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Navaho Engine Gallery


The sign accompanying the Navaho rocket engine. It reads

Navaho Rocket Engine

This two-chambered, liquid-fuel rocket engine served as the booster for the Navaho missile, which was powered by two ramjets. The huge, vertically launched intercontinental cruise missile was designed to strike a target up to 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles) away. However, the Navaho never became operational. Its unsuccessful testing program and enormous development cost, which had reached almost a billion dollars, caused the program to be cancelled in 1957.

The Navaho was an important stage in the evolution of American large-scale liquid-fuel engines, including those for the Redstone, Jupiter, Thor, and Atlas missiles, Saturn V Apollo launch vehicle, and the Space Shuttle.

Gift of the Rocketdyne Division, North American Rockwell Corporation

Length:2.7 m (8 ft. 9 in.)
Thrust:1,070,000 N (240,000 lb)
Propellants:liquid oxygen, kerosene
Manufacturer:North American Aviation

Although this sign indicates that the engines used RP-1, most sources list the fuel as alcohol. Launch photos also show rocket exhaust more typical of alcohol than RP-1.

Navaho Engine at Udvar-Hazy Center
Time picture taken Sun Jun 19 14:48:22 2011
Location picture taken Ground Level
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Udvar Hazy Center
Chantilly, VA
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