May 122012
 
USAAF Evaluation of Navy SWOD Mk 9 Bat Glide Bomb (1945)

The U.S. Navy’s “Special Weapons Ordnance Device” (SWOD) Mark 9 “Bat” glide bomb was one of the world’s earliest fully-automatic, target-seeking “smart” weapon systems. The Bat was a development of the “Pelican” glide bomb, which was equipped with a Receiving Homing Beacon (RHB) that required a radar beacon to illuminate the target. The Bat had […]

Feb 062012
 
Johns Hopkins Long Range Ram Jet Missile Study (1946)

Previously, we featured an article here at RetroMechanix.com on a Cornell study for a long range ram jet bombardment missile dating from March 1946. During this period, the Air Force appears to have been especially interested in this type of weapon, as it also issued a contract for a similar study by the Applied Physics […]

Feb 012012
 
Martin Orbit Project (1946)

The document presented above is a progress report dating from September 15, 1946 for the Martin Orbit Project, an ambitious single-stage-to-orbit satellite launch vehicle designed for the U.S. Navy. The design appears to be a refinement of Martin’s earlier proposal for the High Altitude Test Vehicle (HATV) program, which had its origins in a May […]

Jan 242012
 
Cornell Long Range Ram Jet Bombardment Missile Study (1949)

The above gallery reproduces the main body of “Influence of Certain Parameters on Long Range Ram Jet Bombardment Missiles Including the Effect of Highly Swept Wings,” a Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory report dating from March 29, 1949. In the report, Cornell investigated the horizontal, self-powered flight path of a given ram jet missile configuration to determine […]

Jan 182012
 
Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track (Project SNORT) Proposal of 1949

The gallery above reproduces an October 1949 report outlining the uses and requirements for the Supersonic Naval Ordnance Research Track (Project SNORT), a facility proposed for the Naval Ordnance Test Station located at Inyokern, California. This would be a straight railway 11 miles long, on which rocket-propelled vehicles would carry various kinds of test items at speeds reaching into […]

Jun 012011
 
CH-64 “Chow Hund” - American Anti-Aircraft Missile Designed by Captured German Engineers

After World War II, the United States undertook a secret operation known as Project Paperclip, the aim of which was to exploit German scientists and engineers for American research, and to deny the technical expertise of these individuals to the Soviet Union. More than 1,600 scientists and their dependents were recruited and brought to the […]