Aerojet General X-8
|Aerojet X-8 rocket|
|Role||Upper Atmospheric Research Vehicle, X-plane|
|First flight||2 December 1949|
United States Air Force
United States Navy
The Aerojet General X-8 was an unguided, spin-stabilized sounding rocket designed to launch a 150 lb (68 kg) payload to 200,000 feet (61.0 km). The X-8 was later spun off into the prolific Aerobee rocket.
At launch, an 18,000 lbf (80 kN) thrust Aerojet 2.5KS18,000G solid rocket booster fired for 2.5 seconds. After booster jettison, a 2,600 lbf (12 kN) thrust XASR-2 liquid fuel rocket burned for up to 40 seconds (depending on desired apogee). The spent rocket then fell back in a ballistic arc, the payload returning to Earth via parachute. The baseline X-8 measured 20.2 ft (6.2 m) in length and measured 5.25 ft (1.6 m) across the fins. A X-8A reached a maximum altitude of 138.4 miles (222.7 km) Another reached a speed of Mach six. The payloads of the X8s varied, averaging about 150 lbs. There were 30 X-8s, 30 X-8As, 1 X-8B, 2 X8-Cs and 3 X-8Ds delivered to the Air Force. The X-8As used a 4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust AJ 10-25 engine. The X-8B used a 2,600 lbf (12 kN) thrust XASR-2 engine. The X-8Cs had 4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust AJ 10-25s. The three X-8D with 4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust AJ 10-25, apparently were never flown.
- X-8 - 30
- X-8A - 30
- X-8B - 1
- X-8C - 2
- X-8D - 3
Data from The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45
- Crew: unmanned
- Length: 20ft 1.5in ()
- Wingspan: 5ft 3in ()
- Height: 15in ()
- Wing area: 36ft² ()
- Empty weight: 135lb ()
- Loaded weight: 1,097lb ()
- Useful load: 150-300lb ()
- Related development
- Miller, Jay (2001). "Aerojet General X-8A, X-8B, X-8C, and X-8D Aerobee". The X-Planes: X-1 to X-45. Hinckley, UK: Midland. ISBN 1-85780-109-1.
- Miller, Jay, The X-Planes, 1988, Arlington, Texas: Aerofax,Inc., ISBN 0-517-56749-0, page 80
- "Aerojet General RM-84/PWN-2 Aerobee-Hi(and earlier Aerobee variants)". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
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