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World's first AAM?

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posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 01:00 PM
I have read different theories on this. Some say it was the Ruhrstahl X-4 developed by Nazi Germany in 1945, but this missile was never deployed on aircraft. It might of had successful tests however. There was the British Fireflash in 1955 but apparently that didn't even work. The earliest functional AAM I can see is the AIM-4 Falcon, tested 1949 in service 1956 on the F-89 Scorpion, F-101 Voodoo and F-102 Delta Dagger.

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 04:17 PM

a bit more info on the fireflash - it wasn`t actually intended for RAF general use , more of a test missile - the Firestreak was teh general use weapon (and massively better)

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 04:34 PM
Well there were unguided missles in WW2 already. Most notably the ones used by the Me262 but i guess you mean guided missles here?

posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 04:51 PM
reply to post by tomcat ha

Yes that's right. Guided missiles, not rockets.

posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 05:47 AM
Looking at the subject from a British perspective, just so that aspect is covered, guided weapons in general have quite a surprisingly long history. The first guided weapon deployed by the UK was the wire guided torpedo developed by Louis Brennan in the 1890's and deployed from 1900 for coastal defence.

The first aerial guided weapon was effectively a SAM and this was developed in 1916 by Preofessor A.M Low, it consisted of a biplane packed with explosives which was flown by radio control up a searchlight beam to explode on contact with the Zeppelins then bombing London. At the same time unguided rockets, which we associate with Hawker Typhoons in WW2 and the like, were being fired from the wing struts of Spads, Nieuports and Camels of the RFC.

Moving into the 1930's there was a project euphemistacally called the 'Long Range Gun with Lynx engine' or Larynx for short which was an anti shipping guided missile, or cruise missile if you will, which was a small unmanned monoplane with cruciform tail packed with explosives (picture a tubbier bodied Tomahawk with a radial engine on the front).

At this time Britain was also rapidly developing radar and the Chain Home system which played such a vital role in the Battle of Britain. A variant of the Larynx design was also proposed with equipment that would allow it to home in on the emitters of such equipment if it was found to be in use by the enemy, almost certainly the worlds first proposal for an ARM.

The first proposal for a radar guided SAM was made by the Air Defence Research and Development Establishment in 1941, pretty much the same time as Germany also started thinking along those lines, there were quite a lot of SAM and ASM type proposals that followed on from here but leaping forward to the first AAM, skipping over proposals like Artemis and Air Spaniel that were to be launched from Beaufighters on night interceptions and also date from early 1941, Little Ben is worthy of consideration, developed from 1944 this was the missile that (renamed Long Shot) performed the first beam guided supersonic flight in 1951 and was used for guidance research for many years afterwards.

The first British guided AAM to be deployed operationally by the RAF was the Fairey Fireflash and it was first deployed on the Swift F.7's flown by the No 1 Guided Weapons development Squadron in 1957.
This weapon never became standard issue however as this honour went to the De Havilland Firestreak which was issued to the Gloster Javelin squadrons a couple of years later.

Despite Britain being at the forefront of guided weapons development money was always the overrriding issue and this led to us being quite late in actually deploying the fruits of all those years of research. An interesting report I read several years ago however was a bit of a surprise to me as it detailed how the DH Firestreak and later red top were both greatly superior to the US AIM 9 sidewinder in accuracy and reliability, which I did not expect. This of course refers to the variant of the AIM 9 which was current with those missiles, not the much developed later models.

For the first AAM launches, I have an image in my mind of a guided missile launched from the Fw 190, but I would have to get my research sorted before I commented on that one.

posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:10 AM
Ryan firebird.

Ryan AAM-A-1 Firebird

In 1946 the USAAF awarded study contracts for several types of guided air-to-air missiles. These included project MX-799, which was assigned to Ryan Aeronautical, and which called for a fighter-launched subsonic AAM for use against bombers. In 1947, Ryan was awarded a development contract under project MX-799 for the AAM-A-1 Firebird missile, the first really viable air-to-air missile project of the U.S. Air Force. The first launch of an XAAM-A-1 prototype occurred in October 1947.

Ryan Firebird

The missile systemm that the Falcon evolved from. Subsonic, so quickly became obselete.

The falcon came after.

Forgot the piccie sorry.

[edit on 22-6-2008 by Dan Tanna]

posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 12:13 PM
From Bill Gunston's book Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Rockets and Missiles (1979)...............

'Hs 298
This was the first AAM in the world to be built and developed, though like most German weapons it was abandoned in December 1944...................More than 300 Hs 298 missiles were actually fired, mainly at Karishagen from Ju 88G, Ju 388L and Fw 190A or G carriers'

Of the X-4 this publication says.........

This AAM was one of the great missiles of history, for it not only established the AAM as a practical concept but it also proved the reliability and immunity to countermeasures of wire guidance..................By late 1944 about 1,300 missiles had been produced, and many hundreds - most with Schmidding solid motors - tested. The first firing at Karishagen was from an Fw 190 on 11 August 1944 and the Ju 88G and Ju 388L were also used. In the second half of 1944 over 1000 pre-production X-4s were made, but their motors were destroyed by bombing of BMW's Stargard plant. As far as is known, no X-4s reached combat units though some were 'fired in anger'.

So it would appear that, but for the end of the war, the X-4 would have been placed in service.

It would indeed be interesting to know if any of those missiles 'fired in anger' resulted in the destruction of or damage to an allied aircraft. Successful or not, this presumably constitutes the first operational use (albeit perhaps unofficially) of a guided AAM. And that would certainly pre-date anyone else's operational use of such a weapon by a considerable margin.

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 22/6/08 by The Winged Wombat]

posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 12:25 PM
reply to post by The Winged Wombat

Sweet !

That just goes to show how advanced they managed to get even fighting on three fronts at the same time.

Cheers for the info WW.

I love ATS. I learnt some thing today.

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