A few years ago, Air Force C-130 pilot and ERPS member Erik Anderson had a brilliant idea: convert a LearJet into a rocketplane capable of winning the X Prize. It could be done for well under $10,000,000, the nominal value of the prize.

In February 2001, I raised the topic again, and this inspired Erik to design the rocket plane in X-Plane (a physics-based flight simulator) and fly the mission. He was successful. He recorded logs of many parameters during the simulated flight. Here are the graphs of those parameters during the 30 minute flight:

Altitude and Rate of Climb


Control position

Lift, Drag, and Side Force

Mach number and G force