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Old 07-26-2019, 07:13 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 5,984

Originally Posted by Ez2cDave
A couple of pics . . . Good "rivet detail" in the first one !

Dave F.
Thank you for posting these pix (and the "darkened-line" drawings, too--they're much more distinct)! The first photograph (showing the "peeled back" casing) is of a recovered Raven rocket motor, which powered the BAC--later BAe--Skylark sounding rocket (I've included links pertinent to an excellent Skylark history book below--there is plenty of Skylark [as well as Skua, Petrel, and Fulmar] material on "the interwire," too :-) ). Also:

The Skylark (see: LAaK57g7FA ) was to Great Britain what the Aerobee (and now the Canadian Black Brant series--the 17.25" [438 mm] Black Brant and Nihka motors were patterned after the various Skylark motors of the same diameter) was to us. Hundreds of Skylarks were flown, from sites all over the world, and they also carried payloads for other countries; even NASA used at least four Skylark vehicles launched from Woomera, carrying ultraviolet astronomy payloads to map the southern sky, and:

The basic, single-stage Skylark used a Raven motor. The more popular boosted version used a Raven motor mounted atop a Cuckoo motor (which was fitted with three small fins, and had an Aerobee-like open interstage section with a blast cone), which was later replaced by a *finless* Goldfinch--and still later, a Goldfinch II--motor, in true CHAD staging style. :-) By the time the Goldfinch motors arrived, the payloads had become so long and heavy that the Skylark's three fins were sufficient to stabilize the entire "stack" (the TEXUS and MASER programs at Esrange flew many of them; much about them is online)--plus:

Optional Imp spin motors reduced the impact dispersion, which was important for ranges (especially land ranges, such as Esrange in Sweden) which have small downrange impact areas. (Incidentally, the Brazilian VSB-30 two-stage sounding rocket [see: ] was designed as a "drop-in replacement" for the Skylark, which last flew in 2005; the VSB-30 has similar performance, and all of the Skylark payload modules--many of them are used to this day--fit its interfaces.) The most powerful Skylark variant was the Skylark 12, which used a Raven XI motor atop a Goldfinch II motor, with a (finless and spin-stabilized, like the Black Brant's optional Nihka final stage) Cuckoo IV third stage atop the Raven XI motor (see: ). In its latter years, these three "standard" Skylarks (earlier versions were variously numbered) were the Skylark 5 (Raven XI motor; single-stage), Skylark 7 (Goldfinch II-boosted Raven XI; two-stage), and Skylark 12 (Goldfinch II/Raven XI/Cuckoo IV; three-stage). Below are links to information--including ordering information--on the book, "Britain's First Space Rocket: The Story of the Skylark," by Robin H. Brand:

Order from:

All sources:

I hope this information will be helpful.
Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre
NAR #54895 SR
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