The Possibility of landing a man on the moon July 20, 1969 was the result of colossal work a huge number of people and the attachment is fabulous for the days of the 60-ies of the last century money. Ambitious mission required an ambitious approach. We had to develop and test , which previously could be read only in science fiction. Often testing of these technologies was accompanied by a risk of life.
The First person to set foot on the moon was American astronaut Neil Armstrong. With his "great leap for mankind," he achieved what was considered impossible. However, few people know that the year before this great event the astronaut could die.
For the training of crews of the Apollo program to the moon landing the American space Agency NASA used a special aerial vehicles with the technology of vertical take-off and landing.
Five of these satellites (two test and three for training ) was developed by Bell Aircraft Corporation and was used by NASA as a flying simulator of the lunar module.
The Peculiarity of these cars was the fact that their engines are tuned in such a way that it is possible to simulate the flight and landing in conditions of near-moon space, where gravity is 6 times lower than on Earth. With conventional helicopters that could be done. Multi-ton machine was very dangerous to Bank at low altitude. A simulation of a moon landing were made on a small height of about 60-90 meters above the ground. The apparatus used was badly tilted in flight and observe the responsiveness of the system.
The Design of these machines consisted of aluminum frames are triangular in shape with its four landing gear. The cockpit was located between the two front legs directly under the main jet engine that develops thrust at level 5/6 of the weight of the device. This allowed us to simulate flight in lunar gravity. But it looked like flying on a powder keg.
a Schema flying simulator of the lunar module
The Unit also had two spare engine for vertical stabilization, which was supposed to run in case the main one fails. Managing roll, pitch, and yaw is performed by means of 16 small hydrogen peroxide-hydrogen engines related to the cockpit through the electronic flight control system. To create the necessary pressure in the fuel system based on peroxide of hydrogen two main and 16 Vernier engines are used in helium under high pressure in tanks installed on the chassis of the simulator.
May 6, 1968, i.e. the year before the moon landing, Neil Armstrong was preparing to carry his 21 training flight for such simulator. The first 20 missions before passed without hesitation. But this time, something went wrong.
After a few minutes of flight, the machine, which was operated by Armstrong lurched to one side and began to decline rapidly. The flight was at an altitude of about 61 meters above the ground, so Armstrong doesn't have time to think.
Fortunately, Neil had time to pull the ejection handle and safely descended to earth by parachute. Historians say, if he hesitated even for a second, then died.
According to witnesses, Armstrong was a man able to maintain complete composure even in the most seemingly hopeless situations. Almost immediately after the incident, which could deprive him of life, Neil just returned to his office and the rest of the day doing paperwork as if nothing had happened.
It Should be added that during the training of the pilots of space missions program "Apollo" was destroyed 3 aircraft simulator. However, this did not prevent the project managers to continue preparations for the landing.
The Last two remaining trainer (LLRV-LLTV 2 and-3) are now in museums.
a Lunar trainer LLTV-3 in the Museum Space center, Johnson (USA)
For your appearance, not similar to any other aircraft, the American units to practice lunar landings happened the nickname "the flying bed". The Soviet Union also had a similar flying simulators using the technology of vertical take-off and landing.
Moreover, they appeared much earlier than the United States. The Soviet was designed in 1955, from the Americans they appeared only in 1963.
Officially, the Soviet apparatus was called Turbolet. However, jokingly called them "flying tables". As in the case of American spacecraft, test flights on Turbolet was very dangerous. The car did not have much resistance, so the likelihood of tipping over was very high. In the event of engine failure the device is turned into an ordinary piece of iron to fly which is, as you know, and wants down, and very quickly.
a Turbolet in 1958 at the air parade in Tushino
a Turbolet in the air force Museum Monino
Unlike American machines, which were used to prepare people for the landing on the moon, the Soviet used for development of the technology of vertical take-off and landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
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