Encyclopedia Astronautica
A-4


Lox/Alcohol propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 12,805/4,008 kg. Thrust 311.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 239 seconds. V-2 production version.

Cost $ : 3.000 million.

AKA: V-2.
Status: Retired 1952.
Gross mass: 12,805 kg (28,230 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 4,008 kg (8,836 lb).
Height: 12.00 m (39.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.65 m (5.41 ft).
Span: 3.56 m (11.67 ft).
Thrust: 311.80 kN (70,095 lbf).
Specific impulse: 239 s.
Specific impulse sea level: 203 s.
Burn time: 68 s.
Number: 56 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • A-4 Thiel Lox/Alcohol rocket engine. 311.8 kN. Isp=239s. Used on V-2 missile. Work began June 1936. Interim design, but went into production. Used 18 x 1.5 tonne thrust chambers, feeding common mixing chamber. Tested from 1939, mass production 1943-1945. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • V-2 The V-2 ballistic missile (known to its designers as the A4) was the world's first operational liquid fuel rocket. It represented an enormous quantum leap in technology, financed by Nazi Germany in a huge development program that cost at least $ 2 billion in 1944 dollars. 6,084 V-2 missiles were built, 95% of them by 20,000 slave labourer in the last seven months of World War II at a unit price of $ 17,877. As many as 3,225 were launched in combat, primarily against Antwerp and London, and a further 1,000 to 1,750 were fired in tests and training. Despite the scale of this effort, the inaccurate missile did not change the course of the war and proved to be an enormous waste of resources. The British, Americans, and Russians launched a further 86 captured German V-2's in 1945-1952. Personnel and technology from the V-2 program formed the starting point for post-war rocketry development in America, Russia, and France. More...
  • A4b German intermediate range boost-glide missile. Winged boost-glide version of the V-2 missile. The A4b designation was used to disguise work on the prohibited A9 program. More...
  • Hermes B-1 American tactical ballistic missile. Test vehicle for Hermes II Mach 3 ramjet cruise missile. The modified V-2 merely acted as a booster for the 'Ram' second stage. More...
  • Bumper-WAC German short range ballistic test vehicle. Pioneering US demonstration of a two stage launch vehicle, coupling a V-2 with a WAC Corporal. The first ballistic missile fired from Cape Canaveral. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Lox/Alcohol Liquid oxygen was the earliest, cheapest, safest, and eventually the preferred oxidiser for large space launchers. Its main drawback is that it is moderately cryogenic, and therefore not suitable for military uses where storage of the fuelled missile and quick launch are required. Alcohol (C2H5OH) was the fuel used for the German V-2 rocket, and the first derivative rocket engines in the United States, Soviet Union, and China used it as well. Better performance was achieved by increasing the alcohol concentration in the post-war engines. But after better-performance rocket-grade kerosene was developed by Rocketdyne in the REAP program of 1953, use of alcohol was abandoned. More...

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