• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

U.S. Navy / Douglas ‘AERO X10A’ rocket gun

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,948
Reaction score
344
G'day gents
I have come across an interesting article at

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1950s/1950/aug50.pdf



What I found interesting is on Page 14 of the link!

"When the [Douglas] AD Skyraider attack plane came on the scene, the [U.S.] Navy tried out a new idea on it – spin-stabilized 5’ aircraft rockets fired machine-gun fashion through a launcher in the plan’s wing [referred in picture as ‘stovepipe’ launchers] . Although the Navy is not today using this weapon, details of the experiment make interesting reading. The largest and most powerful gun ever fired from aircraft was called the Aero X10A. Under design and development at Douglas Aircraft Company’s El Segundo plant for the [Douglas AD /A-1] Skyraider, the rapid-firing cannon was tried out at NOTS Inyokern.The experimental rocket guns each firing 19 five-inch spin stabilized rockets were completely housed within the out-board panels of the plan wing........................... The rocket gun weighed only 160-pounds each as compared to 1,500 pounds for a 105mm aircraft gun installation another service experimented with during hostilities.The rockets could be fired at adjusted rate up to 3-rounds a second per gun. The 38-rounds carried in the wings weighed three-quarters of a ton and could be fired in six and a half seconds if desired.Unlike the conventional rocket, the AERO X10A was finless and was stabilized in its trajectory like a gun projectile............................."

Regrettably I do not know how to retrieve pictures from PDF documents, so I am unable to post pictures of Skyraider/AERO X10A rocket gun
Does anyone have more informative details and pics on this AERO X10A rocket gun and its installation in the Skyraider?

Regards
Pioneer


Regards
Pioneer
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,227
Reaction score
597
Pioneer said:
egrettably I do not know how to retrieve pictures from PDF documents, so I am unable to post pictures of Skyraider/AERO X10A rocket gun

And access to the Navy servers is denied to me...

Could you attach the PDF here so I can try to save the pics from it?

Also, it's nice to find another "X-" designation in the early U.S. Navy series.
 

RanulfC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
934
Reaction score
393
This is going to drive me nuts now, because I recall seeing a picture of an experimental rocket-gun installed in a T-33 for testing though I don't think it was the Navy.

Of course my net-fu (and google) are currently letting me down with word searches even using "aero X10-A"...

Randy
 

cluttonfred

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
1,390
Reaction score
118
Website
cluttonfred.info
I had no problems accessing the file, but the .pdf is quite large, so here is a .jpg clipping of the article from the August 1950 issue of Naval Aviation News.

Considering the low weight of the installation, it does not seem prohibitive, but perhaps the thought was that the AD was never going to be very fast, so the drag of external launchers was not really a big problem.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Attachments

  • Spin Rockets on AD.jpg
    Spin Rockets on AD.jpg
    403 KB · Views: 701

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,970
Reaction score
370
This is going to drive me nuts now, because I recall seeing a picture of an experimental rocket-gun installed in a T-33 for testing though I don't think it was the Navy.


Is this what you meant? 'Aeroplane Monthly', January 1976, p.17




cheers,
Robin.
 

Attachments

  • P-80 wth rocket gun.png
    P-80 wth rocket gun.png
    277 KB · Views: 572
  • caption.png
    caption.png
    18.5 KB · Views: 514

RanulfC

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
934
Reaction score
393
robunos said:
This is going to drive me nuts now, because I recall seeing a picture of an experimental rocket-gun installed in a T-33 for testing though I don't think it was the Navy.


Is this what you meant? 'Aeroplane Monthly', January 1976, p.17




cheers,
Robin.
Not "the" picture I was thinking of (IIRC it was a book article on aircraft arms) but that's the one. Thanks. Any additional info on the program/weapon?

Randy
 

Tailspin Turtle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
111
Website
www.tommythomason.com
That T-33 looks like it has a primitive inflight refueling probe in the nose, not a "gun" barrel...
 

Attachments

  • 009094 XBT2D-1 26MAY49 CLK NP45-021583.jpg
    009094 XBT2D-1 26MAY49 CLK NP45-021583.jpg
    100.9 KB · Views: 466
  • 035849 PBJ-1J 07MAR47 web.jpg
    035849 PBJ-1J 07MAR47 web.jpg
    168.4 KB · Views: 463
  • AD Rocket Gun web.jpg
    AD Rocket Gun web.jpg
    179.3 KB · Views: 90

robunos

You're Mad, You Are.....
Senior Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
1,970
Reaction score
370
Any additional info on the program/weapon?


Sorry, nothing else in the article............................. :(
EDIT This from Putnam's 'Lockheed', p.241 :-

"Armament experiments conducted with yet another P-80A-1-LO (4485116) included jettisonable racks for 5-inch rockets mounted in place of the wingtip tanks and, later, a rocket-launcher gun in a modified nose..."


Regarding the Skyraider, was it ever tested in flight? Looking at the blast from the breech directed downwards, I would have thought that it would have been somewhat destabilising, to say the least...........

cheers,
Robin.
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
158
Looks like a fairly low velocity weapon, with a high trajectory.
 

sagallacci

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
87
Reaction score
1
Wow! It appears to be more on the US version of the Fohn WWII German SAM/AAM weapon. Originally a barrage type short range SAM weapon, it was also going to be one of the alternate weapons for the Ba349 Natter. I'd only heard of some limited R&D on it by the USAAF and did not realize the Navy's interest too.
 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,948
Reaction score
344
Wow thanks gents for your time and effort!!
Looks a very interesting concept!
Although the internal storage arrangement of the rockets must have used up quite a bit of volume within the wing area (which was otherwise used for fuel), which I guess would in itself restrict its installation in many aircraft!

P.S. some great photos too!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Rickshaw

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,067
Reaction score
158
I wonder how the ammunition handling was accomplished? A normal reciprocating gun supplies the energy to move the next round into the chamber. I wonder how this weapon handled it?
 

beachhead1973

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Concord's The Brown Water Navy by Gordon L Rottman has, on pg 34 two images of 5inch rocket weapons on navy ships, namely the Mk7 spin-stabilized rocket and it;s semiautomatic launcher on USS St. Francis River LFR-525.

I wonder if the two systems are related? The rockets themselves certainly look similar to me.
 

Similar threads

Top