Sunday, October 22, 2017


This is coolbert:

Project failed but project succeeded? Navaho!

Thanks in this instance to the outstanding Internet web site an item of interest as in an oblique manner the Navaho cruise missile. A 1950's era project long-range cruise missile cancelled portions of which nonetheless put to good use in an unanticipated manner..

As extracted: "Even quite competent engineers can be very unreliable"

Unforeseen and unexpected dividends from the Navaho project as applicable to the development of usable intercontinental ballistic missiles [ICBM's].

"The ICBM program suffered from a lack of support because the guidance problems were so severe that the rest of the program was not pushed . . . We would have been in an even worse position but, luckily, an entirely different program — the rocket booster for the Navaho cruise type missile — had been pushed so far that we could use it as a basis for the ICBM engine."

"This two-chambered, liquid-fuel rocket engine built by North American Aviation served as the booster for the Navaho missile that was powered by two ramjets. The booster was to quickly get the missile up to supersonic speed for its ramjets to operate."

Navaho booster rocket engines. Used to get the Navaho cruise missile up to speed so that the ramjets would ignite. Image courtesy the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

"Navaho had a 8,850 kilometer (5,500 mile) range. It never became operational and was canceled in 1957. However, its booster-rocket engine was extremely important in the evolution of American large-scale, liquid-fuel engines, including those for the Redstone, Jupiter, Thor, and Atlas missiles, the Saturn V launch vehicle, and the Space Shuttle. "

NOT only it would seem the booster rockets hardly alone as a developmental dividend of the cancelled Navaho cruise missile project. Thanks to the wiki:

"Although Navaho did not enter service, its development provided useful research in a number of fields. A version of the Navaho air frame powered by a single turbojet became the AGM-28 Hound Dog, which was carried towards its targets on the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and then flew the rest of the way at about Mach 2. The guidance system was used to guide the first Polaris submarines."

Success from failure? You the devoted reader to the blog judge for yourself.


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