Rocket Sled, Liquid Fuel, RS-1

This is the RS-1 liquid-fuel rocket sled used at the U.S. Air Force's rocket sled test track at Holloman AFB, N.M., during 1958 to 1959. It reached low supersonic speeds and was used to test the effects of launch stresses upon inertial guidance systems and other key components for missiles. The RS-1 was also invaluable in studies of rocket-sled aerodynamics and vibration and in tests of track instrumentation.

Developed and built by Century Engineers, Inc., of Burbank, Calif., the sled used a North American Aviation, Inc. NAA 50-4.5 rocket engine based upon the Redstone missile engine. It was a scaled down version running on liquid oxygen and alcohol and produced a variable thrust of 35,000-50,000 lbs for 4.5 sec.

The RS-1 was the first liquid-fuel sled at Holloman and perhaps the first anywhere, although it ceased to be used after 1959 since it was considerably more complicated than solid-fuel sleds and its maintenance was expensive.

Holloman AFB transferred this artifact to the Museum in 1967.