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F-23 Ramjet Research Vehicle


Display Status:

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

F-23 Ramjet Research Vehicle

Collection Item Summary:

This is the F-23 research rocket used during 1950-1954 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at its research facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, to test ramjet engines under actual flight conditions.

Each of the ramjet pods produced a thrust of 1,000 pounds (450 kg), using acetylene and rammed-in air. Supersonic speeds were obtained at altitudes up to 159,000 feet (48,460 m). The F-23 also made important contributions in testing various ramjet fuels. This object was donated in 1979 to the Smithsonian by NASA.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)


Overall, aluminum; steel ramjet pod shrouds; steel flush screws


  • Overall: 18 ft. 3 in. tall x 7 1/2 in. diameter x 1 ft. 11 1/4 in. wing span, 246 lb. (556.26 x 19.05 x 59.06cm, 111.6kg)
  • Other (each ramjet pod): 4 ft. 2 in. long x 6 1/2 in. diameter (127 x 16.51cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number


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