Friday, 3 June 2011

Travel To the Strategic Missile Gallery at the National Museum of the Air Force


Tourists fly in from all around the world to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force and who could blame them. The museum is completely free, only taking donations if you’re willing to spare a cent, and all this for a weeks worth of military history. It took me several days to walk the museum, spending most of my time with the Planes from WWI and aircraft from WW2.

One of my favorite hangers in the museum is the space gallery, and the focal point is a round room featuring massive strategic missiles.

These particular missiles allowed the airmen to maintain peace between the Cold War superpowers. Nestled in the back of the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, these missiles are a reminder of the world’s strategic balance for more than half a century.

Minuteman III Series Ballistic Missile

MinutemanIII missile
The Minuteman III was a three stage missile that could reach targets more than 6000 miles away. Once a burnout occurs at the first stage and it then drops off. Once drop off is completed, the next stage ignites. The Minuteman II has a sophisticated guidance system which keep it on course. Helped by penetration aids which disguise it on enemy radar, the warhead follows a ballistic trajectory.
The Minuteman III became operation in the 1970 and is the most modern missile in the Minuteman  family. Not to mention, it was the first to use solid fuel.

The missile on the far left is called the Titan 1, which entered operational service in 1962 as the first multistage Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. “It was the first in a series of Titan rockets, but was unique among them in that it used LOX and RP-1 as its propellants, while the later Titan versions all used storeable fuels instead”.

LGM-30G Minuteman III

Missile 10
The LGM-30G, or ICBM, in the United States only operational land based nuclear missile still in service. It’s one leg of the nuclear deterrent called “triad” which also included bombers used by the United States Air Force and the United States Navy submarine launched nuclear missiles.

PGM-19 Jupiter

 PGM-19 Jupiter missile
The PGM-19 Jupiter was the first medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) of the United States Air Force (USAF). It was a liquid-fueled rocket using RP-1 fuel and LOX oxidizer, with a single Rocketdyne LR70-NA (model S-3D) rocket engine producing 667 kN of thrust. The prime contractor was the Chrysler Corporation.

Final Thought

The particulars of these complicated ballistic missiles might be intimidating, but the actual experience of viewing these fantastic strategic missiles up close, just reminds me how mush effort is being made to protect our country from nuclear war.
If you’re ever in the Dayton, Ohio area, I urge you to check out the National Museum of the United States Air Force, as our military history will be preserved here for centuries.



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