Skokie (rocket)


Skokie was a family of research vehicles developed by the Cook Electric Co. for the United States Air Force during the mid to late 1950s. Launched from a B-29 bomber, Skokie 1 was an unpowered, ballistic vehicle, while Skokie 2 was rocket-propelled; both were used for evaluating and testing high-speed parachute recovery systems.

Skokie 2 in gantry.jpg
Skokie 2
FunctionExperimental rocket
ManufacturerCook Electric Co.
Country of originUnited States
HeightSkokie 1: 7.6 metres (25 ft)
Skokie 2: 9.8 metres (32 ft)
DiameterSkokie 1: 510 millimetres (20 in)
MassSkokie 1: 1,100 kilograms (2,400 lb)
Skokie 2: 1,400 kilograms (3,000 lb)
Launch history
First stage – JATO
Powered by3
Maximum thrust49 kN (11,000 lbf) each

Design and developmentEdit

Intended for use in evaluating high-speed parachute systems for the recovery of missiles and unmanned aircraft,[1] Skokie was a simple, inexpensively-designed vehicle, consisting of a tube with a long spike on the nose to reduce damage while landing under parachute.[2] Named after the hometown of the Cook Electric Co., their manufacturer,[3] Skokie 1 had four aft-mounted stabilizing fins;[4] Skokie 2 had a tri-fin arrangement,[5] with three solid-propellant rockets, of a type similar to that used for rocket-assisted take offs, externally mounted between them.[2] The vehicle was equipped with instrumentation to record the deployment of the two-stage parachute; a high-speed camera was also fitted.[5] Skokie I descended ballistically at high subsonic speed; the rocket-powered Skokie II could reach Mach 2 before deploying its parachute.[2]

Mission profileEdit

Skokie was launched from a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber at 30,000 feet (9.1 km) in altitude.[2] On each drop, the vehicle would deploy an initial parachute to calibrate the onboard equipment, following which it would be released to allow the vehicle to build up speed.[6] A drogue parachute would be deployed once the vehicle reached a speed slightly below terminal velocity;[7] after deceleration, the main parachute of 88 feet (27 m) in diameter would deploy.[6]



  1. ^ Jacobs and Whitney 1962, p.170.
  2. ^ a b c d Haley 1959, p.153.
  3. ^ Aero Digest Volume 68 (1954), p.46.
  4. ^ Bowman 1957, p.193.
  5. ^ a b Parsch 2003
  6. ^ a b Ordway and Wakeford 1960, p.192.
  7. ^ Downing 1956, p.10.


  • Bowman, Norman John (1957). The Handbook of Rockets and Guided Missiles. Chicago: Perastadion Press. ASIN B0007EC5N4.
  • Downing, J. Robert (1956). Recovery Systems for Missiles and Target Aircraft. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH: Wright Air Development Division. ASIN B009B3EJ1I.
  • Haley, Andrew G. (1959). Rocketry and Space Exploration. Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostram Company. ASIN B000GB0580.
  • Jacobs, Horace; Eunice Engelke Whitney (1962). Missile and Space Projects Guide 1962. New York: Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4899-6967-5.
  • Ordway, Frederick Ira; Ronald C. Wakeford (1960). International Missile and Spacecraft Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill. ASIN B000MAEGVC.
  • Parsch, Andreas (21 October 2003). "Cook Skokie". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-10.

External linksEdit

  • "Peaceful Missile Nose-Dives From B-29 To Test Parachute". Popular Science, June 1954, p.148.