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Rocket, Solid Fuel, Hale, 24-Pounder


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:

This is a Hale 24-pounder war rocket of ca. 1865-1870, a type of gunpowder-propelled "stickless" war rocket developed by the Englishman William Hale to eliminate the long and cumbersome wooden guidesticks of other war rockets. He invented the stickless rocket in 1844. It was evolved over the years until the final pattern shown here.

The exhaust gases were used to both propell the rocket and caused it to rotate in flight by impinging on curved exhaust vanes in the rear. The spinning helped deflect any wind and kept the rocket on course. This specimen was fired on a firing range about 1867 as a practice round, but was recovered in 1974 and then restored. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1974 by the Royal Artillery Institute, U.K.

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

Gift of Royal Arsenal




Overall: 1ft 10in. x 3 3/4in., 12.6lb. (55.88 x 9.53cm, 5.7kg)

Country of Origin

United Kingdom


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number


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