AIRCRAFT ROCKETS AND ROCKET
The history of rockets covers a span of eight
centuries, but their use in aircraft armament began
during World War II. Rockets answered the need for a
large missile that could be fired without recoil from an
Since the airborne rocket is usually launched at
close range and measured in yards or meters, its
accuracy as a propelled projectile is higher than a
free-falling bomb dropped from high altitude.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: State the
principles of rocket propulsion. Identify rocket
components to include motors, warheads, and
fuzes. Identify the purpose and use of service
rocket assemblies to include the 2.75-inch
folding-fin aircraft rocket (FFAR), the low-spin
folding-fin aircraft rocket (LSFFAR), and the
There are two rockets currently used by the Navy.
The first is the 2.75-inch, folding-fin aircraft rocket
(FFAR) known as the Mighty Mouse. The second, a
5.0-inch, folding-fin rocket known as the Zuni. The
Mighty Mouse and the Zuni are discussed in detail later
in this chapter.
ROCKET AND ROCKET FUZE
Some of the more common terms peculiar to rockets
and rocket components used in this chapter are defined
Acceleration/deceleration. These terms apply to
fuzes that use a gear timing device in conjunction with
the setback principle.
completes arming the fuze, and deceleration or
proximity initiates detonation.
Igniter. The initiating device that ignites the
propellant grain. It is usually an assembly consisting of
an electric squib, match composition, black powder, and
Hangfire. A misfire that later fires from delayed
Misfire. A rocket does not fire when the firing
circuit is energized.
Motor. The propulsive component of a rocket.
It consists of the propellant, the igniter, and the
Propellant grain. The solid fuel used in a rocket
motor, which, upon burning, generates a volume of hot
gases that stream from the nozzle and propel the rocket
(also known as the propellant or propellant powder
Rocket. A missile propelled by the sustained
reaction of a discharging jet of gas against the container
Setback. This term is applied when internal parts
react to the acceleration of the rocket. Setback is a
safety feature designed into those fuzes that use a gear
Thrust. The force exerted by the gases produced by
the burning of the rocket motor propellant.
PRINCIPLES OF ROCKET
Rockets are propelled by the rearward expulsion of
expanding gases from the nozzle of the motor. The
necessary gas forces are produced by burning a mass of
propellant at high pressure inside the motor tube.
Rockets function even in a vacuum. The propellant
contains its own oxidizers to provide the necessary
oxygen during burning.