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Pye Wacket - USAF Circular AAM missile.

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posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 05:32 AM
I came across this and found it a very interesting read.

When the Convair XB-70 Valkyrie Mach 3 bomber was developed in the late 1950s, the U.S. Air Force was faced with the problem of how to defend it against existing and future soviet air-defense weapons. It was expected that the B-70's high operating speed and altitude would not make it immune from nuclear-tipped surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. The proposed solution was the DAMS (Defensive Anti-Missile System).

The DAMS would have to use an extremely fast and manoeuverable missile to intercept fighters and missiles approaching at relative speeds of up to Mach 7 (as could be the case for a head-on attack). One possible solution was a radical missile design developed under project Pye Wacket (see source [2] for an explanation of the peculiar name) since 1958. The Pye Wacket missile was a basically circular flying disc, and was formally called the Lenticular Defense Missile (LDM). This shape showed high supersonic stability and lift even at extreme angles of attack, and its evenly distributed mass made the needed super-agility possible. The LDM was originally designed and studied by the Air Proving Ground Center at Eglin AFB and the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). In June 1959, Convair received a contract to continue development.

Early wind test mosel

later wind test model

The characteristics of the LDM apparently evolved somewhat over time, and a USAF report from the later phase of the program describes it as being 1.8 m (70 in) in diameter, 23 cm (9 in) deep and weighing 230 kg (510 lb). Two solid-fueled rocket motors of 45.4 kN (10200 lb) thrust propelled the missile to a speed of Mach 6.5, and maximum range was about 133 km (72 nm).

I wonder how many UFO sightings were atributed to possible test flights of this missile, which may still remain classifed.

[edit on 22-3-2006 by rogue1]

posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 12:08 AM

The edge area will be lower and there won't be any native vortice flow spiraling off the tip as with a conical or ogival radome.

But your total aspect ratio and certainly ruling factors are going to be adversely effected. As will the area that is heated, both as a 'leading edge' (if it can truly be launched 'in any direction') function and as a an element of total surface area behind a very acute shock.

Even the notion of 'systems density' spreads seems counter intuitive since surely the motors must all be grouped along a common plenum if not thrust line and significant differences between the guidance/warhead/motor sections would arise, both before, during and after burnout.

About the only real justification I can see for this weapon is (in a bomber fuselage width weapons bay) the option of 'stacking' the rounds like a records in a jukebox. So that you had maximum packing density from minimum total volume.

Even this seems wildly speculative given only 9" in which to (presumably, all bets are off as SIOP conditioned massive retaliatory response) stuff a nuke.

By comparison, this is ASALM-

Which has (given the timeframe difference) roughly 'scaled' performance paramaters in a similar mission category.


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