Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Length, model, 18.5 inches; diameter, model, 2 inches; length, actual rocket, 17 feet 8 inches; diameter, actual rocket, 9 inches; weight, empty, actual rocket, 90.5 pounds
Sheet nickel combustion chamber in actual rocket; aluminum vanes and tubing; model, of plastic with plexiglass stand.
This is a model of an L-series rocket built and tested by American rocket pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard during 1936-1938 for flight tests of large liquid-fuel rockets with nitrogen pressurization. There were 30 tests altogether, including 17 flights. The work was conducted at Roswell, New Mexico.
Lengths of the L-15 rockets varied from about 11 feet to 13.5 feet and weighed up to 360 pounds fully fueled. The highest flight achieved was 8,000-9,000 feet, made on 22 April 1937, Moveable air vanes, now known as gimbal steering, helped stabilize the rocket. Donated to the Smithsonian by the model maker Mat Irvine in 1975.
Gift of Mat Irvine