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A Feasibility Study of the Flare-Cylinder Configuration as a Reentry Body Shape for an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Description: A study has been made of a flare-cylinder configuration to investigate its feasibility as a reentry body of an intermediate range ballistic missile. Factors considered were heating, weight, stability, and impact velocity. A series of trajectories covering the possible range of weight-drag ratios were computed for simple truncated nose shapes of varying pointedness, and hence varying weight-drag ratios. Four trajectories were chosen for detailed temperature computation from among those trajectories estimated to be possible. Temperature calculations were made for both "conventional" (for example, copper, Inconel, and stainless steel) and "unconventional" (for example, beryllium and graphite) materials. Results of the computations showed that an impact Mach number of 0.5 was readily obtainable for a body constructed from conventional materials. A substantial increase in subsonic impact velocity above a Mach number of 0.5 was possible without exceeding material temperature limits. A weight saving of up to 134 pounds out of 822 was possible with unconventional materials. This saving represents 78 percent of the structural weight. Supersonic impact would require construction of the body from unconventional materials but appeared to be well within the range of attainability.
Date: May 28, 1958
Creator: Garland, B. J. & Hall, J. R.