Derivatives of the Black Knight Technology


N. Hill; D. Wright (2000), JBIS53, 307-318

Refcode: 2000.53.307
Keywords: Space history, British rocketry, satellite launchers, propellant technology, space policy.

This paper traces the line of descent from Black Knight to Black Arrow, and at the same time looks at various proposed projects, both civil and military, which were to be Black Knight derivatives, but which for one reason or another never saw the light of day. Research in this area is rather akin to anthropological work, tracing fossils from Homo erectus (Black Knight) to Homo sapiens (Black Arrow), knowing that a lot of the fossils found will not be on the direct line of descent, but represent branches that became extinct. This article attempts to cover designs, which, although they never made it to hardware, are none the less interesting technically, or shine light on the evolution of design philosophy.