U.S. Space and Rocket Center Site Index
Mercury-Redstone Booster Gallery


Overall walk-around of an air rudder.

Pictured 7 of 7.

This is a view up the bottom of the rudder, with supplemental lighting to show interior construction detail.

The air rudders, in conjunction with the carbon jet vanes located in the engine exhaust, were used to control the missile's attitude. During the early portion of the missile's flight, it was controlled by the jet vanes. When the missile reached a velocity sufficient for it to become aerodynamically stable, the air rudders took over the control function.

The air rudders and carbon vanes were driven by the same actuator assembly and turned simultaneously.

Note that the air rudders are attached only by a shaft near the top of the rudder; the shaft rides in a socket in the air rudder mounting plate.

Air rudder on Mercury-Redstone Booster at U.S. Space and Rocket Center
Time picture taken Sat Sep 14 09:25:42 2013
Location picture taken Rocket Park
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, AL
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