Pegasus VTOVL Launcher and Transport


The 3D models in this video are based on illustrations found in the 1969 publication “Frontiers of Space” by Philip Bono and Kenneth Gatland. Images from the book are linked in the ‘Sources’ section, below.

In the 60’s Philip Bono pioneered re-usable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO), vertical take-off and vertical-landing (VTOVL) spacecraft design.

Bono was an engineer at Douglas Aircraft Company (which eventually merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas).

Bono was a visionary and inventive engineer whose work influenced spacecraft design for many years.

Based on his work was the famous “Delta Clipper” (McDonnell Douglas DC-X/A), a re-usable VTOVL which flew in the early 90’s – more than two decades before Space-X’s remarkable achievements.

Amongst Bono’s innovations was a reusable plug-nozzle rocket engine which doubled as a liquid-hydrogen-cooled heatshield.

Bono was an advocate of intercontinental sub-orbital transport, which could drastically reduce international travel time.

For example: New York to Singapore in approximately 40 minutes.

One of his designs was “Pegasus”, a ballistic VTOVL launch vehicle.

Pegasus could provide rapid Intercontinental transport for 170+ passengers, or deliver ~91 tonnes to 560km orbit.

Technically, Pegasus was a semi-SSTO (Single-Stage-To-Orbit) vehicle, as it used re-usable drop tanks to achieve orbit. This reduced total mass for better control during the re-entry phase.

A variable-geometry configuration was also proposed, to provide aero-braking and attitude control during re-entry, primarily as a military transport.


Original 3D Models and Animation © fragomatik 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Some 3d assets courtesy NASA

Special thanks to fellow Imagineer, Karsten (3D-Marabu on YouTube) for sharing his awesome Imagine v2.19 volumetric effects techniques.

Music Credits:
Music courtesy YouTube Audio Library:
“Light Years Away” by Doug Maxwell
“Marianas” by Quincas Moreira

Image Credits:
Images courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

ISS-38 image of Hawaii:
NASA Photo ID ISS038-E-32755

ISS-40 image of Greece and Turkey:
NASA Photo ID ISS040-E-098804

This file is in the public domain in the United States because it was created by the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, of

the NASA Johnson Space Center.
Dhaka City At Night Cityscape:
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Attribution: Sajeeb Ahmed Photography [CC BY 3.0 (]
Sajeeb Ahmed Photography

Image was re-sized, re-coloured and cropped.

Pegasus Flying Horse Clip-art:
PEO-pegasus black.svg
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Attribution: Phantom Open Emoji maintainers and contributors

Image was re-sized, re-coloured, and flipped horizontally.

Audio Effects Credits
Rocket and launch sound effect:
Additional sound effects from
Licensed under the zapsplat standard license

The speed and pitch of the audio was modified.
Space ambience sound
Little Robot Sound Factory

The speed and pitch of the audio was modified.

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