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Rocket Engine, Liquid Fuel, Cutaway, Lark Missile


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

The Lark missile engine was a two-chambered, liquid-fuel rocket engine for the U.S. Navy's Lark ship-to-air missile. The larger chamber produced 400 pounds of thrust. The smaller chamber produced 220 pounds of thrust, or 620 pounds total. The propellants were red fuming nitric acid and aniline. The engine was among the earliest regeneratively-cooled types in the U.S., as pioneered by the manufacturer, Reaction Motors, Inc.

The cutaway, shown here, reveals the regeneratively-cooled propellant walls around the combustion chamber. The Lark was designed in late 1944 but came too late to be used in the war. It became converted to a test vehicle and was phased out about 1953. This object was found in the Smithsonian collections.

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



Stainless steel


Overall: 11 in. wide x 9 in. long (27.94 x 22.86cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


PROPULSION-Rocket Engines

Inventory Number