Encyclopedia Astronautica
Falstaff



falstafs.jpg
Falstaff
Credit: via Jean-Jacques Serra
British sounding rocket. Single stage hypersonic test vehicle using the Stonechat II solid rocket motor.

Some Fallstaff or Stonechat launches may have used a substantially larger motor. The Project Officer with the UK Joint Service 'Joint Air Transport Establishment' (JATE) at RAF Abingdon in 1974 recalls that they flew a Stonechat rocket from UK to Woomera in October 74.

The Stonechat motor was in a specially built container which completely filled the C-130 freight hold. There was no way of jettisoning the load, and with 9.2 tonnes of solid fuel, we reckoned that if anything went wrong, we would be the first Hercules in space - briefly! Actually the only problem we had was when a spinner on one engine came loose over the Timor Sea, having been incorrectly re-fitted after an engine change in Singapore. This gave us three days off in Darwin while a new spinner was delivered and fitted. Interesting place in those days, and one of the reasons that I am now an Australian.
Extract from his Log Book follows:

  • 18-Sep-74 9:30 VC10 XV 108 Sqn Ldr Brown PAX Brize Norton - RAF Akrotiri (Cyprus) 4:55 Deploying to Singapore, to RV with JATE C130 Task 011/74.
  • 18/19 Sep 74 Not Recorded VC10 XV 108 Sqn Ldr Ganley PAX Akrotiri - Gan 2:00 5:20 As Above.
  • 19-Sep-74 Not Recorded VC10 XV 108 Sqn Ldr Smythe PAX Gan - Tengah 4:10 As Above.
  • 24-Sep-74 11:20 Hercules XV 217 Flt Lt Rodger Payne JATE Task 011/74 Tengah - RAAF Darwin 7:25 Transporting STONECHAT solid fuel rocket motor (9.2 t NEQ) to Woomera. Spinner on No 2 engine came loose in flight, and detatched on landing.
  • 26-Sep-74 12:20 Hercules XV 217 Flt Lt Payne JATE Darwin - Woomera 4:45 Delivery of STONECHAT.
  • 27-Sep-74 9:35 Hercules XV 217 Flt Lt Payne JATE Woomera - Darwin 4:25 RTU ex-STONECHAT delivery task.
  • 28-Sep-74 5:15 Hercules XV 217 Flt Lt Payne JATE Darwin - Tengah 2:30 4:25 RTU ex-STONECHAT delivery task.
  • 1-Oct-74 14:50 VC10 XV 107 Sqn Ldr Hobbs PAX Tengah - Gan 3:55 RTU ex-STONECHAT delivery task.

Failures: 1. First Fail Date: 1978-05-23. Last Fail Date: 1978-05-23.

Gross mass: 5,100 kg (11,200 lb).
Height: 5.30 m (17.30 ft).
Diameter: 0.92 m (3.01 ft).
Thrust: 240.00 kN (53,950 lbf).
Apogee: 30 km (18 mi).
First Launch: 1975.05.09.
Last Launch: 1979.04.04.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • Stonechat Mk 2 Royal Ordnance solid rocket engine. Out of production. There seem to have been even larger classified versions. Used on Falstaff launch vehicle. More...

See also
  • Stonechat Single stage hypersonic test vehicles using variants of the Stonechat solid rocket motor. More...

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

Associated Launch Sites
  • Woomera After World War II British government recognized the need for a large range to test the incredible array of long-range missile systems then planned. After considering sites in Canada, it was decided that Australia would best meet the projected needs. The Long Range Weapons Establishment was created on 1 April 1947 as a joint British/Australian enterprise. 23 days later the name Woomera (an aboriginal word of axtlaxtl, or spear thrower) was selected for the new town to be built as its administrative center. Woomera town peaked at a population of 6,000 in the 1960's. Thereafter the progressive cancellation of British missile and space projects put Woomera went into sustained decline. However it played a key role in the history of rocketry, including orbital launches or launch attempts by Black Arrow, Sparta, and Europa boosters. More...
  • Woomera LA2 Stonechat, Skylark, Rook, Jaguar, Black Brant, Lorikeet, Long Tom, Kookaburra, HAD, Corella, Cockatoo, Aero High launch complex. Sounding rocket launcher More...

Associated Stages
  • Falstaff-1 Solid rocket stage. 242.00 kN (54,404 lbf) thrust. Mass 5,100 kg (11,244 lb). More...

Falstaff Chronology


1975 May 9 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.0.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 119 km (73 mi).

1976 February 10 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.01.
  • Test mission - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 117 km (72 mi).

1978 May 23 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.1. FAILURE: Failure.
  • Chevaline warhead test launch - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 2.00 km (1.20 mi).

1978 September 15 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.2.
  • Chevaline warhead test launch - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 97 km (60 mi).

1978 December 6 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.3.
  • Chevaline warhead test launch - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 98 km (60 mi).

1979 February 14 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.4.
  • Chevaline warhead test launch - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 93 km (57 mi).

1979 April 4 - . Launch Site: Woomera. Launch Complex: Woomera LA2. Launch Pad: LA2 HRV. LV Family: Stonechat. Launch Vehicle: Falstaff. LV Configuration: Falstaff F.5.
  • Chevaline warhead test launch - . Nation: UK. Agency: RAE. Apogee: 103 km (64 mi).

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use