S u m m a r y
C. G. Publishing Inc.
3465 Mainway Drive, Unit # 3
Burlington, Ontario L7M 1A9
||Paperback - 7" x 10", 464 pages, 16
pages of color pictures. Includes one region free DVD with archival X-20
||Suggested retail: $32.95 USA, $42.95
CAN, £23.95 UK
||Scale drawings, dimensions,
photographs of great value to modelers; compelling history; 90 minites of
rare DYNA-SOAR footage on DVD.
Reviewed by David L.
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
Canadians lament the CF-105. And British mourn the TSR-2. Aerospace history
abounds with technologically advanced programs myopically axed by politics and
But few efforts held the promise of America's revolutionary X-20 Dyna-Soar - a
remarkable, reusable "space shuttle" originally slated for orbit in the
Now APOGEE BOOKS has provided a matchless compendium of critical government
documents outlining the story of this extraordinary lost opportunity.
Inspired by Eugen Sänger's efforts to develop a sub-orbital intercontinental
bomber for Nazi Germany, the design evolved from a successful 1952 initiative by
former German General Walter Dornberger.
By 1954, the United States Air Force and Bell Aircraft Company teamed to
chart the nascent bomber-reconnaissance weapon system. And five years later,
Boeing won the first prime development and manufacturing contract.
Project progress literally pushed the envelope of aerospace research. Eventually
dubbed Dyna-Soar - short for DYNAmic SOARer - the spacecraft was designed to
reach 18,000 miles per hour and any point on Earth in hours.
Although production had begun and test pilots selected, the X-20 never flew. By
program termination in late 1963, the Dyna-Soar effort consumed $430 million of
U.S. taxpayer's money - a vital down payment, nonetheless, on S.T.S. Space
Expertly edited by Robert Godwin, the 464-page volume features dozens of
chronically arranged archives, data, and promotional material. Modelers will
value the book's extraordinary X-20 vehicle details: scale drawings, dimensions,
and photographs. Historians will relish Dyna-Soar and booster evolution through
the prism of official sources. And technology enthusiasts will marvel at the
astonishing number of X-20 program breakthroughs.
But all will appreciate APOGEE's special bonus: a region-free DVD with over 90
minutes of rare Dyna-Soar film footage. Of special interest are the USAF's
"1961-1962 Dyna-Soar Progress Report" and "The Story of Dyna-Soar" documentary -
the latter bearing striking semblance to Walt Disney's innovative "Man In Space"
From airframe design to materials development to crew ergonomics, still-born
X-20 technology remains surprisingly valid today. And Robert Godwin's evocative
compendium does superb justice to one of aerospace history's great "what ifs".
Available through most bookstores
Review Copyright © 2003 by
David L. Veres
This Page Created on 30 August, 2003
Last updated 30 August, 2003
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