RTV-N-15 drone


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

RTV-N-15 drone

Collection Item Summary:

This is the RTV-N-15, also known as Pollux, a post-World War II U.S. Navy pulsejet-powered research vehicle for missile development and testing piloted aircraft components. The last and largest vehicle of the important Gorgon series of post-war experimental Navy missiles, it was unusual in having an internally-mounted pulsejet and was an attempt to increase the normally slow operating speed of a pulsejet vehicle by streamlining.

The design range was 75-100 nautical miles, with guidance by active radar and heat-seeking homing. It made only three test flights from 1948-1951 and then was cancelled due to its slow development. This is probably the only extant example of the RTV-N-15 and was donated to the Smithsonian in 1971 by the U.S. Navy.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from U.S. Navy

Country of Origin

United States of America


Overall, aluminum; pitot tube, lower portion, steel; end portion, or tip, non-ferrous metal; cowling around exhaust end of missile, steel; flush screws on fins and elsewhere, steel; internally, white plastic insulated electrical wires; cross bar fo junction box (marked, "Junction Box"), steel; multi cables with steel braided wires; glass vacuum tube near end; green colored chrome paint internally.


Overall: height, 5 ft. 3 in. x length, 29 ft. 2 (351 in.) diameter, 20 inches; span, rear fins, 121 in. (10 ft.); span, front fins, 60 in. (5 ft.); weight, 1150 lbs.

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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