History Main / SpacePlane

16th Jan '17 1:00:26 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* Several ships in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' universe - the Normandy [=SR1=] can fly in atmosphere, the Kodiak Drop Shuttle and the Viper gunship can both transit too, as can starfighters. Though the [[MinovskyPhysics mass effect fields]] they generate make this substantially easier than in real life by reducing their objective mass to almost nothing, allowing them to remain aloft on just a minimum of thrust and achieve orbit without expending enormous amounts of reaction mass.

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* Several ships in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' universe - the Normandy [=SR1=] and [=SR2=] can fly in atmosphere, the Kodiak Drop Shuttle and the Viper gunship Mantis Gunship can both transit too, as can starfighters. Though the [[MinovskyPhysics mass effect fields]] they generate make this substantially easier than in real life by reducing their objective mass to almost nothing, allowing them to remain aloft on just a minimum of thrust and achieve orbit without expending enormous amounts of reaction mass.
10th Jan '17 11:45:48 AM ElSquibbonator
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* The Orbital Sciences Pegasus, thus far the only Air-Launch-To-Orbit (ALTO) launch system to reach commercial operation, is an expendable launch-vehicle launched from the underbelly of a modified DC-10, MD-11, or L-1011.

The spaceplane ''must'' be single-stage-to-orbit or sub-orbit to qualify.[[note]]Mid-air refuelling or drop tanks may or may not count.[[/note]] Nobody's built one, as of February 2013. The most promising design so far is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_Engines_Skylon Reaction Engines Skylon,]] a British-designed European project, which recently cleared a key hurdle in engine development.

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* The Orbital Sciences Pegasus, thus far the only Air-Launch-To-Orbit (ALTO) launch system to reach commercial operation, is an expendable launch-vehicle with wings launched from the underbelly of a modified DC-10, MD-11, or L-1011.

B-52 bomber.

The spaceplane ''must'' be single-stage-to-orbit or sub-orbit to qualify.[[note]]Mid-air refuelling or drop tanks may or may not count.[[/note]] Nobody's built one, as of February 2013.2017. The most promising design so far is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction_Engines_Skylon Reaction Engines Skylon,]] a British-designed European project, which recently cleared a key hurdle in engine development.
31st Dec '16 10:14:49 AM nombretomado
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* {{Animorphs}}: The Yeerks' Bug Fighters bring to mind a cockroach the size of a school bus, but can operate in both space and atmosphere (and even underwater). Visser Three's Blade Ship is even bigger but still manages atmospheric flight.

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* {{Animorphs}}: ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': The Yeerks' Bug Fighters bring to mind a cockroach the size of a school bus, but can operate in both space and atmosphere (and even underwater). Visser Three's Blade Ship is even bigger but still manages atmospheric flight.
12th Dec '16 9:28:39 PM Mitchz95
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* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft) Skylon]] project, successor to HOTOL, presently in development. Mostly a project of Reaction Engines Limited (the British company building it), although it has received a small grant from the European Space Agency. Seen in art above. It's currently both the most advanced and the most realistic SSTO project, and it looks like something straight out of [[Franchise/StarWars Padme Amidala's garage]].

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* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft) Skylon]] project, successor to HOTOL, presently in development. Mostly a project of Reaction Engines Limited (the British company building it), although it has received a small grant from the European Space Agency. Seen in art above. It's currently both the most advanced and the most realistic SSTO project, and it looks like something straight out of [[Franchise/StarWars Padme Amidala's garage]].
27th Aug '16 4:32:36 AM nighttrainfm
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* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Victory of the Daleks" has Dalek technology co-opted by Britain during WorldWarII to produce Space ''Spitfires''.
** The "Series/DoctorWho" episode "When a Good Man Goes to War" has the exact same Spitfires returning to help The Doctor take control of a space station called Demons Run.

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* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Victory of the Daleks" has Dalek technology co-opted by Britain during WorldWarII UsefulNotes/WorldWarII to produce Space ''Spitfires''.
**
''Spitfires''. The "Series/DoctorWho" later episode "When a Good Man Goes to War" has the exact same Spitfires returning to help The the Doctor take control of a space station called Demons Run.
28th Jun '16 4:30:03 PM Nippertipper
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In essence, a spaceship that can take off ''and'' land like an aircraft, as well as looking like an aircraft. Many ships have Vertical Take Off Or Landing capabilities; these babies, though, can use a regular runway too.

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In essence, a spaceship that can take off ''and'' land like an aircraft, as well as also looking like an aircraft. Many ships have Vertical Take Off Or Landing capabilities; these babies, though, can use a regular runway too.
16th Jun '16 5:47:22 PM DarkHunter
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* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise is the king of this trope, featuring space planes that are also TransformingMecha -- but, perhaps surprisingly, they end up spending more time in plane form than mecha form. The earlier models of variable fighters generally required a lift from another craft to reach space but by the time of [[Anime/MacrossPlus Project Supernova]] they're capable of reaching orbit from planetary surfaces, even loaded down with an optional extra fold booster.
** [[Anime/MacrossFrontier Alto and Michel]] demonstrate the same again when escaping from Gallia IV

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* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise is the king of this trope, featuring space planes that are also TransformingMecha -- but, perhaps surprisingly, they end up spending more time in plane form than mecha form. The earlier models of variable fighters generally required a lift from another craft to reach space but by the time of [[Anime/MacrossPlus Project Supernova]] they're capable of reaching orbit from planetary surfaces, surfaces with relative ease, even loaded down with an optional extra fold booster.
** [[Anime/MacrossFrontier Alto and Michel]] demonstrate the same again when escaping from Gallia IV
booster.
8th Jun '16 11:17:55 AM Morgenthaler
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* One of the purest examples of this trope is the [[http://www.planet3earth.co.uk/orion_3_spaceplane.htm "Orion III"]] SpacePlane model, which appeared briefly in ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.

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* One of the purest examples of this trope is the [[http://www.planet3earth.co.uk/orion_3_spaceplane.htm "Orion III"]] SpacePlane model, which appeared briefly in ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.



* ''Conquest of Space'' (1955). The Mars expedition lander is a giant winged spacecraft. For take-off however the wings are jettisoned and the rocket section tilted vertically for take-off. Problems arise on both landing (thanks to a crewman suffering from SpaceMadness grabbing the controls) and take-off (thanks to a quake knocking them off a vertical axis).

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* ''Conquest of Space'' ''Film/ConquestOfSpace'' (1955). The Mars expedition lander is a giant winged spacecraft. For take-off however the wings are jettisoned and the rocket section tilted vertically for take-off. Problems arise on both landing (thanks to a crewman suffering from SpaceMadness grabbing the controls) and take-off (thanks to a quake knocking them off a vertical axis).



* The Black Stallions from the novel of DaleBrown. They can go to orbit, as the first usage of one in ''Strike Force'' shows, but sub-orbital is enough most of the time.

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* The Black Stallions from the novel of DaleBrown.Creator/DaleBrown. They can go to orbit, as the first usage of one in ''Strike Force'' shows, but sub-orbital is enough most of the time.
25th Apr '16 5:53:21 AM Willbyr
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[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/MacrossFrontier http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/macross_frontier.jpg]]]]



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* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the Imperial Navy's aircraft - as in, fighters and bombers designed primarily to operate in an atmosphere - are ''technically'' spaceplanes, as they can be launched off an Imperial Navy starship in orbit and can reach that starship from ground airbases once the fighting's over. In something of a subversion, the Imperial Navy's starfighters - like the Fury - are altogether much larger than standard aircraft and have a crew of around three, and while they can operate in an atmosphere it's not recommended because they're not designed for it.
** Though this is played straight where the more technologically advanced factions are concerned, as Eldar Vampires and Tau Mantas serve both as heavy ground attack aircraft in atmosphere and bombers in space.

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* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', the 40000}}'':
** The
Imperial Navy's aircraft - as aircraft--as in, fighters and bombers designed primarily to operate in an atmosphere - are atmosphere--are ''technically'' spaceplanes, as they can be launched off an Imperial Navy starship in orbit and can reach that starship from ground airbases once the fighting's over. In something of a subversion, the Imperial Navy's starfighters - starfighters, like the Fury - Fury, are altogether much larger than standard aircraft and have a crew of around three, and while they can operate in an atmosphere it's not recommended because they're not designed for it.
** Though this is played Played straight where for the more technologically advanced factions are concerned, factions, as Eldar Vampires and Tau Mantas serve both as heavy ground attack aircraft in atmosphere and bombers in space.


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3rd Apr '16 7:16:48 PM Berrenta
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skylon1_8387.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_%28spacecraft%29 It's like a plane...]] [[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]]]

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skylon1_8387.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_%28spacecraft%29 It's like
%% Image removed per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1459713251020202400
%% Please visit this thread to discuss
a plane...]] [[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]]]
new image.
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