National Museum of the USAF   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > Bell B-63

BELL B-63

Posted 7/8/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The Rascal, originally designated as the XB-63, was an air-to-surface supersonic guided missile armed with a nuclear warhead. Its development was inaugurated in April 1946. The Rascal was intended as a stand off weapon to be launched from Strategic Air Command bombers as far away as 100 miles, thus reducing the manned bomber crew's exposure to enemy defenses in the immediate target area. Launched from its carrier aircraft, the missile would continue toward its predetermined target controlled by a self-contained inertial guidance system. The terminal dive began about 20 miles from the target. During this final phase of flight, the Rascal's course could be altered by signals from the launching "director" aircraft.

The first launch of a guided Rascal took place in October 1953 from a DB-47 director aircraft; various successful powered flights were demonstrated during later tests. The AGAM-63 program was terminated in late 1958, shortly before the first Rascal-equipped SAC unit was to become operational, in favor of the more promising and longer range Hound Dog missile.

The Rascal on display was delivered to the museum in November 1958 from Bell Aircraft Corp., Buffalo, N.Y.

The museum has a Bell XGAM-63 Rascal on display in the Research & Development/Flight Test Gallery.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
B-63 135+ Became GAM-63 (Guided Airborne Missile)


Note: The exact number of GAM-63 missiles is being researched, but is at least 135.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Nuclear warhead
Engines: Bell XLR-67 three-chamber liquid fuel rocket engine of 10,440 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: Approx. 1,950 mph
Maximum range: 100 miles
Maximum altitude: 65,000 ft.
Span: 16 ft. 8 in.
Length: 32 ft. 0 in.
Height: 12 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 18,200 lbs. maximum at launch

Click here to return to the Bomber Aircraft index.







 Inside the Museum

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerWeapons

 


tabCategories
tabRelated Links
tabConnect

Museum Virtual TourMuseum Facebook PageMuseum Twitter PageMuseum Instagram
Museum Google Plus PageMuseum Pinterest PageMuseum YouTube ChannelMuseum Flickr Page
Museum PodcastsMuseum E-newsletter Sign-upMuseum RSS Feeds



Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act