The Wasserfall Ferngelenkte FlaRakete (Waterfall Remote-Controlled A-A Rocket: 77 ) was a German guided supersonic surface-to-air missile project of World War II. Development was not completed before the end of the war and it was not used operationally.
|Manufacturer||Flak-Versuchskommando Nord, EMW Peenemünde|
|Unit cost||7,000–10,000 Reichsmark|
|Mass||3,700 kilograms (8,200 lb)|
|Length||7.85 metres (25.8 ft)|
|Diameter||.864 metres (2 ft 10.0 in)|
|Warhead||235 kilograms (518 lb)|
|Engine||liquid-propellant rocket motor|
|25 kilometres (16 mi)|
|Maximum speed||770 metres per second (1,700 mph)|
|MCLOS (Manual Command to Line Of Sight); operator used a radio command link to steer the missile along the optical line of sight from launch point to target.|
The system was based on many of the technologies developed for the V-2 rocket program, including the rocket itself, which was essentially a much scaled-down version of the V-2 airframe. The rocket motor used new fuels as it was expected to be stored in ready-to-fire form for months, and the guidance system used external fins for control instead of relying entirely on the steerable rocket motor exhaust.
Among the many development problems, control of the high-speed rocket was a significant concern, leading to the development of a radio control system where the operator sat in a reclining chair so they could see the target as it passed overhead. Another significant problem was the lack of a suitable proximity fuse, which was required as there was no way for the operator to visually determine when the rocket was close to a target that was directly above it. A radar-aided system was still under development and not ready for operational use.