Thursday, November 03, 2011

CalTech Target Rocket

I previously posted a photo of the business end of this rocket. The poster didn't have many details and said it was known as the CT target rocket. Tonight, I decided to look further and found both another view from the same photographer as well as a .pdf with some details.

This was the first rocket developed for the Navy during WWII under CalTech's Rocket Program.  The rocket served two purposes.  First, it was a target vehicle and a testbed for testing experimental solid propellants.  In the first role, it was a fast, erratic flier that honed the skills of over 21k Navy gunners.  In the latter role, it allowed CalTech to pioneer extruded and double-base propellants (which may not be mutually exclusive).

This would be a good subject for a semi-scale project, although more details of the forward fins would be required.  It might be a good place to test free-pivoting forward fins (a way to reduce their negative impact to stability).