• About
  • Advanced Search
  • Browse Proceedings
  • Access Policy
  • Sponsor
  • Contact
  • "Business as Usual"/"Skunk Works" Comparison Study Results for Development of the HL-20 Lifting Body Spacecraft

    Paper ID



    • Theodore A. Talay
    • Delma C. Freeman Jr.
    • Arlene A. Moore


    NASA Langley Research Center






    For several years, the NASA Langley Research Center has conducted design studies of a Personnel Launch System (PLS) based on the HL-20 lifting body concept. As part of this activity, a “new way of doing business” utilizing a “Skunk Works” prototyping approach for development of aerospace systems was analyzed and compared with an existing “business as usual” approach for HL-20 development. The results from several in-house and contracted studies were used to define the “business as usual” approach. The “Skunk Works” approach results were derived from a contracted study conducted by the Lockheed Advanced Development Company. This paper compares the two development approaches based on relative development costs, operations costs, and development schedules. Underlying causes for observed differences between the development approaches were determined.