Encyclopedia Astronautica
Martlet 3B



mar3asab.jpg
Martlet-3A Sabot
Martlet 3A in its sabot. Martlet 3B was similar.
bull16n2.jpg
Project HARP 16 inch
Used with permission of Stephen E. Mendes - visit his Barbados Photo Gallery
Credit: © Stephen E. Mendes
Canadian sounding rocket. Once the fundamental design flaws of the Martlet 3A vehicle were identified the system was redesigned and a new vehicle, the Martlet 3B, was created.

The Martlet 3B vehicle was similar in design to the 3A vehicle but sported several design changes intended to improve the system performance. The first major change was to replace the aluminium airframe with a alloy steel airframe in the hopes the stronger material would lead to higher mass fractions. Other improvements included the use of a larger diameter rocket motor (increasing the outer diameter to 8 inches / 20 cm) and the use of six fixed fins instead of the 3A's four fins.

The Martlet 3B was used to test a wide variety of variations in rocket motor types and launch techniques in order to fully explore the dynamics of sub-calibre gun-launched rockets. This included shear loading and hydraulic loading techniques, the use of radial and end burning rocket motor grains, as well as the use of composite and extruded propellants produced by four different agencies. Unfortunately there was no major improvement in the vehicle performance over the Martlet 3A in terms of vehicle mass fraction or the structural performance during the gun launching.

The last test flights of the Martlet 3B were performed in mid-1964 after which no further work was performed by HARP on sub-calibre gun-launched rocket vehicles.

by Richard K Graf

Gross mass: 180 kg (390 lb).
Diameter: 0.20 m (0.65 ft).
First Launch: 1964.06.01.
Last Launch: 1965.11.17.
Number: 26 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Gun-launched Artillery dominated military ballistics from the earliest use of gunpowder. In 1865 Jules Verne could only realistically consider a cannon for a moon launch in his influential novel. Even after the rocket established its primacy as a method of accessing space, Canadian Gerald Bull began a life-long struggle to use guns for cheap access to space. His successes could not generate funding to continue. Others since then have pursued the technology, convinced it was the only way for low-cost delivery of payloads to orbit. More...
  • Martlet In 1962-1967 Canada's Gerard Bull led development of the Martlet system for gun-launched access to space. The program was cancelled before the objective of gun launch to orbit was attained. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Bull Canadian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Bull, Canada. More...

Martlet 3B Chronology


1964 June - . LV Family: Martlet. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • Martlet 3B final test flight - . Nation: Canada. Summary: The last test flights of the Martlet 3B were performed in mid-1964 after which no further work was performed by HARP on sub-calibre gun-launched rocket vehicles..

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-5 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-7 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-5 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-6 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-9 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Jul - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-8 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 July 23 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-1 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 July 23 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-2 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 July 23 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-3 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 July 25 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VI-10 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 September 8 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VII-2 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 September 8 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VII-1 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 September 9 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B VII-3 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 September 9 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 77?.
  • 3B VII-4 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Dec - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B IX-2 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 Dec - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B IX-1 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1964 December 14 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B.
  • 3B IX-3 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1965 March 25 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 102.
  • 3B X-2 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1965 March 25 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 101.
  • 3B X-1 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1965 March 29 - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 107?.
  • 3B X-3 - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).

1965 June 3 - . 17:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 110 Grain test.
  • 3B XI-1 DEVILS - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1965 June 7 - . 16:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 120 Grain test.
  • 3B XI-2 EAGLE - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

1965 November 15 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 154.
  • 3B FOAM - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 11 km (6 mi).

1965 November 15 - . 20:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 155.
  • 3B GOOSE - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1965 November 17 - . 18:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Barbados. Launch Complex: Barbados HARP gun 16 inch. Launch Vehicle: Martlet 3B. LV Configuration: Martlet 3B 158.
  • 3B HAHA - . Nation: Canada. Agency: HARP. Apogee: 12 km (7 mi).

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