Missile, Air-to-Air, Gorgon II-A, CTV-6


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is the Gorgon II-A, one of the U.S.'s first liquid-fuel rocket-powered guided missiles. It was developed as an air-to-air weapon by the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) during late World War II, but did not become operational. With a range of 18 miles, the Gorgon II-A utilized a television guidance system to locate a target and was controlled by radio signals. 21 Gorgon II-A's were built and flight tested during 1945 and 1946. This is one of the few surviving examples.

The Gorgon was one of the first U.S. attempts to use television in guided missiles for target tracking and perhaps the first in a rocket-propelled vehicle. The Gorgon II-A motor produced 350 pounds of thrust for 130 seconds. The Gorgon II-A program was cancelled in 1946. This specimen contains original electronics, except for the TV transmitter.

The U.S. Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics transferred this Gorgon to the Museum in 1965.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from United States Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics


Airframe, wood; wings, wood; clear plexiglass window, curved, on front of missile; electrical boxes inside missile, mainly steel.


Overall: 16ft x 4ft 6in. x 11ft x 1ft 5in. (487.68 x 137.16 x 335.28 x 43.18cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


ca. 1943-1946


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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