Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones
|Copyright © 2003 Andreas Parsch|
In November 1945, the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance awarded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a missile development contract under the project name Meteor. The initial studies covered both surface-to-air and air-to-air missile components, and various types of propulsion (solid rocket, liquid rocket, ramjet) were considered. Eventually only the air-to-air missile was selected for development under the designation AAM-N-5, and Bell was selected to develop and build the airframe. The first XAAM-N-5 prototypes were launched in July 1948 from JD-1 Invader aircraft, and test launches from fighters (F3D Skynight) began in 1951.
The XAAM-N-5 used a solid-propellant booster and a liquid-fueled sustainer rocket, and was guided by a semi-active radar homing system. For flight stabilization and control, the Meteor had fixed cruciform tail fins and forward-mounted control wings. It reached a speed of more than Mach 2 and range is quoted as up to 40 km (25 miles), although the latter figure was probably only valid for head-on engagements under optimum conditions. The missile was equipped with an 11 kg (25 lb) blast-fragmentation warhead.
The AAM-N-5 development program was cancelled in 1953, presumably because the contemporary AAM-N-2/AIM-7 Sparrow was a more promising missile.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for XAAM-N-5:
|Length (w/o booster)||2.90 m (9 ft 6 in); booster: 1.35 m (4 ft 5.25 in)|
|Wingspan||0.75 m (2 ft 5.4 in)|
|Finspan||1.02 m (3 ft 4.25 in)|
|Diameter||21 cm (8.25 in); booster: 22.6 cm (8.9 in)|
|Weight (w/o booster)||177 kg (390 lb); booster: 86 kg (190 lb)|
|Speed||> Mach 2|
|Range||40 km (25 miles)|
|Propulsion||Sustainer: Liquid-fueled rocket; booster: solid-fueled rocket|
|Warhead||11 kg (25 lb) blast-fragmentation|
 Norman Friedman: "US Naval Weapons", Conway Maritime Press, 1983
 Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
 Bill Gunston: "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rockets and Missiles", Salamander Books Ltd, 1979
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