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McDonnell Douglas Air-2A Genie Rocket


The AIR-2A Genie is an air-to-air rocket with a nuclear warhead designed for use against formations of enemy bombers. It has no guidance system and is powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor. The AIR-2 (formerly known as the MB-1) was first test-launched in 1956 and became operational in January 1957. On July 19, 1957, a Genie was launched at 18,000 feet from an F-89J interceptor and detonated over Yucca Flats, Nev. It was the first and only test detonation of a U.S. nuclear-tipped air-to-air rocket.

The AIR-2A was carried primarily by F-89J, F-101B and F-106A interceptor aircraft. Thousands were built for the USAF before production ended in 1962; they remained in service until the mid-1980s. A training version of the Genie with an inert rocket motor and no nuclear warhead, known as the ATR-2, was also in service.

The Genie on display was originally received by the museum as an ATR-2N. It is mounted on an MF-9 trailer for transport.

Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.