Encyclopedia Astronautica
Leopard


British test vehicle. Two stage aerodynamic test vehicle consisting of 1 x Rook + 1 x Gosling. Developed from the basic Rook vehicle for tests requiring higher velocities.

The Rook motor was 0.43 m in diameter and 5.28 m long. It contained a case-bonded charge of 846 kg of non-aluminized plastic propellant giving a total impulse of 1760 kN-seconds in 5.6 seconds; with a maximum thrust of 323 kN and a specific impulse of 213 seconds. The motor was capable of withstanding the 40g acceleration it provided during firing. It was employed as the first propulsion stage of the Leopard and Jaguar (Jabiru) supersonic test vehicles, and by itself in single-stage test applications.

Four Gosling motors with canted nozzles were used as boosters for the British Thunderbird ramjet surface-to-air missile. 664 Gosling IV motors were supplied for the Thunderbird, Bloodhound, and Seaslug Mark II missiles.

For sounding rocket applications, motors were supplied with in-line nozzles. The Gosling IV had an a all up mass of 256 kg, was 3.00 m long, and 0.254 m in diameter. It produced an average thrust of 124 kN over its 3.15 second burn time.

Failures: 3. Success Rate: 72.73%. First Fail Date: 1959-10-22. Last Fail Date: 1960-01-07. Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 1962.
Gross mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb).
Height: 6.00 m (19.60 ft).
Diameter: 0.44 m (1.44 ft).
Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).
First Launch: 1959.10.22.
Last Launch: 1962.11.30.
Number: 11 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Rook Royal Ordnance solid rocket engine. 300 kN. Out of production. Fast-burning version of Raven. Rook was fired 70 times altogether, in 65 flights and 16 different vehicle designs. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • RAE British agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Royal Aerospace Establishment, UK. More...

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.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Aberporth The Aberporth military test range is located on Cardigan Bay on the west coast of Wales. It already became associated with solid rocket tests during the Second World War. Development of surface-to-air missiles began there in 1948 and tests were made of re-entry and high-speed aircraft shapes in the 1960's. Due to the military nature of the site, the only sounding rocket launches have been to support military test operations. These included 40 known launches from 1959 to 1972. More...

Associated Stages
  • Cockatoo-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded mass 200 kg. Thrust 152.00 kN. More...
  • Rook Solid rocket stage. 300.00 kN (67,443 lbf) thrust. Mass 1,057 kg (2,330 lb). More...

Leopard Chronology


1959 October 22 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L2B. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1960 January 2 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1B. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1960 January 7 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1C. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 0 km ( mi).

1960 February 23 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1D.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1960 April 29 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1E.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1960 April 29 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1F.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1960 May 5 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L1G.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1960 May 27 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L3.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1960 July 12 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L4.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1961 July 20 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L5.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

1962 November 30 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Leopard. LV Configuration: Leopard L6.
  • Leopard 6 test - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

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