Larynx (unmanned aircraft)

Larynx (unmanned aircraft)

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Larynx was an early British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 pilotless aircraft, to be used as a guided anti-ship weapon.
Started in September 1925, it was an early cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

 guided by an autopilot
Autopilot
An autopilot is a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being. An autopilot can refer specifically to aircraft, self-steering gear for boats, or auto guidance of space craft and missiles...

.

A small monoplane powered by a 200 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV engine, it had a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h); faster than contemporary fighters.

It used autopilot principles developed by Professor A. Low
Archibald Low
Archibald Montgomery Low was an English consulting engineer, research physicist and inventor, and author of more than 40 books....

 and already used in the Ruston Proctor AT a radio controlled biplane that was intended to be used against German Zeppelin
Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

 bombers.

Project history

  • First test July 20, 1927. Launched from cordite
    Cordite
    Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom from 1889 to replace gunpowder as a military propellant. Like gunpowder, cordite is classified as a low explosive because of its slow burning rates and consequently low brisance...

    -powered catapult fitted to the S class destroyer
    S class destroyer (1916)
    The S class were a class of 67 destroyers built from 1917 for the Royal Navy. The design was based on the Admiralty modified R class and all ships had names beginning with S or T....

     HMS Stronghold. Crashed into Bristol Channel
    Bristol Channel
    The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

    .
  • Second test September 1, 1927. Thought to have flown 100 miles (160 km) and then was lost.
  • Third test October 15, 1927. 112 mile (180 km) flight, hit five miles from target.
  • Two more launches in September and October 1928 from HMS Thanet
    HMS Thanet (H29)
    HMS Thanet was an S-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. Built during, and commissioned shortly after the First World War, she went on to see service in the Second World War, being sunk early in 1942....

    , another S class destroyer.
  • Two additional launches May 1929. Launched from land, one overflew target and other was successful.

External links