BK18

Two stage. Launched 30 November 1962 at 02:03. Apogee 358 miles.

BK18 was the second proving vehicle for the Gamma 301 engine and the transistor control system. The head was a 12.5o semi-angle doorstops cone, 2 inch nose radius and with a semi-elliptical base, and was fitted with accelerometers and rate gyroscopes for investigation of re-entry dynamics. No provision was made to measure re-entry heating.

Propulsion was once again excellent; a re-entry velocity of 15,750 ft/second was attained at 200,000 ft. The transistor control system was proved for the second time. The guidance telescope tracking problem was again evident, and the guidance radar information was used throughout flight for guidance and proved most satisfactory. All the vehicle systems were successful. The second stage flare was ignited in vacuo and proved to be a useful acquisition aid for sighting ground instruments. Ground instrumentation was successfully operated and re-entry instruments data was obtained. The head tape recorder was recovered and all the data was successfully recorded, from which the dynamic behaviour of the head during re-entry was determined.

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