Spectre rocket engine, c 1956.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm

Spectre rocket engine, c 1956.

Richardson, Claire

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Made by De Havilland. The Spectre rocket engine propelled Britain's SR-53 interceptor aircraft. The SR-53 was intended as a manned stop-gap while guided ground-to-air misiles were being developed. Spectre burned kerosene fuel in hydrogen peroxide. It became the first fully controllable British rocket engine to fly when a trial unit was fitted to a Canberra aircraft in 1956. This photograph shows a cutaway of the Spectre in which the 'pepper pot' holes of the combustion chamber's injector head are clearly visible.



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