Missile, Air-to-Air, Gorgon 3A

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:

Shown here is the Gorgon 3A, one of a series of World War II-era air-to-air missiles developed by the U.S. Navy. It never became operational, but the Gorgon 3A served as a productive test vehicle that provided much information about the design, handling, and performance of guided missile technology.

Reaction Motors, Inc., a division of the Thiokol Chemical Corporation, built the engine, which burned for 130 seconds and produced 350 pounds of thrust. The propellant consisted of monoethyl-aniline and a mixture of sulfuric and nitric acid. The range of the Gorgon 3A was 12 miles at a maximum speed of 525 miles per hour. It carried a 257-pound fragmentation bomb, a television guidance system, and a homing device.

The U.S. Navy transferred this missile to the Museum in 1966.