Note: This exhibit is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Click here for requirements to visit this gallery.
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 Boeing DB-47 director aircraft; various successful powered flights were demonstrated during later tests. The GAM-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.
SPECIFICATIONS: Span: 16 ft. 8 in. Length: 32 ft. Height: 12 ft. 6 in. Weight: 18,200 lbs. maximum at launch Armament: Nuclear warhead Engines: Bell XLR-67 three-chamber liquid fuel rocket engine of 10,440 lbs. thrust Crew: None Cost: $2,262,000
PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed: Approx. 1,950 mph Maximum range: 100 miles Maximum altitude: 65,000 ft.
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.