History The length of the viking 7 was 14,81 m (48 ft 7 in) and it was so small, that it could be moved on a special cart pulled by an ordinary jeep.
The Viking series of sounding rockets was built by Glen Martin for the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
The Viking rocket was more than a replacement for the V-2. Itís engine was a servo-controlled gimballed motor for attitude control during flight. In comparison the V-2 was controlled by graphite vanes placed in the exhaust flame. Breakdown of these vanes often caused launch failures. Another modern feature of the Viking rocket was the integration of the tanks in the fuselage of the rocket.
None of the viking rockets was exactly of the same design, because NRL and Martin constantly made small improvements on the rockets.
But the rockets was designed in two basic designs. Viking 7 and itís predecessors were of the first type named RTV-N-12, and Viking 8 to12 were of a totally new design best known by the Viking 10. This more avanced type was named RTV-N-12 a.
The first Viking rocket was launched a White Sands proving ground on may 3 1949 and reached 80 km (50 miles).
Viking 7 was launched on august 7, 1959. It reached an altitude of 218 km (136 miles), which was a new altitude record.
About the model:
The Viking 7 rocket was the first model of my own design. Thanks to Erik T. Groen for help with the nosecone and to Lars Folman for inspiration to the rocket stand.
Eric Truax has made a mod-kit for this model, so you can convert it into a flying model.
How to make a flying Viking 7
Books and other sources:
The viking rocket story (1955) by Milton W. Rosen
"Science with a vengeance - how the military created the US space sciences after world war II" by David H. DeVorkin:
Rockets of the world by Peter Alway,
NAR drawing 106 by G. Harry Stine
Beggs aerospace - The viking rocket
White Sands missile range museum
NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968, A Historical Summary
Rocket rivalries - Smithsonian Institution