Missile, Air-to-Air, Ruhrstahl X-4, Aft Skin Panels

Missile, Air-to-Air, Ruhrstahl X-4, Aft Skin Panels

     

The German X-4 was a small air-to-air missile of World War II that could be fired at heavily armed Allied bombers from a distance. To prevent jamming, guidance was by wires running between the missile and launch aircraft, rather than by radio. Slated for use on the Me 262 jet fighter, the X-4 could also have been fired from such piston-engine aircraft as the Ju 88, Ju 388, and Fw 190, all of which launched test missiles beginning in August 1944. Ruhrstahl produced 1,000 X-4 airframes in late 1944, but an Allied air raid destroyed the BMW engines and production lines, a blow from which the program never recovered.

The Smithsonian obtained these skin panels from the X-4's rear fuselage as part of the the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics' transfer of World War II missile artifacts in 1948.

Transferred from the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Ruhrstahl AG

Type
CRAFT-Missiles & Rocket Parts

Materials
Galvanized steel
Tinned copper?
Rubber (Silicone)
Synthetic Fabric
Dimensions
Overall (Each Panel): 2ft 7/8in. x 4 7/8in. x 1in. (63.18 x 12.38 x 2.54cm)

The German X-4 was a small air-to-air missile of World War II that could be fired at heavily armed Allied bombers from a distance. To prevent jamming, guidance was by wires running between the missile and launch aircraft, rather than by radio. Slated for use on the Me 262 jet fighter, the X-4 could also have been fired from such piston-engine aircraft as the Ju 88, Ju 388, and Fw 190, all of which launched test missiles beginning in August 1944. Ruhrstahl produced 1,000 X-4 airframes in late 1944, but an Allied air raid destroyed the BMW engines and production lines, a blow from which the program never recovered.

The Smithsonian obtained these skin panels from the X-4's rear fuselage as part of the the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics' transfer of World War II missile artifacts in 1948.

Transferred from the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Ruhrstahl AG

Type
CRAFT-Missiles & Rocket Parts

Materials
Galvanized steel
Tinned copper?
Rubber (Silicone)
Synthetic Fabric
Dimensions
Overall (Each Panel): 2ft 7/8in. x 4 7/8in. x 1in. (63.18 x 12.38 x 2.54cm)

ID: A19510069000