. :)
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<

Cobra

Has Anyone seen the TV Show 'Joe 90'?? First Epiosde, joe stole a Fighter that was Launched by ZELL!!!!! Stay Cool Guys!!!! :mellow:

Weaver

Something that always struck me was that ZELL would actually be very apppropriate for the Harrier....


WHAT!!!!!


Yes it sounds mad, but consider this:

Limitations of ZELL: 1. needs a runway to land back on, 2. zero pilot control until sufficient airspeed reached for aerodynamic control.

Limitations of vectored thrust VSTOL: Max take-off weight limited by engine thrust. Vertical landing isn't generally a problem because the fuel/payload weight is much reduced by then.

A Harrier-style aircraft could ZELL launch at much higher weights than would be possible in VTO, yet still need no runway. It would be safer than a normal aircraft during ZELL because it's reaction control system could be used to control the aircraft & rocket combination from the moment of launch. It's high thrust-to-weight ratio would also considerably assist the rocket allowing the latter to be smaller or the the payload larger. On return, the aircraft could do a vertical landing next to (or even on) the launch vehicle wherever it's sited.   


I have something like this in mind if the Gerry Anderson GB ever gets going..... :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."
 - Morpheus in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

"I dunno, I'm making this up as I go."
 - Indiana Jones '

Mossie

Talking of Gerry Anderson, ZELL featured in those shows on occasion.  Cobra has already mentioned Joe 90, but there was a World Navy ZELL jet, the model was based on the F-104:


Thunderbird two wasn't quite zero length, but it did use a similar principal for launch from a platform.  It kind of links in to Weavers ZELL Harrier, T2 was also a VTOL aircraft, I imagine the platform helped to conserve fuel, the only of other reason I can imagine for this method of launch was it looked cool!


UFO's Sky 1 could be described as zero launch, it used the Diver submarine as a platform.  Have a look at the intro on YouTube, about 30 seconds in:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RDzNkern1Fc


There's a real world analogue for Skydiver, the LM Cormorant UCAV project is designed to launch from the missile tubes of a SSBN.  It seems that initially, it uses it's buoyancy to separate from the launcher before firing rocket engines, I guess you could call this a ZELL system.
YouTube video: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=uNx28Xff5Yg
Lockheed Martin Video: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/how/stories/cormorant.html

I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

Mossie

The Golovin IVS was a Russian WWII project for a tiny rocket interceptor not much larger than the pilot, designed to be launched of the back of a truck.  Seems totally nuts, the pilot isn't seperated from the rocket at all.  I can't find anything more than what's on the Unicraft site, but it provides a description, drawing & finished model:
http://www.geocities.com/unicraftmodels/on/ivs/ivs.htm  :blink: :blink: :blink:
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.

sagallacci

Is it just me, or was the idea primarily for dispersing nuclear strike aircraft away from conventional airfields to retain a credible retaliatory nuclear force in the case of a Soviet suprise attack? All the ZELL launches I've seen photos of include the aircraft fitted with some kind of nuclear shape.

Jeffry Fontaine

Quote from: sagallacci on January 19, 2009, 08:40:49 AMIs it just me, or was the idea primarily for dispersing nuclear strike aircraft away from conventional airfields to retain a credible retaliatory nuclear force in the case of a Soviet suprise attack? All the ZELL launches I've seen photos of include the aircraft fitted with some kind of nuclear shape.

The original intention was to use the ZELL system as a mobile and easy to hide weapons delivery system for aircraft armed with nuclear weapons.  An excellent deterrent force if it had been implemented and deployed it could have augmented the standard QRA aircraft sitting in hardened aircraft shelters.  The infrastructure to field something like this would have been interesting. 
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sagallacci

As someone in service towards the end of the serious cold war, there was a fatalistic presumption of the one-way trip, in that Europe would a radiological dead zone in rather short order. Glad I'm long done with that. Of course there any number of options for alternate returns, especially if the crew and airframe was still intact enough for another go at it. And the mobile GLCM plans later were pretty much filling the same deterrent role.
The ZELL units could have been fairly functional, but in practical terms, awfully resource heavy, as you'd need a pretty large service and security team to tag along with every unit.

Andrew Gorman

Here is a ZEL I put together years ago, very loosely based on the old ITC F-108 kit:

http://modelerhobbyforum.multiply.com/photos/album/26/ITC_F-108

And here is the original ITC kit, which doesn't have much in common with the real F-108 project
http://www.ninfinger.org/models/boxtops/itc3663.jpg



sagallacci

The booster looks like it belongs on the Navaho.

Jeffry Fontaine

#12
Quote from: sagallacci on January 19, 2009, 06:17:07 PMThe ZELL units could have been fairly functional, but in practical terms, awfully resource heavy, as you'd need a pretty large service and security team to tag along with every unit.

I would imagine the infrastructure of the ZELL units would be similar in organization to the MGM-13 (TM-76) Mace Tactical Missile Wings deployed to Germany and Okinawa. 
Unaffiliated Independent Subversive
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"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

jcf

Don't forget the MiG 19 SM-30 air defense fighter.





Jon


jcf

#14
Steve's comment about the Navaho booster got me thinking...

how about a B-58 ZELL using Navaho boosters?

;D ;D

http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app1/sm-64.html



Jon