A couple of weeks back I posted a bloglet about the puzzling numbering of SWORD vehicles in the illustrated Official Manual. Having done some further research I may have cracked a few of them. First up, the illustrator of the Space Glider [below], SWORD's Lifting Body, appears to have taken the '803' straight from the '803' as it appeared on the wings of the NASA M2F3. This was the plane's registration number [picture below 1970]. Which M2F3 image was the illustrator looking at in 1967? PS. A real M2F3 1967 crash formed the first few seconds of the 1970's TV show The Six Million Dollar Man!
Second we come to the Dyna Soar toy [below] based on the X-20 concept space plane. I can't find any artist's impression or model with any numbering on the wings. However, the X-20 was planned to have 10 test flights. Even though ot never flew, Dyna-Soar flight 4 was proposed for 1 October 1966. Perhaps the illustrator was aware of this and gave our toy the number 4. Maybe it was the closest date to the illustration being done? But where did the artist get this information in 1967?
Finally, the Nuclear Ferry. It would seem that the SWORD Manual's illustrator was refering to Robert McCall's painting in LIFE magazine when he numbered his toy diagram with "1". You can see it clearly on both below.