Sidewinder Missile


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Sidewinder Missile

Collection Item Summary:

This is a Sidewinder air-to-air missile, also designated AIM-9E. The blue stripe indicates it was a training model. The Sidewinder has been one of the most successful short-range, air-to-air missiles and was the first heat-seeking guided missile to become operational.

Many models have been produced since the mid-1950s. A variety of aircraft have carried Sidewinders, and variants have been adopted by about 40 countries. They have been used extensively in combat, including the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 2003 by the U.S. Air Force Museum.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from United States Air Force Museum


Country of Origin

United States of America


Body, non-ferrous, probably magnesium; warhead, steel, probably fragmentable; tip. optical glass; front fins, steel; rear fins, aluminum; electrical connector plug, black insulated plastic, with plastic protective cover; windows around missile, at top, glass; lugs, steel; longeron wheels and fasteners for same, steel.


Overall: 1 ft. 3 1/4 in. wide x 9 ft. 11 1/2 in. long x 5 in. diameter (38.74 x 303.53 x 12.7cm)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

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