Date: ca. 1937-1938
Country of Origin: United States of America
Length, overall, 37.75 inches; length of rocket proper (body), 27 inches; diameter, 9 2/16 inches; fin span, 16 inches
Aluminum rocket body section, 17St grade of aluminum; deflectors (three of them), stainless steel; the remaining deflector, steel; deflector arms andscrews, steel; screws on fins, aluminum
These are steamlined, retractable jet deflector vanes mounted on a tail section of a rocket of the American rocket pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard. Designed to achieve better stability in flight, the moveable vanes worked by deflecting the rocket's exhaust gases away from the axis of the rocket.
The rockets using the vane system, known as the L-series of rockets, were produced and tested from May 1936 to August 1938 at Roswell, New Mexico. Goddard found that the vanes provided "much improved stabilization." This object was found in the Smithsonian collections.