Sparoair-2 (under F4D-1 Skyray)
Sparoair-3 (under F4H Phantom)
The Sparoair were a family of small, air-launched sounding rockets developed by the USNavy. They used Sparrow motors as the first stage and second tandem mounted Sparrow as a second stage or later a more powerful second stage.
Sparoair-1 used discarded Sparrow motors, which were deemed unsafe to be fired directly from a manned airplane. Therefore the vehicle was dropped and after 5 seconds ignited. It could carry 18 kg to a height of 160 km. F-3H Cougar or F4D-1 Skyray aircraft were used to launch these rockets. About 60 vehicles were launched until 1963. Problems to ignite the rocket led to the replacement with the Sparoair-2.
Sparoair-2 was essentially the same, but used motors, that were safe to be launched directly from the aircrafts launching rail. This allowed for simpler, more reliable igniters.
Sparoair-3 was an improved version capable to launch 13.5 kg to a height of 320 km. Therefore it used the more powerful F4H Phantom aircraft and a more capable second stage.
|Vehicle||Aircraft||Stage 1||Stage 2|
|Sparoair-1||F3H Cougar or F4D-1 Skyray||Sparrow||Sparrow|
|Sparoair-2||F3H Cougar or F4D-1 Skyray||Sparrow||Sparrow|
No. TNo. Vehicle Date LS Payload
xx x Sparoair-1 xx.xx.1960 * PM / F3H ? xx x Sparoair-2 xx.xx.1961 * PM / F3H ? xx x Sparoair-2 xx.xx.1961 * PM / F3H ? xx x Sparoair-1 xx.xx.1963 * PM / F3H ? xx x Sparoair-3 01.07.1965 * PM / F4H ? xx x Sparoair-3 26.05.1966 * PM / F3H ? (List incomplete) Launch sites: PM = Naval Missile and Astronautics Center, Point Mugu, California, USA