This silent film shows highlights of tests at the U.S. Air Force's rocket sled track facility at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, and likely dates to the mid-1960s. The film begins with images of rocket bottle used as a sign pointing the way to the Track Test Directorate. Various test articles are seen including some of the largest, fastest sleds then in use. At :37, a multi-stage rocket test. Speed run with wedge weight/shape. Uses under-sled wedges to scoop water and stop the sled at the end of the run. At :51 a sled is launched down the track and into a water brake (1:08) where it glides to a stop. At 1:29 another sled is sent down the track. Likely testing capability of rocket motor. At 2:07 high speed photography shows what appears to be an ordnance test (a projectile or test article launched from a winglet) on the track. At 2:37 an ejection capsule is tested on the track. This is probably an F-111 capsule which was then under refinement. This is a standard ejection test where the sled gets up to speed and then stabilizes at the desired speed and then does the actual ejection. In this case, it’s not an ejection “seat,” but it ejects the entire cockpit or forward section to protect the people or payload. At 3:22, impact test and it looks like a test for a warhead. At 4:00 high speed photography slo-mos the travel of a rocket sled which is being used to conduct a collision or stress test on what appears to be a re-entry vehicle. At 4:50 the impact is shown in high speed footage captured using a prism camera capable of shooting many hundreds or even thousands of frames per second. At 5:09 another ejection system test is shown with a double ejection of crew on the track. At 6:07 the test article is seen up close at at 6:45 one of the dummies is shown.
At 10:37 a two stage rocket sled blasts down the track and spectacular high speed photography shows the sled zipping along as test launch of various articles is conducted (11:26). Possibly a chaff or decoy test. At 11:34 the test articles are shown in slo-mo departing the sled. At 11:43, hypervelocity test. The “tube” it goes through was likely filled with helium for their measurements. At 12:26 a large explosion is seen as a sled hurtles down the track. Probably intended to see how a test object (missile?) reacts to a nearby explosion. At 12:46 this explosion is seen up close as a test building disintegrates. 13:28, drogue chute/parachute test. Those chute vehicles are pretty distinctive.
At 15:15, impact test for weapons system. 15:40 another sled launch is seen followed by a massive detonation. This is seen again up close at 16:04 as a test article impacts a hillside.
At 17:29 a final test is shown with a rocket sled hitting the water brake at 18:00. Looks like a test for some kind of radome.
The Holloman High Speed Test Track (HHSTT) is a United States Department of Defense/Air Force aerospace ground test facility located at Holloman Air Force Base in south-central New Mexico. It is adjacent to the White Sands Missile Range and is operated by the 846th Test Squadron of the 96th Test Group of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base. The Test Track provides its services to a wide variety of American defense and governmental agencies such as the Air Force, Army, Navy, and the Missile Defense Agency, as well as America's allies.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com