McDonnell LBD Gargoyle

McDonnell LBD Gargoyle
LBD-1 Gargoyle
LBD-1 Gargoyle.jpg
Gargoyle on display at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in target colors.
Type anti-ship missile / guided bomb
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service never used operationally
Wars World War II
Production history
Manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft
Produced 1945
Weight 1517 lb (688 kg)
Length 10 ft 2 in (3.1 m)
Diameter 20 inches (508 mm)

Warhead amatol
Warhead weight 1000 pounds (454 kg)

Engine 8AS1000 JATO bottle
1000 lbf (4,448 N) static thrust
Wingspan 8.5 feet (2.6 m)
5–7 nautical miles (9.3–13 km; 5.8–8.1 mi)
Speed 600 mph (960 km/h)
radio command

The McDonnell LBD-1 Gargoyle (later KBD-1) was an American air-to-surface missile developed during World War II . It was one of the precursors of modern anti-ship missiles.

Following German success with the Hs-293 and Fritz-X, the U.S. began work on a series of similar weapons. These included Bat, Felix, GB-8, and Gargoyle.

Gargoyle had a 1000 pound (450 kg) warhead (M65 general purpose or M59 semi–armor piercing), intended to be launched from carrier-borne aircraft in conditions of good visibility, against maneuvering targets. Launched from 15,000 ft (4,600 m), it had a range of almost 5–7 nautical miles (9.3–13 km; 5.8–8.1 mi), and could be controlled at up to 28 nautical miles (52 km; 32 mi).

A launch speed of at least 200 mph (320 km/h) was necessary, so its low wings would not stall; a 1000 pound-force (4,400 N) static thrust 8AS1000 jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) bottle in the tail boosted it to a maximum speed of 600 mph (960 km/h).

Operated by radio command guidance, Gargoyle was tracked visually by means of flares in the tail, much as Fritz-X was; this limited its maximum range to how far the flares could be seen. Gargoyle relied on simultaneous or separate operation of the elevator and rudder functions on the weapon's butterfly tail; it was capable of 4g (40 m/s²), for a turning circle of 2,550 feet (777.2 m).

Production by McDonnell Aircraft began in 1944 and the missile was tested from March to July 1945, but the war ended before it entered operational service. Testing continued, however, until it was cancelled in 1947.

See also

Related lists


  • This article contains material that originally came from the placard at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, editor. "Gargoyle", in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons and Warfare, Volume 10, p. 1090. London: Phoebus Publishing, 1978.

External links

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