Sparoair II on F4D
|Manufacturer||Naval Missile Center|
|Country of origin||USA|
|Height||3.68 m (12 ft 1 in)|
|Diameter||200 mm (8 in)|
|Mass||143 kg (315 lb)|
120 km (65 nmi)
|18 kg (40 lb)|
|Launch sites||Point Mugu|
|Last flight||July 8, 1965|
Sparoair was a family of air-launched sounding rockets developed by the United States Navy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Based on the Sparrow air-to-air missile, three versions of the rocket were developed; although some launches were successful, the system did not enter operational service.
Sparoair I and II[edit | edit source]
Sparoair was developed by the Naval Missile Center, as a two-stage development of the Sparrow III air-to-air missile. Propelled by two Sparrow rocket motors mounted in tandem, the Sparoair could be launched from F3H (F-3) Demon and F4D (F-6) Skyray fighter aircraft, and was capable of lifting a 40 pounds (18 kg) payload to an apogee of 65 nautical miles (120 km; 75 mi).
The Sparoair I was the original version of the rocket, launched using an ejection system and a lanyard for firing; after that proved unreliable in flight testing, the Sparoair II was developed that utilised a rail launch with ignition prior to release from the aircraft. Eight launches of Sparoair II vehicles had been conducted by 1961. Each Sparoair II rocket cost USD$6,000.
Sparoair III[edit | edit source]
The Sparoair III utilised the aircraft's Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) circuits to initiate launch; the second stage was ignited via a mechanical device armed by the acceleration of the first stage.
The first Sparoair III was launched on July 8, 1965; it proved a partial failure as the second stage failed to ignite. The second launch on 26 May 1966 failed after six seconds of second-stage burn when the vehicle exploded. No further launches were undertaken.
References[edit | edit source]
- Bolster, W.J.; G. C. Googins (1969). "Design, Development and Testing of a Series of Air-Launched Sounding Rockets". American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. pp. 460–465. Bibcode 1969JSpRo...6..460B. Digital object identifier:10.2514/3.29679. https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:IyqllSuvnZIJ:ftp://184.108.40.206/ck/2011-04/165/032/874/240/Design,%2520development,%2520and%2520testing%2520of%2520a%2520series%2520of%2520air-launched%2520sounding%2520rockets..pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgijevDEFpqL4j5TPfnH229Ieu-9WeKmDFisUxBOe2_4zZiRZxq2C01DL7CDNkVG5vuUKp9X4pwgqUgDjSlGmQP4E8uzMK6TOQYdRElRyOXD4TZ9nzUNcce5AoXVnIFyuyfbxKa&sig=AHIEtbS1jwZkZeUWKh9dX8QLa3LPsiWL7g&pli=1. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Pfeiffer, Marie (September 1962). "Rockets Probe Mysteries of Upper Air". Washington, D.C.: Navy Department. p. 19. http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1962/sep62.pdf. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Jung, Philippe, ed (1998). History of Rocketry and Astronautics: proceedings of the Twenty-seventh History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics. AAS History Series. 22. American Astronomical Society. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-87703-444-5.
- Missiles and Rockets , Volume 21, Part 1. American Aviation Publications. 1967. http://books.google.com/books?ei=c1vZTrCyAtKatwfE-eXsAQ&ct=result&id=ywn0AAAAMAAJ&dq=%22Sparoair%22+%22sounding+rocket%22&q=%22Sparoair%22#search_anchor. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Wade, Mark, ed. "Sparoair". Encyclopedia Astronautica. http://www.astronautix.com/fam/sparoair.htm. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
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