Encyclopedia Astronautica
EA 1941



zea1941.jpg
EA 1941
First French liquid fuel rocket. Developed in the 1931-1942, tested in 1945.

Development of the first French liquid propellant rocket began in the 1930's. Jean-Jacques Barre of the Artillery Technical Service developed a 10 kN liquid oxygen/gasoline engine. The German occupation did not stop work, which continued quietly. Static tests of the first EA 1941 rocket were conducted in 1941-1942 at the Larzac testing range. The 100 kg rocket was designed to carry a 25 kg payload to a range of 100 km away. After the liberation of southern France flight tests began from La Renardiere. The most successful launch was the fifth, which reached 60 km range. The rocket's engine burned liquid oxygen and gasoline, and produced an exhaust velocity of 2110 m/s.

Payload: 25 kg (55 lb) to a 100 km range. Failures: 7. Success Rate: 0.00%. First Fail Date: 1945-03-15. Last Fail Date: 1945-07-18. Launch data is: complete. Standard warhead: 25 kg (55 lb). Maximum range: 100 km (60 mi).

Status: Retired 1945.
Gross mass: 100 kg (220 lb).
Payload: 25 kg (55 lb).
Thrust: 10.00 kN (2,248 lbf).
First Launch: 1945.03.15.
Last Launch: 1945.07.18.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Serra, Jean-Jacques, Rockets in Europe, Web Address when accessed: here.

EA 1941 Chronology


1941 January 15 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • Barre repot - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Barre completed a comprehensive report on the military potential of rocketry. He sketeched out ballistic missiles with 1000 km range, powered by liquid oxygen/gasoline engines. Armor-piercing rockets could reach 2000 m/s and defeat any tank armor. Anti-aircraft rockets would intercept aircraft in half the time. Rocket-boosted bombs would destroy enemey emplacements. Air-augmented rockets could reach even higher range and efficiencies.

1941 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 development authorised. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Barre's report worked its way through the wartime bureaucracy, finally reaching the Minister of State for War in Vichy France. It is immediately classived top secret, and Barre is given 300,000 francs to start development of a liquid propellant rocket. In order to keep the work from the notice of the occupying Germans, it is officially for development of automotive gas generators.

1941 November 15 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 engine run. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Summary: Barre conducts his first engine test of his EA-1941 surface-to-air rocket at Lazarc. The engine runs for 42 seconds before exploding..

1942 March 17 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 engine run. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. The engine runs for 5 seconds before exploding, producing a thrust of 719 kgf. A second test the following day produces 650 kgf for only four seconds before exploding. Thermal transfer from the engine to the missile structure is found to be the cause, and changes are made.

1942 September 24 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 engine run. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Summary: The EA-1941 finally runs at 655 kgf for 11 seconds in a full-duration run. Barre feels the missile is ready for flight test, but this will have to be done in Algeria..

1942 November 8 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 program suspended - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. A third of the test material for the Algerian flight tests had been unloaded in Oran, and the team and the rest of the material were ready to embark at Marseilles. Then news comes of the Allied landings in North Africa. The flight tests were immediately called off, and the team hid all materials in Algeria and France. At the end of 1942, the Germans occupy Vichy France and all further work on the project is supended.

1943 October 1 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 design smuggled to London - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Summary: Barre microfilmed the drawings of the rocket and they are smuggled to Britain. Members of Barre's team are detained by the Gestapo. One of them ironically dies in a concentration camp where the inmates are assigned to V-2 rocket production..

1944 September 3 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941.
  • EA 1941 program resumes. - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Summary: After the liberation of Paris, Barre is immediately put to work on the EA-1941. All of the hidden materials are returned to Lyons and it is decided to conduct test launches from Toulon..

1945 March 15 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Exploded after 5 seconds..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France. Intended to take a 25 kg payload to 100 km altitude, the rocket instead veered off course and crashed after 5 seconds of flight..

1945 March 16 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Exploded on pad..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France. The rocket exploded on the launch pad, destroying it..

1945 July 6 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Accelerated at a high rate and exploded after 1.2 seconds flight..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France. The rocket took off at high acceleration, exploding after 1.2 seconds..

1945 July 6 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Veered off, impacted 10 km from the launch pad..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 5.00 km (3.10 mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France. The rocket left the launch pad at low acceleration, veered off, and crashes at sea 10 km from the pad..

1945 July 6 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Engine cut-off after 7.5 seconds instead of 13 seconds planned..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 30 km (18 mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France. Most successful launch attempt. Not recovered, but estimated to have reached 1400 m/s and to have impacted in the ocean 60 km downrange..

1945 July 18 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Failed to generate sufficient thrust for lift-off..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Summary: Launched from Toulon, France..

1945 July 18 - . Launch Vehicle: EA 1941. FAILURE: Failed to generate sufficient thrust for lift-off..
  • EA 1941 - . Nation: France. Related Persons: Barre. Apogee: 0 km ( mi). Launched from Toulon, France. The pad was damaged, requiring substantial repairs. The source of the rocket's problem is finally found to be burn-through and loss of a portion of the inner wall of the combustion chamber, which blocked the nozzle exit. Ironically the last EA-1941 is ground run for full duration in the summer of 1946 without incident. However plans to develop it further as a sounding rocket are abandoned.

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