- V-2 rocket
At launch the A-4 propelled itself for up to 65 seconds on its own power, and a program motor controlled the pitch to the specified angle at engine shutdown, from which the rocket continued on a free-fall () trajectory. The fuel and oxidizer pumps were steam turbines, and the steam was produced by concentrated
hydrogen peroxidewith potassium permanganate catalyst. Both the alcohol and oxygen tanks were an aluminium-magnesium alloy. [Kennedy.74]
The combustion burner reached a temperature of 2500−2700 °C (4500 - 4900 °F). The alcohol-water fuel was pumped along the double wall of the main combustion burner. This cooled the chamber and heated the fuel (regenerative cooling). The fuel was then pumped into the main burner chamber through 1,224 nozzles, which assured the correct mixture of alcohol and oxygen at all times. Small holes also permitted some alcohol to escape directly into the combustion chamber, forming a cooled
boundary layerthat further protected the wall of the chamber, especially at the throat where the chamber was narrowest. The boundary layer alcohol ignited in contact with the atmosphere, accounting for the long, diffuse exhaust plume. (Later, post-V2 engine designs not employing this alcohol boundary layer cooling show a translucent plume with shock diamonds.)
The V-2 was guided by four external rudders on the tail fins, and four internal
graphitevanes at the exit of the motor. The LEV-3 guidance system consisted of two free gyroscopes (a horizon and a vertical) for lateral stabilization, and a gyroscopic accelerometer connected to an electrolytic integrator (engine cut-off occurred when a thin coating of silver was electrochemically eroded off a poorly conducting base).Some later V-2s used "guide beams" (radio signals transmitted from the ground) to navigate towards the target, but the first models used a simple analog computerthat adjusted the azimuthfor the rocket, and the flying distance was controlled by the timing of the engine cut-off, "Brennschluss", ground controlled by a Doppler system or by different types of on-board integrating accelerometers. The rocket stopped accelerating and soon reached the top of the (approximately parabolic) flight curve.
The painting of the operational V-2s was mostly a
camouflageragged pattern with several variations, but at the end of the war a plain olive green rocket also appeared. During tests, the rocket was painted in a characteristic black-and-white chessboardpattern, which aided in determining if the rocket was spinning around its longitudinal axis.The rocket reached a height of 80 km (50 miles) before shutting off the engine. [ The History ChannelV2 Factory: Nordhausen 070723]
Notable test launches include the third test launch on
October 3 1942(the first successful flight):
References and Notes
* Dungan, Tracy D. (2005). "V-2: A Combat History of the First Ballistic Missile." Westholme Publishing. ISBN 1-59416-012-0.
* Huzel, Dieter K. (ca. 1965). "Peenemunde to Canaveral". Prentice Hall Inc.
* King, Benjamin and Timothy J. Kutta (1998). "Impact: The History of Germany's V-Weapons in World War II ". (Alternately: "Impact: An Operational History of Germany's V Weapons in World War II".) Rockville Center, New York: Sarpedon Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1-885119-51-8, ISBN 1-86227-024-4. Da Capo Press; Reprint edition, 2003: ISBN 0-306-81292-4.
* Piszkiewicz, Dennis (1995). "The Nazi Rocketeers: Dreams of Space and Crimes of War". Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-95217-7.
* [http://www.ispyspace.com/V-2.html Germany's V-2 Rocket]
* [http://www.v2rocket.com/index.html A-4/V-2 Resource Site]
* [http://www.postwarv2.com/index.html Beggs Aerospace Post-War V-2 Site]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/case_naziscientists/index.html PBS: The hunt for Nazi scientists]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/ops/peenemunde.htm History of Peenemünde and the discovery of the German missile development by the Allied]
* [http://www.canadianarrow.com/V2History.htm V-2 history page] ndash from Canadian Arrow official website
* [http://www.cdiss.co.uk/Documents/Uploaded/Missile%20Defence%20-%20Then%20and%20Now.pdf Discussion of V-2 defences]
* [http://www.flyingbombsandrockets.com/V2_intro About effect of V2's on London]
* [http://www.v2rocket.guide-warsaw.com/index.php?option=com_alberghi&task=detail&Itemid=2&id=1 German V2/A4 test range (Heidekraut) in Tuchola Forest (Poland) today]
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