The V-2 is a well-known rocket. This rocket was in service with the German army during World War II and was launched in allied cities, including London, Paris and Antwerp. But rocket technology acquired from the Hitler war machine became the basis for rocket production for peaceful purposes, which we take for granted today.
However, the design of the V-2 was not unique. It was part of a larger family of rockets, the terrible tests of which took place on test sites and which, fortunately, were never implemented during the war. After two successfully launched A-2 rockets, nicknamed Max and Moritz, the German army took the development of this type of missile under its wing and financed the development of the A-3 rocket, which formally did not yet exist. A-3 had clear improvements over its predecessors, thanks to its complex guidance system. She was also the first rocket designed for vertical launch, standing on its own wings, and not launched from the guides. After successfully launching the A-1, A-2 and A-3 missiles, von Braun’s team began developing the A-4. The A-4 was to be the first missile capable of delivering a ton of explosives to a target about 155 miles away. But the differences between the A-3 and A-4 were quite significant, which required the construction of an intermediate missile. It was an A-5 rocket. In the shortest possible time, a 21, 3-meter rocket was made, which was about 2, 6 feet in diameter and served as a test rocket for engineers to find out the detailed flight characteristics of the A-4. A-5 made its first flight in the autumn of 1939. Subsequently, the number of launches reached two dozen.
The program of development and use of missiles functioned throughout the war. The design team continued to develop new missiles even when the war came to an end. Namely, the A-9 and A-10 were built, the working range of which was 1900 miles, and they were designed for peaceful use. The A-9 was one of the first, if not the very first, rocket-propulsion system designed for flight. This device originated in 1943 as an additional tool for the A-4 and was built with the expectation that this rocket would eventually become a reliable, supersonic vehicle. Von Braun and his team concluded that they could extend the flight time and range of the A-4 by adding wings. Instead of taking off above the atmosphere and falling along a ballistic trajectory towards the target, the wings will allow you to glide through the atmosphere. They calculated that by creating a thrust of 12 miles, a speed of 2,800 miles per hour could be achieved. But the A-9 differed in its design from the A-4. A-9 was supposed to be manned. She had a cockpit for the pilot and a three-wheeled chassis for the runway. While the A-9 was taken as a model, the engineering team began to develop the A-10 launch vehicle. This was the first multistage spacecraft system. A-10 was supposed to set in motion A-9 for the first minute of the flight or so, until its useful use expires. Then this rocket was supposed to dock. A-9 then had to continue flying under its own power until it reached a maximum speed of 6300 miles per hour at a height of 35 miles. A-9 made two research flights near the end of the Second World War, proving the concept of flying. But the test program was terminated after the complete surrender of Germany. Fortunately, the technologies obtained did not reach America in the form of bombs transported by the A-10. Ultimately, they reached America in the minds of scientists who immigrated to the continent of the 1940s and 1950s.