Sänger and Bredt plan world domination
After World War 2, Sänger and Bredt worked for the French government and in 1949 founded the Fédération Astronautique.
I first became aware of the craft when I was a boy from the Bonestell/Ley book Conquest of Space and thought it just had a brilliant name and looked very futuristic!
Interestingly, in the George Pal film When Worlds Collide (1951) they used a similar track- launched rocket ship but, amazingly, whilst the Hollywood design looks dated today the original Sänger-Bredt version looks completely modern. A design classic!
If it looks like anything the Sänger-Bredt anti-podal bomber looks like the modern Boeing AGM 86C cruise missile. Or, rather, the missile looks like the bomber!
The US Air-Force used many of the principles of the Sänger-Bredt in their X20 Dyna-Soar project intended to develop a re-usable space plane. The project ran from 1957 until December 1963 when it was cancelled just after construction of the spaceship began, having cost a staggering $660million. The government was worried about the spiralling costs and was also doubtful about the Air Force's role in manned spaceflight, feeling that that was better handled by NASA.
Another plane that never was.
The fastest plane built so far is the hypersonic X43A which has acheived Mach 9.6 or nearly 7000mph, around half of the planned speed of the Sänger-Bredt.
As long as I can remember people have been predicting a hypersonic airliner which can fly from London to Sydney (why anyone would want to spend huge amounts of money and generate vast carbon emissions to go to Australia, of all places, is not clear). This is Fireflash from Thunderbirds.
Fireflash: designed by Gerry Anderson model designer Mike Trim
Vorsprung durch Technik: or should that be Kraft durch Freude?