This is a replica of the Bumblebee ramjet-powered missile. The booster was made of a cluster of four standard solid-fuel 5-inch caliber HVAR (High Velocity Aircraft) rockets with fins attached. The booster shown here uses real HVAR rocket bodies although they do not contain propellants.
Bumblebee was a U.S. Navy research program for the development of a ramjet or rocket-powered surface-to-air guided missile to combat Kamikaze (Japanese suicide) planes threatening U.S. shipping during World War II.The first successful flight was conducted on 13 June 1945. This replica is of one of several small scale Bumblebee vehicles tested. Project Bumblebee eventually evolved into the Talos ship-to-air missile.
This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1951 by the Johns Hopkins University.
Gift of Applied Physics Lab, Johns Hopkins University