Scott Lowther is a space historian who specializes in projects that
on those programs that didn’t fly: the concepts that were too expensive, or politically non-viable, or technically infeasible or just plain unlucky. If you want to read about the P-51 Mustang or the 747, there are many books easily available. But what if you’re interested in the X-20 Dyna Soar or Project Pluto or the Orion nuclear pulse vehicle? Nuclear rockets? Manned missions to Mars? Hypersonic bombers? Vertical takeoff rocket powered suborbital passenger transports? Blended wing body jetliners? I’ve got you covered.
Scott publishes the aerospace history e-magazine Aerospace Projects Review, where he tells “the tales that have been largely forgotten”. He is expert in finding and presenting nearly forgotten and lost reports, blueprints, brochures and the like. In some cases he will create “accurate and detailed diagrams using CAD software. This all requires a whole lot of research, along with sometimes knowing where to go and who to talk to… as well as a lot of time and effort on preparing the information for release”.
For example, one of his recent issues focused on the X-20 Dyna-Soar projects that almost got a reusable spaceplane to orbit in the 1960s. The 128 page issue is packed with detailed blueprints, artists renditions, and text discussion 93 pages of which deal with the X-20’s history and design.
The issue also has articles on the Lockheed CL-295, McDonnell F-4(FVS), US Navy SCAT VTOL and the Republic Aircraft RAC-730 SSTO aerospaceplane. There is also a 49 page addendum with even more resource materials for the article.
Scott talked about his work on The Space Show last year: Scott Lowther, Monday, 12-2-13 0 Thespaceshow’s Blog – Audio (mp3).
You can support Scott Lowther’s aerospace history research by participating in his Patreon site.