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Convair X-12

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File:Convair X-12 launch.JPG
The Convair X-12 being launched

The Convair X-12 was the second, more advanced testbed for the Atlas rocket program. It was designed with 3 engines, its predecessor the Convair X-11 used only one engine. It was powered by a 1.5 stage liquid-fuel rocket. Its first flight was in July, 1958.

Service history

The X-12 pioneered the use of 1.5 stage rocket engines that became a hallmark of the Atlas rocket program. It was also the first rocket to achieve a flight distance that could be considered intercontinental when it flew 6,325 miles (10,179 km).

According to a 2001 article in Code One Magazine by Lockheed, no X-12 was ever built or flown, although imagery (at right) seem to contradict that.

Specifications (X-12)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Unmanned
  • Length: 103 ft 0 in (31.4 m)
  • Wingspan: ()
  • Height: ()
  • Powerplant:
    • 2× North American standard XLR-43-NA-5 rockets (1/2 stage jettisoned during launch phase), () each
    • 1× Steerable (gimbled) XLR-43-NA-5 (main stage), ()
  • * Diameter: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)


See also

Related development

Designation sequence
X-9 - X-10 - X-11 - X-12 - X-13 - X-14 - X-15 Related lists

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Convair X-12".