North American DC-3

North American DC-3

The DC-3 was a proposed space shuttle designed by Maxime Faget at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in Houston. The design was nominally developed by North American Aviation (NAA), although it was a purely NASA-internal design.

Unlike the eventual Space Shuttle design that emerged, the DC-3 was a fully reusable two-stage-to-orbit design with a smaller payload capacity of about 12,000 lbs and limited maneuverability. Its inherent strengths were good low-speed handling during landing, and a low-risk development that was relatively immune to changes in weight and balance.

Work on the DC-3 program ended when the US Air Force joined the Shuttle program; they demanded a much greater "cross-range" maneuverability than the DC-3 could deliver, and expressed serious concerns about its stability during re-entry. NAA eventually won the Shuttle Orbiter contract, although it was based on a very different design from another team at MSC.

Read more about North American DC-3:  Description

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North American DC-3 - Description
... The DC-3 was a two-stage vehicle with a large booster and smaller shuttle of overall similar design ... the wing planform was similar to the original DC-3 ...

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