This is a mockup of an LR63-AJ-1 liquid fuel rocket motor developed by the Aerojet Engineering Co. as a "Superperformance engine," or built-in JATO (Jet-Assisted-Take-Off), to boost the performance of a U.S. Air Force F-86 jet fighter. It produced 3,500-5,000 pounds of thrust.
During the Korean War, there was an urgent requirement for a Superperformance engine for the F-86 to counter the superior performance of Soviet MiG jets. The LR63 was already being developed experimentally for the F-84 fighter-bomber. It was subsequently modified for use on the F-86. Flight tests on an F-86 were made in 1956 but the war had ended and the YLR63 did not become operational. The motor was donated to the Smithsonian by the Aerojet General Corp. in 1968.
Aerojet General Corp.