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Rocket Test Stand No. 2, American Rocket Society (ARS)


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This is American Rocket Society (ARS) Test Stand Stand No. 2 used in ground tests of experimental rocket motors. Built in 1938, it had a thrust capacity of 200 pounds.

The stand notably proved the effectiveness of James H. Wyld's regeneratively-cooled motor in tests from 1938 to 1941. This led Wyld and three other ARS members to form Reaction Motors, Inc. (RMI) in 1941, America's first commercial liquid-fuel rocket company which later built the 6000-pound thrust rocket engine for the Bell X-1 research rocket aircraft that broke the sound barrier in October 1947.

The stand was last used in 1942 when loaned to RM. It then was loaned in 1953 to the ARS. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1967 by the Reaction Motors Division, Thiokol Chemical Corp.

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

Reaction Motors Division, Thiokol Chemical Corp.


Steel frame and steel overall; two brass or copper fuel and oxidizer tanks and feed lines in back; aluminum dial pointers and other parts; glass faces on dials and two glass tubes on linear scale


3-D: 116.8 x 61 x 135.9cm, 136.1kg (46 x 24 x 53 1/2 in., 300lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America





Inventory Number