Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rockets on Lock and Load

I just watched The History Channel's Lock and Load hosted by R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey. (on-demand)  Took a few notes and took some real-time 'screen snaps'.  This show is worth the price of admission!

First a reminder from Erik Gates, who worked on the show:
In the 3 days we launched 5 ancient Chinese bamboo rockets and 2 sets of 200 rocket arrow Hwachas from the 1400-1600’s. We also built and launched 5 each of the Congreve Centre Stick, and Hale rockets from the 1800’s. Wind, 110 degree weather and occasional showers hampered us, but we managed to get all rockets fired with varying degrees of success.
The arrows were Estes D12-7
Chinese - Pro38 3G Skid
Congreve - Kosdon Dirty Harry and Slow 75mm grains
Hale - AT White Lighting 75mm grains
The Chinese bamboo rockets - Totally inaccurate, would have been good for spooking horses and dispersing attackers.

Korean Hwacha arrows - Still inaccurate.  The launch was pretty cool indeed! Popped a few balloons and skewered a couple of watermelons.

Congreve rocket (i.e. those fired at Fort McHenry) - Tried for a field goal (the target was a field goal), got a slam dunk.  Unstable.

Hale rocket - Fired form a mortar-looking thing and have spin vanes. Pretty stable, long flight. Field goal!

They fired a bunch of each of these two rockets at close range at, literally, the side of a barn.  Made a few holes. Smoke was impressive.  Results weren't.

The venerable bazooka - Just comments.

Swedish AT4 shoulder fired launcher - Hot fire of the real thing - direct hit.  Cool.  Gunny has a good job.

Guided TOW missiles.  Still oldish stuff as the TOW was fielded in Vietnam.  Still being used. He got to fire this in Aberdeen, MD. Yeah, he has a good job.

Javelin shoulder fired missile.  At $80K a pop, he only got to use a simulator.  Cool video game!

MLRS self propelled vehicle with 12 smaller (i.e. M30) rockets or 2 larger missiles with deployed sub-munitions.