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  1. #1
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    Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules Photos.

    I had a tour of the Integrated Fire Control part of the Army Air Defense Nike Missile site NY-56 at Sandy Hook NJ. It's one of only two sites left, the other is under the Golden Gate in San Francisco. The Nike Hercules were the nuclear air defense system set up around all major US cities during the cold war. They were in use in the US until 1974. The Norwegians used them into the 1990s

    They had a Nike Ajax and a Nike Hercules missiles on display. I took a lot of pics of both. I tried to capture the details of the missiles and the launchers. I also got some pics of the magnesium control trailer. The small hatches weren't windows, they were escape hatches in case the magnesium trailer caught fire. The Nike systems were supposed to be mobile and everything was built to be mobile, but it took 4 days to setup so they decided to build permanent sites. The mobile radars were put on raised platforms with raydomes while the trailers were attached either side of a cinder block building.

    Here's the link to the Ajax photos http://s31.photobucket.com/user/Hand...ts/Nike%20Ajax.

    The Ajax was a conventional warhead missile while the Hercules was a nuke. The Ajax used a single Nike booster and had a liquid motor upper stage that was fired by a lanyard connected between the missile and the booster. At separation, the lanyard open valves that let the liquid fuels mix which cause instant ignition, kind of like the Apollo LEM assent motor. It did provide a very simple, guaranteed ignition.

    The fin type assemblies between the forward steering fins and the larger lower fins were the radar receive antennas. The Ajax and Hercules were both beam riders and got telemetry and guidance from the missile tracking radar beam they rode. The missile batteries had to be a mile from the Fire Control area because they couldn't lock onto the missiles any closer and they needed to get lock while the missile was still on the pad.

    The Ajax missiles flew at Mach +2.

    Handeman

    TRA #09903 L3 3/29/2015

    "If you don't use your head, you have to use your feet!" my Dad

    Tripoli Central Virginia #25 - BattlePark.org

  2. #2
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    Nike Hercules

    Here's the link to the Nike Hercules pics http://s31.photobucket.com/user/Hand...ike%20Hercules

    I got a lot of great info from the tour at Sandy Hook. If you get the chance I would highly recommend it. On Cold War days they give tours of the missile magazines also but that may not happen again since hurricane Sandy filled the magazines with sand and it's only volunteers that keep the site up. There were several volunteers at the tour that actually worked at NY-56 when it was an active site prior to 1974.

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    If you look at the photo of the tour notice, you will see a box on top of the Hercules missiles. That was the box that protected the nuclear arming device that armed the nukes after the missile was airborn. They kept 12 Hercules in each magazine, 11 of the 12 were always nukes. They has small, medium and large nukes. The medium was the size of the Hiroshima bomb.

    One thing I found interesting is that they locked the missile control surfaces in position until the missile separated from the booster. There was a film shown that showed a solder flipping the locking devices back, a control surface movement test was done and then he put them back in a lock position for launch.

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    I circled the latches in this photo.

    We were told that no Nike was ever launched from the US "in anger" but they did get to within 5 minutes of launching a nuke from Sandy Hook at one time. There is also a patch of concrete visible from a NJ highway where a Hercules burned on the pad with it's nuke. They couldn't clean it up so they cemented it over.

    The Nike Hercules exceeded Mach 3 in just over 2 seconds on the 4 Nike cluster used as it's booster.




    For those interested, here are some pics I took of the rockets at Wallops Island VA visitor center from 2011 http://s31.photobucket.com/user/Hand...0Island%202011


    Hope you enjoy the pics and that the scale guys find them useful.

    Handeman

    TRA #09903 L3 3/29/2015

    "If you don't use your head, you have to use your feet!" my Dad

    Tripoli Central Virginia #25 - BattlePark.org

  3. #3
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    Great photos Handeman, thanks for sharing! I have been part of the dismantlement of several of the Hanford Sites Nike missle sites, there is nothing being kept of them except a few pictures.
    Rich

    NAR# 99154

    L3-4x upscale Estes Cherokee-D- AT M1297W 5/28/2016 http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...r-rharshberger

    TriCities Rocketeers NAR section# 736 http://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rharshberger View Post
    Great photos Handeman, thanks for sharing! I have been part of the dismantlement of several of the Hanford Sites Nike missle sites, there is nothing being kept of them except a few pictures.
    The one at Sandy Hook is being preserved by the volunteers, but they have little to no funding and most of them are the old vets that were stationed at Nike sites while on active duty. They are getting too old to do a lot of heavy lifting. I'm not sure how long it will be, but I'm sure that site won't be around a lot longer. The advantage they have is that it's on Sandy Hook which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area so there's no commercial pressure to dismantle the site.
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    Handeman

    TRA #09903 L3 3/29/2015

    "If you don't use your head, you have to use your feet!" my Dad

    Tripoli Central Virginia #25 - BattlePark.org

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handeman View Post
    The one at Sandy Hook is being preserved by the volunteers, but they have little to no funding and most of them are the old vets that were stationed at Nike sites while on active duty. They are getting too old to do a lot of heavy lifting. I'm not sure how long it will be, but I'm sure that site won't be around a lot longer. The advantage they have is that it's on Sandy Hook which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area so there's no commercial pressure to dismantle the site.
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    The problem isn't usually one of where its located, its that almost all Nike launch sites have a significant amount of contamination associated with the missles, hydraulic fluids from the elevators (they were known for leaking badly), spilled UDMH one of the Nikes liquid fuels, and asbestos in the buildings. Hopefully these last few remaining sites will be preserved. The only ones we have left semi-intact near me is the Hanford Sites Nike Radar Facility and a launch control bunker at one of the launch sites, the other two sites are demolished and hauled off. There is also a Nike site adjacent to my parents home in Cheney, WA, which I believe is a launch site that is still mostly intact, and now owned by the Cheney School District, access to it is restricted to the surface buildings only.
    Rich

    NAR# 99154

    L3-4x upscale Estes Cherokee-D- AT M1297W 5/28/2016 http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...r-rharshberger

    TriCities Rocketeers NAR section# 736 http://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/

  6. #6
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    With apologies for resurrecting an old thread, I thought it might be the best place to post these pics taken earlier today.

    Outside the VFW hall south of Ashland, VA, I happened upon this Nike Ajax.






    (For those in Central VA, the address is 11568 Cedar Lane, Ashland, VA 23005)
    Last edited by Worsaer; 13th November 2017 at 04:19 AM.

    -Bill Riley

    TRA: 12294
    NAR: 89196

    A good rule for rocket experimenters to follow is this: always assume that it will explode.
    Astronautics, issue 38, October 1937.


  7. #7
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    Any Nike Air Defense missle photos are welcome anytime.
    Rich

    NAR# 99154

    L3-4x upscale Estes Cherokee-D- AT M1297W 5/28/2016 http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...r-rharshberger

    TriCities Rocketeers NAR section# 736 http://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worsaer View Post
    With apologies for resurrecting an old thread, I thought it might be the best place to post these pics taken earlier today.

    Outside the VFW hall south of Ashland, VA, I happened upon this Nike Ajax.



    Thanks for the post...I'll have to visit this site.

    My father worked both the Ajax and Hercules programs and did test shots at drones at Red Canyon...I grew up on Nike bases when he was assigned to Army Air Defense.
    I still have a prop on my wall from a target drone his battery shot down, and his diploma from Sandia at White Sands for handling nuclear weapons/warheads for the Hercules.
    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rharshberger View Post
    Any Nike Air Defense missle photos are welcome anytime.
    How about this one?
    What's the connection, and who is the model?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxQ View Post
    How about this one?
    What's the connection, and who is the model?
    I am going to guess she is posing with part of a Nike target drone?
    Rich

    NAR# 99154

    L3-4x upscale Estes Cherokee-D- AT M1297W 5/28/2016 http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...r-rharshberger

    TriCities Rocketeers NAR section# 736 http://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rharshberger View Post
    I am going to guess she is posing with part of a Nike target drone?
    Norma Jeane Dougherty (aka Marilyn Monroe) with the RP 5 drone....
    http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/new...2NWLKmRnmj6MK/
    Last edited by MaxQ; 13th November 2017 at 04:09 AM.
    We got two categories of pilots around here. We got your prime pilots that get all the hot planes, and we got your pud-knockers who DREAM about getting the hot planes.
    Now what are you two pud-knockers gonna have?... Huh?
    Pancho Barnes-
    The Right Stuff
    http://www.mwavs.com/0053148414/M4RS...udknockers.m4r

    Tripoli #2747

  12. #12
    Join Date
    22nd January 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worsaer View Post
    With apologies for resurrecting an old thread, I thought it might be the best place to post these pics taken earlier today.

    Outside the VFW hall south of Ashland, VA, I happened upon this Nike Ajax.






    (For those in Central VA, the address is 11568 Cedar Lane, Ashland, VA 23005)
    Wonder if they'd take an offer on it? 😎

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Rocketry Forum mobile app
    Tom Swenson
    TRA #3593

  13. #13
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    Wonder if they'd take an offer on it? ��
    What motors would you fly it on?
    TRA 13430, Level 3

    "Everybody's simulation model is guilty until proven innocent" (Thomas H. Lawrence 1994)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    22nd January 2010
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    I would love to restore it. It needs some TLC.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Rocketry Forum mobile app

    Tom Swenson
    TRA #3593

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