Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
Copyright © 2004 Andreas Parsch

Aerophysics Development HTV

In 1953, the Aerophysics Development Corp. received a contract to build a HTV (Hypersonic Test Vehicle) under project MX-2227 for the U.S. Air Force's ARDC (Air Research & Development Command). Aerophysics designed a two stage vehicle, which was first flown in November 1954.

Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford

The first stage consisted of seven solid-fueled rockets, which were fired simultaneously and accelerated the HTV to Mach 7 in only 2 seconds. Four Wasp rockets made up the second stage. Both stages were fin-stabilized, using three and four fins, respectively. The Air Force launched more than 40 HTVs until December 1958 for various types of experiments, including aerothermodynamic heating, upper-atmosphere sounding and tests of rocket components.

It must be noted, that "HTV" was a generic term and not a specific name for the Aerophysics vehicle. The term was also used for a number of other rocket configurations of up to 6 stages, which were flown by NACA and NASA.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for Aerophysics HTV:

Length3.93 m (12 ft 11 in)
Diameter1st stage: 23 cm (9 in)
Weight105 kg (231 lb)
SpeedMach 10
Propulsion1st stage: 7x solid-fueled rocket
2nd stage: 4x Wasp solid-fueled rocket

Main Sources

[1] Norman J. Bowman: "The Handbook of Rockets and Guided Missiles", Perastadion Press, 1963
[2] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[3] White Sands Missile Range History Website (Firing Tables)

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4

Last Updated: 2 December 2004