Black Knight test vehicle, c 1957.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:8). The initial Black Knight vehicles were single-stage rockets designed to test prototype re-entry heads for the proposed Blue Streak strategic misile. Black Knight was designed by the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, Hampshire, and built by the Saunders-Roe Company. Twenty-two vehicles were launched from the Woomera site in South Australia betwen 1958 and 1965 with no major failures. The Blue Streak project was cancelled in 1960, but the rockets continued to be tested until 1965, as part of a planned two-stage space launcher.