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Pedro Recruit
American sounding rocket. Air Launch Probe System (ALPS) and Fighter Launched Advanced Materials Experiment (FLAME) were both vehicles that used a Pedro first stage and a Recruit second stage. They were launched from an F-4 fighter aircraft.

AKA: Pedro. Status: Retired 1976. First Launch: 1975-02-04. Last Launch: 1976-01-26. Number: 8 . Thrust: 244.00 kN (54,853 lbf). Height: 7.80 m (25.50 ft). Diameter: 0.71 m (2.32 ft). Apogee: 20 km (12 mi).

The sight of the F-4 at takeoff would always get a lot of interest because of the size of the vehicle underneath. This launch concept is now used in the 1990s by the Pegasus family of launch vehicles with B-52 or jumbo jet aircraft instead of a fighter aircraft. FLAME and ALPS would climb to high altitude and plunge back into the atmosphere at hypersonic speed to conduct tests of materials, systems and hypersonic phenomena. This provided an inexpensive method of testing reentry bodies at realistic conditions.



Country: USA. Launch Sites: Wallops Island, Tonopah. Stages: 1.5KS35000, TX-261-3. Agency: NASA Wallops.

1975 February 4 - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

    The first live demonstration flight of a Pedro Recruit sounding rocket occurred at Wallops Island, Virginia. It was a clear air launch of a carbon-phenolic nosetip from an F-4 aircraft. The launch, part of the Fighter Launched Advanced Materials Experiment (FLAME), was successful, but the payload was not recovered. Attempts on 20 September and 9 October to drop an inert Pedro Recruit rocket from an F-4 aircraft had failed. This was a DNA-sponsored experiment.


1975 February 27 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 March 28 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 April 18 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 June 3 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1975 June 4 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit. FAILURE: Failure.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1976 January 22 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).

1976 January 26 - . Launch Site: Tonopah. Launch Platform: F-4. Launch Vehicle: Pedro Recruit.
  • FLAME test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 17 km (10 mi).


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