Missile, Surface-to-Air, Rheintochter R I, Sustainer Section
The Rheintochter (Rhine Maiden) R I was an experimental German two-stage anti-aircraft missile tested in the last year of World War II. It was also one of the largest solid-fuel rockets of the war and produced the largest thrust, although for a very short duration. Due to its inadequate altitude ceiling, it was to be supplanted by the R III model, a liquid-fuel missile with two side-mounted solid-fuel boosters, but only six of those were ever launched.
This artifact is the main body or sustainer section of an incomplete Rheintochter,as the missile lacks a guidance section. The Smithsonian acquired it as part of the massive gift of World War II artifacts from the U.S. Air Force in 1949.
Transferred from the U.S. Air Force
- Country of Origin
- CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets
- Steel; magnesium
- Missile dimensions (assembled): Length: 20.7 ft (6.309 m) total with booster; Diameter maximum: 21.25 inches (54 cm); Fin span maximum: 7.25 ft (2.21 m); Loaded weight: 3,850 lb (1,746 kg); Empty weight.: 1,650 lb (748 kg); Payload: 332 lb (151 kg); Range: 7.5 mi (12.1 km); Altitude: 3.7 mi (6.0 km); Speed: 680 mph (1,095 km/h)