Douglas Ithacus Sub-Orbital Troop Carrier (1966)
About the Design
In the 1960s, the threat of global thermonuclear war was balanced by the equally present danger of small "brush wars" erupting in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and other world hotpots. To project American might as quickly as necessary, the Pentagon considered developing a huge suborbital transport capable of of landing a full battalion anyplace in the world within 90 minutes.
Douglas Aircraft's solution was the Ithacus, a massive single-stage to orbit (SSTO) vehicle designed to land vertically. Ithacus would be propelled spaceward using fuel provided by eight external fuel tanks, which would be jettisoned shortly after take-off. One obvious problem with this concept is how the Ithacus would return to base with its fuel expended.
A small version of this concept, dubbed "Ithacus Jr.," was designed to be launched from specially equipped Enterprise-class aircraft carriers.
NOTE: Those who remember the 1970s-era "Mission to Mars" ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World may recall seeing the Ithacus on the Mission Control "pre-show" monitors. Douglas, a co-sponsor of the ride, was happy to see its design employed as a powerful interplanetary spacecraft.
About the Kit
The Ithacus was created for Fantastic Plastic Models by BLAP! Models. It was designed in CAD by Paul Roberts and cast by David Guertin. The JBOT decal sheet offered a variety of markings for U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps missions