Lot 134 - V-2 Prototype Missile
The V-2 rocket was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp. The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known human artifact to enter outer space. It was the progenitor of all modern rockets including those used by the United States and Soviet Union's space programs. During the aftermath of World War II the American, Soviet and British governments all gained access to the V-2's technical designs and the actual German scientists responsible for creating the rockets.
After World War II, parts of almost 100 German V-2 rockets were brought to the United States. The U.S. Army undertook the task of assembling the rockets at White Sands, New Mexico, for research and experimentation by government agencies and universities in an attempt to develop their own V-2 capabilities.
This 1/3 scale V-2 prototype missile is Model No. 9 which was loaned to the Microwave Radiation Company, Inc, Venice, California by the University of Michigan, for the “performance of work on subcontract dated January, 5 1954, under Prime Contract W33(038) ac-14222 .” The original packing slip receipt accompanies the return of the item to the University of Michigan on June 1, 1954.
The packing slip receipt is written to the attention of Mr Marvin R Holter at the Willow Run Research Center. The Willow Run Research Center was started as the Michigan Aeronautical Research Centre (MARC) in 1936. It was run by the University of Michigan at Willow Run airport and played a leading role in the creation of the Bomarc Missile Program. In 1950, in recognition of an expanded research programme, MARC was renamed Willow Run Research Center. Work at Willow Run included testing throttable motors and hypergolic propellants.
Contract W33(038) ac-14222 mentioned on the packing slip refers to Project MX-794: "Studies in Radar Cross-Sections —XIII; Description of a Dynamic Measurement Program", by K. M. Siegel and J.M. Wolf. Full details of which are listed below:
Project MX-794, "(UMM-128) Studies in Radar Cross-Sections; Description of a Dynamic Measurement Program", by K. M. Siegel and J.M. Wolf. May 1954, 152 pages including graphs, charts and diagrams. University of Michigan, Willow Run Research Center, Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Summary: A field test program carried out at the Holloman Air Development Center to measure radar cross-sections of V-2 type missiles for nose-on aspects is described. The tests were carried out by observing 1/3-scale models of V-2 type missiles in free fall with X- and S-band radars. By linear modeling theory the results then yield S- and L-band radar cross-sections for full-scale missiles of this type.
Out of project MX-794, came the basic process that was later followed by all other US Anti Ballistic Missile systems; namely, target acquisition and subsequent tracking of that target, and a nuclear tipped missile for interception which was guided using a separate target tracking radar.
This 1/3 scale V-2 prototype missile is presented for sale in its original crate, with paper work showing the original military contract number. On the bottom it is stamped U of M (University of Michigan) W.R.R.C. (Willow Run Research Center) and then a serial number.
The rocket measures approx. 59" in height and 6" in diameter. There are four fins, each approx. 17¼" long and 3" wide. The fins are made of stainless steel and the main body of the missile is of aircraft aluminium. The nose cone is made of wood and is approx. 22½" long. The missile's total weight is approx. 60-70 lbs.
A unique opportunity to acquire an original US V-2 prototype missile – the ‘father’ of today’s anti-ballistic missiles - and a magnificent display piece.
Important buyer information:
This item is stored in the United States. Any winning bidder will need to arrange delivery with the vendor directly. The winning bidder will be responsible for shipping costs. The missile does not have a warhead or contain any rocket propellant.
End Date: 2012-05-24 19:30:00