V2

White Sands V2 rockets

The White Sands V-2 Launching Site, or Launch Complex 33, was developed specifically to accommodate V-2 rocket tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The American government in Operation Paperclip captured more than 100 V-2 rockets and numerous German scientists and engineers associated with the V-2 development program, including Dr. Werner Von Braun. The Army brought Dr. Von Braun and the captured V-2s to the newly opened White Sands Missile Range.

I have built a version based on the White Sands Number 3 rocket based on the Loc V2 Kit.

I have created a Rocksim File based on specific measurements/weights as the build progressed.

Rocket number 1 was statically fired on 15 March 1946 and rocket number 2 was launched on 16 April 1946. The radio cut-off 19.5s after launch, Fin 4 failed prior to cut off and the flight was considered unsuccessful reaching an altitude of 5.5 km.

Rocket number 3 was launched on 10 May 1946 achieving a nominal flight and an altitude of 112.6 km.

Liftoff
Liftoff

The flight is interesting for several reasons - not the least of which being the first successful flight. There had been a long-standing tradition among the German scientists to apply pin-up tail art to their rockets and this was to be the last example as the crew was replaced with all-American personal after this launch.

Tail art on the rocket
Tail art on the rocket

Interestingly, the tail art sports a V-2 in the American yellow and black roll pattern and the number 2. The German scientists didn’t count static firing as a “real” launch so in their minds this was technically rocket number 2. The tail art is somewhat “spicy” but much in keeping with the long standing tradition.

Tail Art Detail
Tail Art Detail
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