Rocket Engine, Liquid Fuel, Cutaway, Lark Missile

Shown here is the larger chamber of a two-chamber liquid-fuel rocket engine for the Navy's Lark surface-to-air missile. It produced 400 pounds of thrust, firing only when the Lark fell below a certain pre-determined velocity. The smaller chamber produced 220 pounds of thrust. The Lark, which also relied on two 1,000-pound solid propellant boosters during shipboard launch, burned fuming nitric acid and aniline to reach a maximum range of 38 miles. Initially developed late in World War II as an anti-Kamikaze missile, the Lark never entered service, but the Navy used it as a test vehicle until the early 1950s for ongoing studies of radar guidance and missile stability and control.

This engine is among the first to incorporate regenerative cooling technology, pioneered by the manufacturer--Reaction Motors. In this cutaway, the regeneratively cooled propellant walls are visible around the combustion chamber.