Development of a piston-compressor type light-gas gun for the launching of free-flight models at high velocity

A. C. Charters, B. Pat Denardo, Vernon J. Rossow
Nov 1957

Recent interest in long-range missiles has stimulated a search for new experimental techniques which can reproduce in the laboratory the high temperatures and Mach numbers associated with the missiles' flight. One promising possibility lies in free-flight testing of laboratory models which are flown at the full velocity of the missile. In this type of test, temperatures are approximated and aerodynamic heating of the model is representative of that experienced by the missile in high-velocity flight. A prime requirement of the free-flight test technique is a device which has the capacity for launching models at the velocities desired. In response to this need, a gun firing light models at velocities up to 15,000 feet per second has been developed at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory. The design of this gun, the analysis of its performance, and the results of the initial firing trials are described in this paper. The firing trials showed that the measured velocities and pressures agreed well with the predicted values. Also, the erosion of the launch tube was very small for the eleven rounds fired. The performance of the gun suggests that it will be a satisfactory launcher for high-velocity free-flight tests.

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