Japanese startup making reusable spaceplanes

PD Aerospace is a Japanese startup that is trying to build reusable spaceplanes.

They want to reduce the cost of access to space by 100 times.
They want to create sub-orbital space tourism.

They want their first space plane flying tourists to suborbital altitude by 2023.

They have raised about $5 million (520 million yen) in funding.

Primary uses of funds
・Development of a new type of engine (jet-rocket combustion mode switchable engine) and its practical application
・Development of three types of experimental unmanned planes; X05, X06, and X07
*X07: Total length 8 meters, gross weight 3.5 tons, unmanned suborbital plane with the capability of reaching 100km

The engine can switch from air-breathing mode – where the engine burns liquid propellant with atmosphere air to generate exhaust – to rocket mode, where the engine will switch to on-board oxidizer – to generate thrust. It can fly from a runway and reach suborbital altitudes.

Development Spaceplane type

Spaceplane type	Full length	Payload	Height	Main applications
Multipurpose observation aircraft	Unmanned	5m	50m	50m〜10km	Observation
Suborbital aircraft	Unmanned	8m	100kg	100km	Microgravity test
High altitude atmospheric observation
Suborbital aircraft	Manned	14.8m	1000kg
(6+2people)	100km	Space tourism
Suborbital aircraft
+Air launch rocket	Manned	T.B.D.	200kg	400~500km
(Sun-synchronous orbit)	Orbit insertion of micro satellites

65 thoughts on “Japanese startup making reusable spaceplanes”

  1. $5m is a weird sort of amount to go into this with. Nowhere near enough to do anything more than some CAD work and a few powerpoint slides, but far more than you would expect from a kickstarter style bunch of amateurs.

    Reply
  2. $5m is a weird sort of amount to go into this with.Nowhere near enough to do anything more than some CAD work and a few powerpoint slides but far more than you would expect from a kickstarter style bunch of amateurs.

    Reply
  3. So they’re at flying an EDF powered F-18 large scale model. Are they live firing their PDE, because it doesn’t seem like it. If they aren’t doing engine firings then this is mostly fluff…

    Reply
  4. So they’re at flying an EDF powered F-18 large scale model. Are they live firing their PDE because it doesn’t seem like it. If they aren’t doing engine firings then this is mostly fluff…

    Reply
  5. EDF ≡ electric ducted fanPDE ≡ pulse detonation engineDid I get those two right? Sorry… I’m terrible with unreferenced acronyms.Just askingGoatGuy”

    Reply
  6. EDF ≡ electric ducted fan PDE ≡ pulse detonation engine Did I get those two right? Sorry… I’m terrible with unreferenced acronyms. Just asking, GoatGuy

    Reply
  7. Correct, I probably should have pointed out those acronyms since there are uncommon. There are F-18 large RC models of that size for sale, usually with twin EDF propulsion to look more like a Super Hornet, but there are hobby microturbines available at that size. Regrettably, I failed to notice they have modified the model craft to have a single engine exhaust, which suggests the possibility of a proper microturbine, but their current literature does not suggest they are testing the PDE on this craft. Which makes one wonder why they are building it in the first place since it doesn’t seem to represent a very high speed fuselage form. usually you want to run bench engine tests on teh ground, then fly a propulsion demonstrator, which this model could have provided if the PDE is integrated correctly. But if you wanted a low speed flying demonstrator, why not something simple like something in a V-1 pattern? Easier to service/modify the engine if it’s podded.

    Reply
  8. Correct I probably should have pointed out those acronyms since there are uncommon.There are F-18 large RC models of that size for sale usually with twin EDF propulsion to look more like a Super Hornet but there are hobby microturbines available at that size. Regrettably I failed to notice they have modified the model craft to have a single engine exhaust which suggests the possibility of a proper microturbine but their current literature does not suggest they are testing the PDE on this craft. Which makes one wonder why they are building it in the first place since it doesn’t seem to represent a very high speed fuselage form. usually you want to run bench engine tests on teh ground then fly a propulsion demonstrator which this model could have provided if the PDE is integrated correctly.But if you wanted a low speed flying demonstrator why not something simple like something in a V-1 pattern? Easier to service/modify the engine if it’s podded.

    Reply
  9. It’s not easy to get a large sum right from the start. They need to show some progress first. $5M may be enough for a preliminary design study, maybe run some sims, and build a scaled-down model or two.

    Reply
  10. It’s not easy to get a large sum right from the start. They need to show some progress first. $5M may be enough for a preliminary design study maybe run some sims and build a scaled-down model or two.

    Reply
  11. It’s not easy to get a large sum right from the start. They need to show some progress first. $5M may be enough for a preliminary design study, maybe run some sims, and build a scaled-down model or two.

    Reply
  12. It’s not easy to get a large sum right from the start. They need to show some progress first. $5M may be enough for a preliminary design study maybe run some sims and build a scaled-down model or two.

    Reply
  13. It’s not easy to get a large sum right from the start. They need to show some progress first. $5M may be enough for a preliminary design study, maybe run some sims, and build a scaled-down model or two.

    Reply
  14. Correct, I probably should have pointed out those acronyms since there are uncommon. There are F-18 large RC models of that size for sale, usually with twin EDF propulsion to look more like a Super Hornet, but there are hobby microturbines available at that size. Regrettably, I failed to notice they have modified the model craft to have a single engine exhaust, which suggests the possibility of a proper microturbine, but their current literature does not suggest they are testing the PDE on this craft. Which makes one wonder why they are building it in the first place since it doesn’t seem to represent a very high speed fuselage form. usually you want to run bench engine tests on teh ground, then fly a propulsion demonstrator, which this model could have provided if the PDE is integrated correctly. But if you wanted a low speed flying demonstrator, why not something simple like something in a V-1 pattern? Easier to service/modify the engine if it’s podded.

    Reply
  15. Correct I probably should have pointed out those acronyms since there are uncommon.There are F-18 large RC models of that size for sale usually with twin EDF propulsion to look more like a Super Hornet but there are hobby microturbines available at that size. Regrettably I failed to notice they have modified the model craft to have a single engine exhaust which suggests the possibility of a proper microturbine but their current literature does not suggest they are testing the PDE on this craft. Which makes one wonder why they are building it in the first place since it doesn’t seem to represent a very high speed fuselage form. usually you want to run bench engine tests on teh ground then fly a propulsion demonstrator which this model could have provided if the PDE is integrated correctly.But if you wanted a low speed flying demonstrator why not something simple like something in a V-1 pattern? Easier to service/modify the engine if it’s podded.

    Reply
  16. EDF ≡ electric ducted fan PDE ≡ pulse detonation engine Did I get those two right? Sorry… I’m terrible with unreferenced acronyms. Just asking, GoatGuy

    Reply
  17. EDF ≡ electric ducted fanPDE ≡ pulse detonation engineDid I get those two right? Sorry… I’m terrible with unreferenced acronyms.Just askingGoatGuy”

    Reply
  18. Correct, I probably should have pointed out those acronyms since there are uncommon.

    There are F-18 large RC models of that size for sale, usually with twin EDF propulsion to look more like a Super Hornet, but there are hobby microturbines available at that size. Regrettably, I failed to notice they have modified the model craft to have a single engine exhaust, which suggests the possibility of a proper microturbine, but their current literature does not suggest they are testing the PDE on this craft. Which makes one wonder why they are building it in the first place since it doesn’t seem to represent a very high speed fuselage form. usually you want to run bench engine tests on teh ground, then fly a propulsion demonstrator, which this model could have provided if the PDE is integrated correctly.

    But if you wanted a low speed flying demonstrator, why not something simple like something in a V-1 pattern? Easier to service/modify the engine if it’s podded.

    Reply
  19. So they’re at flying an EDF powered F-18 large scale model. Are they live firing their PDE, because it doesn’t seem like it. If they aren’t doing engine firings then this is mostly fluff…

    Reply
  20. So they’re at flying an EDF powered F-18 large scale model. Are they live firing their PDE because it doesn’t seem like it. If they aren’t doing engine firings then this is mostly fluff…

    Reply
  21. $5m is a weird sort of amount to go into this with. Nowhere near enough to do anything more than some CAD work and a few powerpoint slides, but far more than you would expect from a kickstarter style bunch of amateurs.

    Reply
  22. $5m is a weird sort of amount to go into this with.Nowhere near enough to do anything more than some CAD work and a few powerpoint slides but far more than you would expect from a kickstarter style bunch of amateurs.

    Reply
  23. So they’re at flying an EDF powered F-18 large scale model. Are they live firing their PDE, because it doesn’t seem like it. If they aren’t doing engine firings then this is mostly fluff…

    Reply
  24. $5m is a weird sort of amount to go into this with.

    Nowhere near enough to do anything more than some CAD work and a few powerpoint slides, but far more than you would expect from a kickstarter style bunch of amateurs.

    Reply

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