Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) (2010)
About the Design
For years, NASA and the U.S. military had known that the Space Shuttle's days were numbered. Among the concepts for replacement vehicles proposed was the X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), an unmanned reusable spaceplane developed by Boeing Aircraft and U.S. Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office. More than 29 feet long with a nearly 15-foot wingspan, the X-37B was designed to be boosted into space aboard an Atlas 5 rocket in the 501 configuration. After its mission, the craft glided back to earth and land on a conventional airstrip much like the Shuttle.
Although the X-37B's payloads remain classified, it's believed that it carries any number of military payloads, including surveillance and communications satellites.
First tested aboard a Scaled Composite White Knight One air-launch vehicle in 2009, the X-37B made its first flight in spring 2010.
About the Kit
Fantastic Plastic Models' second release of 2010, the Boeing X-37B was created exclusively for FP by BLAP! Models. Created in CAD from actual NASA files and grown using stereolighography, the kit featured an extensive decal set by JBOT that allowed builders to mark it as one of three different test vehicles.