FEASIBILITY STUDY OF AIR BEARING ROCKET SLED SLIPPERS
Final rept. 16 Feb-1 Jul 1966
KAMAN AIRCRAFT CORP BLOOMFIELD CT
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A study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of applying the principle of air film lubrication to rocket sled slippers to 1 overcome erosive oxidation and severe melting effects experienced at hypersonic speeds and 2 alleviate rail-induced vibrations. Results of the study indicate that a simple self-acting type of bearing can support a typical monorail rocket sled, without contact between the slipper and the rail, at speeds between Mach 1.5 and Mach 6. With contact eliminated, the slipper can be coated with a refractory material to prevent erosive oxidation and melting of slipper structural material. This type of air bearing slipper appears to be the most suitable for AFMDC requirements. An externally pressurized type of slipper bearing is capable of preventing slipper-rail contact over the entire speed range of typical monorail and dual rail sleds. However, the weight and volume of the associated pressurization system are large, and are considered prohibitive for a practical design. The most critical track requirements for an application of air lubricated slippers are the vertical alignment and dimensional tolerances of the rail.
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