Bumper WAC B-8 Launch, July 24, 1950
After flying my 1/24 scale Bumper WAC models at the 18th FAI World Championships for Space Models in Serbia, I was innudated with requests to share the scale data used to construct my model. As time permits, I'll be adding drawings, photos, text, and perhaps even a bit of video that will be available to anyone who might be interested.
One bit of data that you will not find on the website is Peter Alway's wonderful dimensioned drawing of the Bumper WAC rocket. If you would like to access this essential drawing, I would encourage you to purchase a copy of his essential book Rockets of the World, which may be purchased from the National Association of Rocketry's NARTS service or Jack Hagerty's ARA Press. As you wait for your copy of ROTW to arrive, you may find it helpful to review the workshop drawing of the Bumper WAC I created for the 2010 campaign.
Between May, 1948 and April, 1950 the US Army's Ballistic Missile Agency launched six Bumper WAC rockets from the White Sands Proving Grounds in southern New Mexico. When flight profiles called for a more spacious venue than the WSPG could offer, the Bumper launch program moved to a brand new facility: the Joint Long Range Proving Ground on the eastern coast of Florida, where two additional launches took place. This site is more widely known today as Cape Canaveral, and on July 24, 1950, Bumper WAC round B-8 became the first rocket to be launched from this historic facility.
The Bumper WAC program was operated under the ABMA's Hermes project, a wide-ranging program initiated primarily to transfer German military rocket technology to the US military, educational, and industrial communities. Hermes was managed by the General Electric Company under a contract issued by the Army's Ordnance Department, and academic leadership on the program was overseen by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology.
Bumper WAC was the world's first practical two-stage rocket, combining a German V-2 booster with a US-developed Army WAC sustainer to create a research tool capable of flying both high-altitude or low-altitude, high-speed trajectories. While the offical program designation was RTV-G-4, the more widely-known name "Bumper WAC" referred to the fact the the V-2 booster was to "bump" the WAC sustainer to a higher altitude. More information on Bumper WAC and the post-war history of the V-2 rocket can be found in the forthcoming rocket.aero DVD "The V-2 in America."
Data for individual Bumper WAC rounds
While there were eight flight attempts in the Bumper WAC program, substantive scale data is currently available for only the last two rounds in the series:
Bumper WAC B-8
Bumper WAC B-7
V-2 data and references relevant to all Bumper WAC rounds
More resources will be added over time, so keep checking back!
Questions? Send James an email!