A Vertical Empire: History of the British Rocketry Programme by C. N. Hill

By C. N. Hill

A Vertical Empire presents an outline of the British rocketry and area programme from the Fifties to Nineteen Seventies, detailing the Medium diversity Ballistic Missile Blue Streak and its conversion to a satellite tv for pc launcher as a part of the ecu Launcher improvement service provider (ELDO). This greatly revised moment version contains fabric merely made on hand long ago ten years and the textual content is supplemented by means of a variety of photos, sketches and information. The all-British satellite tv for pc Black Arrow is defined, in addition to the learn rocket Black Knight, the Blue metal missile and the rocket powered interceptor airplane.

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6 One of the more unusual features of the report is that it seems to be the only one written in this period (other than some ELDO reports) which uses entirely metric units. This leads to some slightly awkward conversions. 37 m… or 54 inches! This was obviously designed as a third stage for a Blue Streak/Black Knight combination. Indeed, the RAE had calculated the optimum mass for a liquid hydrogen third stage for the Blue Streak launcher to 46 A Vertical Empire be 2,270 kg, and the stage was designed around this weight, although later calculations showed the optimum mass as 3,630 kg.

Three prototypes were built, the first of which flew on 22 August 1952. 24 A Vertical Empire the SR53, a mixed power plant (rocket/jet) supersonic interceptor. Two prototypes were built. The project had its inception in 1952, and the first flight was on 16 May 1957. • the SR177, an extended version of the above. Prototypes were being built at the time of cancellation. Inception 1954, cancelled 1957. • a design for the specification of F155, producing what would have been the very last word in rocket powered interceptors.

Although the Saunders Roe brochure for Black Prince is sometimes taken as the ‘definitive’ version of the Blue Streak launcher, there was, in reality, no such thing. Black Prince shows an HTP third stage, but the RAE realised that a liquid hydrogen stage could increase the payload considerably, and in this period, it was looking at 6- or 12-hour orbits for communications satellites. It is interesting to see the emphasis that this stage is given in the initial brochure for the Anglo-French launcher.

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