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Here at last, our 3D beauty: Vulture 2 spaceplane flies in

Hot off the printing press, unboxed and ready for assembly

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Cue the traditional portentous drumroll, fanfare of trumpets and roar of the crowd as we announce that yesterday evening, a bloke in a white van rolled up to the door of the SPB's mountaintop headquarters bearing a big box...

The unopened box containing our Vulture 2 spaceplane

....containing the components of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2 spaceplane:

The various parts of our Vulture 2 aircraft

We apologise for the rather uninspiring snap, but rest assured our aircraft is a thing of great beauty, made all the more impressive for being among the world's first entirely 3D-printed airworthy vehicles. Of course, we'll bring you more comprehensive picture coverage when we've recovered from the excitement and got the thing properly unpacked. Expect a suitably formal unveiling in due course.

In the meantime, we invite you to join us in raising a glass or two to Southampton Uni postgrad students David Cooper, Chris Dodd and Amrith Surendra, designers of the Vulture 2.

Similarly, we offer a toast to 3T RPD Ltd, whose 3D printing machines hewed the spaceplane from the living nylon:

The wing fully revealed

Top work. For those of you who inexplicably missed the Vulture 2 design saga, here are the various CAD renderings as revealed over the past few weeks:

The upper and lower nose sections of our Vulture 2 spaceplane

CAD view of the Vulture 2's canards

CAD drawing of the Vulture 2's fuselage

Montage of CAD images of sections of the Vulture 2 A cut-though CAD view of the Vulture 2 wing

A CAD view of the underside of the wing, with servo mounts and cables

So, it's all hands on deck to put the Vulture 2 together, after which we have to install the autopilot and control systems. More follows... ®


Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

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