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  #1  
Old 04-19-2020, 03:30 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default TACITE scale data

Hello All,

By popular demand, I have sought, been graciously sent, and have posted here (see the attachments below) scale data on the French TACITE sounding rocket, which was one of the ONERA series of vehicles (the larger ones are drawn--with their dimensions marked--in the PDF). These were kindly sent to me by Jean-Jacques Serra, a long-time spaceflight historian who--among many other things--created the "Rockets in Europe" website (see: http://www.sat-net.com/serra/index_e.htm ). As he told me about the two TACITE rounds, one had a conical nose cone, while the other had an ogival nose (in close-up, the ogive is a bicone, but that's no problem, as that shape is easily 3D printed, or turned from balsa, or made of cardstock).
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Name:  Tacite 451 CEA (CERES).jpg
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Name:  Tacite 517 (CERES).jpg
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File Type: pdf ONERA (JJS).pdf (15.2 KB, 28 views)
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2020, 10:40 PM
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Comrades:

Here's another drawing. It's a little hard to say but it appears that the actual payload is the dotted line rather than the ogive.

So there were four launches, three successful between 1965 and 1968. The first, from Biscarosse, south of Bordeaux was a success. The remaining three were from Ile du Levant off the coast from Toulon, the first of these was a pad failure, but the remaining two were successful.

Blackshire's Picture 1 is also referred to as Tacite 903. At least three different rockets are shown in Blackshire's four pictures but I have no idea which pictures correspond to the four launch attempts.
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Comrades:

Here's another drawing. It's a little hard to say but it appears that the actual payload is the dotted line rather than the ogive.

So there were four launches, three successful between 1965 and 1968. The first, from Biscarosse, south of Bordeaux was a success. The remaining three were from Ile du Levant off the coast from Toulon, the first of these was a pad failure, but the remaining two were successful.

Blackshire's Picture 1 is also referred to as Tacite 903. At least three different rockets are shown in Blackshire's four pictures but I have no idea which pictures correspond to the four launch attempts.
I just e-mailed an updated thread link to Jean-Jacques Serra, as he--as well as I--finds your new information and drawing useful, and fortuitous! (He said that he's seeking material on the smaller French rockets, and your attached drawing shows a couple of them.) Also:

As with the later Belier/Centaure/Dragon/Dauphin/Eridan/Pegase (planned but not built; Pegase was an Eridan topped by a Belier third stage, if memory serves) series vehicles, which were built "block-style" using three solid motor types and standard fin units, nose cones, and (where applicable) transition sections, the ONERA Tacite, Titus I, and Titus II also had common parts, making 3D printed plastic parts sets--from which customize-able scale models of them could be built--feasible. Plus:

Ile du Levant was also, if I recall correctly, the launch site for many Belier and especially Centaure sounding rockets (and possibly the Dragon, Dauphin, and/or Eridan, too). The Landes Test Centre (that's how I've seen it referred to in English, although it may have been changed over the years) at Biscarrosse has been mainly a ballistic missile test site (see: http://www.landes.gouv.fr/dga-essai...osse-a3670.html ), although smaller missiles and sounding rockets have also been launched there, and:

With its facilities, the Landes site could also conduct orbital launches, although the usable azimuths (from ground launches, at least) would be limited--westerly inclined retrograde orbits (Israel conducts retrograde-orbit launches from Palmachim Airbase https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmachim_Airbase at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, also for geographic reasons), with "dog-leg"-accessed polar and/or Sun-synchronous orbits perhaps also being attainable, depending on the launch vehicle used. (Pegasus and/or Virgin Orbit LauncherOne air launches, based out of Biscarrosse, could of course easily reach such useful polar and near-polar orbits, and prograde [direct] orbits, from Biscarrosse-based Pegasus and/or LauncherOne air launches occurring over the western Mediterranean, could easily be reached as well.)
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Last edited by blackshire : 04-19-2020 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:47 AM
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Blackshire,

This link:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien...687901-main.pdf

will open a .pdf of the scientific report that accompanied the third launch. It contains a picture of a fourth Tacite. There is no guarantee that this picture is of the third rocket as it may have been a "stock" picture included in the report for illustrative purposes only. The point is, with this picture, we now have a picture of four different rockets from the same side of the launcher. Now, which is which?

I attached the pictures from your first thread and this picture so they would all be part of this thread.

Bottom line is: yes, this would be a neat rocket to model and in 1/10 scale would be a good candidate for 24mm power, being about 27" tall on a BT-70. But the level of detail of the drawings and the five pictures is sparse at best. If your friend comes across any other pictures especially of the fin can or payload or any detail drawings, post 'em. I'd build it.
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Name:  Tacite1.jpg
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Last edited by MarkB. : 04-20-2020 at 08:55 AM. Reason: horrific grammar
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2020, 09:19 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
Blackshire,

This link:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/scien...687901-main.pdf

will open a .pdf of the scientific report that accompanied the third launch. It contains a picture of a fourth Tacite. There is no guarantee that this picture is of the third rocket as it may have been a "stock" picture included in the report for illustrative purposes only. The point is, with this picture, we now have a picture of four different rockets from the same side of the launcher. Now, which is which?

I attached the pictures from your first thread and this picture so they would all be part of this thread.

Bottom line is: yes, this would be a neat rocket to model and in 1/10 scale would be a good candidate for 24mm power, being about 27" tall on a BT-70. But the level of detail of the drawings and the five pictures is sparse at best. If your friend comes across any other pictures especially of the fin can or payload or any detail drawings, post 'em. I'd build it.
MarkB., thank you for the PDF link and the information and photographs! (With today's electronics, an infrared or optical sensor payload could be accommodated in the 1/10 scale Tacite model's nose cone.) Even at the "current" level of detail, there's plenty of documentation here for a fine Sport Scale Tacite model. Also:

Here (below and attached) is more Tacite information from Jean-Jacques Serra. (He tried to join YORF last night, but when he attempted to register, YORF's system responded with, "The following errors occurred during your registration: The administrator has banned your email address." [YORF has given me some strange prompts as well.] I e-mailed him Scott Hansen's e-mail address, so that Scott can "join" him directly.) Below is corrected Tacite information (including corrected photograph identities [the round numbers]) that Jean-Jacques asked me to post:

---
Four Tacite launches were carried out, all from île du Island.
This rocket was designed by ONERA to carry the TACITE experiment (TACITE =
Tentative d'Analyse du Contraste Infrarouge de la TerrE = Attempt to
Analyze the IR Contrast of the Earth). It used a 1-D attitude control
system called PASCAL.
The first Tacite, launched on June 15, 1965, carried the TACITE-01
experiment. It was a success.
The second Tacite, that carried an X-ray experiment from CEA (CNES
reference FU169, with PASCAL ACS), was the only one to use a conical
nosecone. The vehicle exploded shortly after takeoff, November 23, 1967.
The second TACITE experiment (TACITE-02) was successfully launched by the
3rd Tacite rocket on May 15, 1968.
The 4th Tacite rocket carried the MINISIS experiment from LAS with a 3-D
attitude control system called CASSIOPEE (reference CNES FU183). It was
successfully launched on October 15, 1968. [NOTE: If you right-click on each Tacite 'thumbnail' picture below, then click "Save image as...", his photograph designations will appear on the file name line. - Blackshire]
---

I changed the name of the attached images to indicate the launch number
and date.
I have pictures of the other two Tacites but they are in black and white.
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Name:  Tacite#2 1967Nov23.jpg
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Last edited by blackshire : 04-20-2020 at 10:06 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2020, 10:39 PM
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Here (see: https://www.cannes-aero-patrimoine...._2011-10-15.pdf ) is a history paper, "Les fusées-sondes de Sud-Aviation" ('The Sounding Rockets of Sud-Aviation')--also containing plenty of photographs and drawings--that Jean-Jacques Serra wrote about the Sud Aviation sounding rockets (the Belier, Centaure, Dragon, Dauphin, and Eridan series, and several unbuilt variants).
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:59 AM
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Truly excellent find! So many sounding rockets I've never seen before. Also, one of the few images I've seen (just a cartoon of course, but still!) of the Casseur (Smasher) ballistic missile. I attached the only other image I've been able to find. Glad to see the French "owning up" to the fact the Pakistanis turned their sounding rockets into crude ballistic missiles (Hatf-1/Hatf-2). Kinda makes the whole MTCR thing look like less of a farce.

On the Tacite with an actual ogive nose (center of the three B&W photos) - is that airframe yellow? Gray? Red? I'm a terrible at judging colors on those old photos. I like the ogive nose and bold CNES/ONERA markings of that round! I have a balsa ogive almost the exact right length to build that guy out of BT-60...
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frognbuff
Truly excellent find! So many sounding rockets I've never seen before. Also, one of the few images I've seen (just a cartoon of course, but still!) of the Casseur (Smasher) ballistic missile. I attached the only other image I've been able to find. Glad to see the French "owning up" to the fact the Pakistanis turned their sounding rockets into crude ballistic missiles (Hatf-1/Hatf-2). Kinda makes the whole MTCR thing look like less of a farce.

On the Tacite with an actual ogive nose (center of the three B&W photos) - is that airframe yellow? Gray? Red? I'm a terrible at judging colors on those old photos. I like the ogive nose and bold CNES/ONERA markings of that round! I have a balsa ogive almost the exact right length to build that guy out of BT-60...
I'm sorry I hadn't thought to invite Jean-Jacques Serra to join YORF years ago! He may not have posted here yet, but he is now a member (the system wouldn't let him register for some reason, but Scott Hansen kindly "joined him" this morning, after I e-mailed him and told him about Jean-Jacques' problem).

Indeed, Jean-Jacques' drawings and his historical paper cover missiles (some of whose motor types were later used in French sounding rockets), test vehicles, planned-but-not-built variants of the Sud Aviation sounding rockets series, and other nations' derivatives of the Sud Aviation ones, some of which I had never seen before! Even some of the photographs of specific ONERA and Sud Aviation rounds were new to me. (Ditto for some of the Indian and Pakistani derivatives; I've seen photographs of them, but not several of *his* pictures.)

India's and Pakistan's involvement in the Sud Aviation sounding rockets' story was a bit odd (India's wasn't, by itself, but Pakistan's "response" was unusual). Regarding the licenses that France granted to India (perhaps SSTC, ISRO's predecessor) and to Pakistan (SUPARCO), both of those licenses were granted in the mid-1960s. India was quick to utilize their license. In 1965, India built its own sounding rocket payload (their first indigenously-built one, after flying foreign-made ones on foreign sounding rockets beginning in 1963: https://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/sounding-rockets ), which was launched on a French-built Centaure. Soon after that, India was producing its own Centaures (the IIB model, I think) under license; their motor cases were manufactured at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Their indigenously-produced Rohini sounding rockets look quite similar to the Sud Aviation rockets (having rectangular fins and conical noses), and some Rohini models had/have fins like those on some of the ONERA vehicles (in particular, like the Tacite's clipped-delta fins), but:

Pakistan, in contrast, apparently never built any of the Sud Aviation sounding rockets--for use *as* sounding rockets--under license [CORRECTION: It appears that they did build sounding rockets either under license, or else closely patterned after, the Dragon (Shahpar) and the Eridan (Shahbaz), pictures of which are on page 45 of Jean-Jacques' paper on the Sud Aviation sounding rockets: https://www.cannes-aero-patrimoine...._2011-10-15.pdf ]. But for decades, they also didn't use the licensed technology to produce any of the rockets as weapons, either, until the late 1980s (and the Hatf-1 didn't enter service until 1992). The Pakistani military establishment had wanted a missile to counter India's Prithvi (a short-to-medium range ballistic missile made in three variants, with maximum ranges between 150 km and 600 km). Pakistan has never had a research/technological/industrial base comparable to India's, and the (by then) old Sud Aviation sounding rocket technology apparently served as a cheap, quick means of producing a counterpart to India's Prithvi. (This isn't a knock against the Sud Aviation technology, including the SNPE--I think--solid rocket motor technology. The motor cases were made of helically-wound strips of steel, bonded in a heat-cured resin matrix [which enabled lighter, thinner-gauge steel to be used], and were filled with high-performance case-bonded plastic composite propellants.)

I'm not sure if that (middle-pictured) Tacite round had an ogive nose. Looking at it closely, it appears to be a bicone like the other rounds' (except the right-hand one in Reply #5, which had a reddish-brown [maybe bare fiberglass?] purely conical nose). My guess is that the middle-pictured (in black-and-white, in Reply #4) Tacite round was yellow, likely with red lettering. I've never seen a picture of a Tacite that wasn't either red (or fluorescent red) or yellow. That doesn't mean that a gray one couldn't have existed, but I've seen quite a few color pictures of them in several books over the years, and ONERA--and CNES (with their Sud Aviation Belier - Eridan series sounding rockets)--definitely went in for bright colors! (So did/does India, with their "Centaure-descended" Rohini sounding rockets (see: http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf...19/tech-60E.pdf ). Also:

All of the Sud Aviation ones were named after constellations. Belier (the French word for "ram") was Aries, Centaure was Centaurus, Dragon was Draco, Dauphin ("dolphin") was Delphinus, Eridan was Eridanus, and the (unbuilt) Pegase was Pegasus. As well:

The Casseur is rather reminiscent of the UK's (English Electric-made, cancelled after some test shots) Blue Water short-range ballistic missile (with the two inter-digitated sets of four fins, although the Blue Water's forward fins looked like the Talos' forward fins). If Jean-Jacques jj.serra@wanadoo.fr has a bit more Casseur data, his and your data combined might suffice for a Super Scale (the missile, along with the launcher) Casseur model!
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Last edited by blackshire : 04-22-2020 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:12 AM
cardonet cardonet is offline
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Hello all,

Registration issues were resolved by Scott Hansen. I can now post messages on the forum.

I wrote an article for the French Bulletin "Espace et Temps" two years ago on the introduction of the Centaure rockets from Sud Aviation in India and the evolution up to the current Indian sounding rockets. You will find photos and dimensioned drawings. It can be downloaded at :
http://www.kosmonavtika.com/ifhe/et/ET22.pdf
(see pp.32-39)

Regarding the Tacite nosecones, Blackshire is right, they are not really ogives, they are of the shape cylinder-bicone-sphere.
I finally found a color photo of Tacite n°4. As soon as I understand how to attach an image to my messages, I will post it here
The CASSIOPEE attitude control system being longer than the PASCAL system, Tacite n°4 is higher than Tacite n°1 and n°3.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardonet
Hello all,

Registration issues were resolved by Scott Hansen. I can now post messages on the forum.

I wrote an article for the French Bulletin "Espace et Temps" two years ago on the introduction of the Centaure rockets from Sud Aviation in India and the evolution up to the current Indian sounding rockets. You will find photos and dimensioned drawings. It can be downloaded at :
http://www.kosmonavtika.com/ifhe/et/ET22.pdf
(see pp.32-39)

Regarding the Tacite nosecones, Blackshire is right, they are not really ogives, they are of the shape cylinder-bicone-sphere.
I finally found a color photo of Tacite n°4. As soon as I understand how to attach an image to my messages, I will post it here
The CASSIOPEE attitude control system being longer than the PASCAL system, Tacite n°4 is higher than Tacite n°1 and n°3.
Hello Jean-Jacques, and Bienvenu! I just "PM'ed" you (that is, I sent you a PM--Private Message--through the YORF communications system) explaining how to upload files (including photographs; they all work the same with YORF's system, and several file types are supported), and:

Wow--I'm going to enjoy going through the "Espace et Temps" issue--thank you for posting it! Being from Miami, Florida, where Spanish is commonly spoken, I can read French well enough to understand the gist of what is being expressed. For those who can't, *this* Google feature (see: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf...&sclient=psy-ab ) will translate fairly large blocks of copied-and-pasted text from any language to any other. I just tried it with the opening paragraph from your article in the "Espace et Temps" issue, “Les origines du programme indien de fusées-sondes et son évolution” (“The origins of the Indian sounding rocket program and its evolution”), and it worked perfectly! Also:

Thank you for confirming the nose shape of that Tacite round--being a rather small image, I could easily have been mistaken, but the contours of the nose just didn't look quite like smoothly-curved arcs. Its biconical shape (with a small-radius rounded nose tip) would still be quite easy to reproduce in a model; in fact, the rear "clipped-short cone" (mathematically and geometrically, a frustum) could easily be made from cardstock if desired, with the forward cone being made from turned balsa or basswood. (With today's 3D printing technology, the entire nose section--and the properly-sectioned fins--could be 3D printed in plastic [and could also be made hollow if desired, in order to reduce their mass].) Was the CASSIOPEE attitude control system a stellar-inertial one? If so, the extra equipment (such as the star trackers and their electronics modules) could have required the greater length (I am admittedly only speculating, though).
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Last edited by blackshire : 04-22-2020 at 04:13 AM. Reason: I had forgotten to mention something before.
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