Early Spin-Stabilised Rockets – the Rockets of Bergrat Heinrich Gottlob Kuhn
H.-D. Fricke (2000), JBIS, 53, 146-152
19th century’s war rockets were at first stabilised by sticks, but these sticks produced a very uncertain flight path and it often happened that rockets changed their direction and even flew back to their firing position. So very many early inventors in Europe, America, and British-India tried to stabilise the rocket’s flight in a better way. They tried fins and even rotation but they did not succeed. It is said in history that William Hale was the first who succeeded in constructing a spin stabilised (i.e. rotating) rocket which worked. But before him, in the thirties of that century, a German amateur rocket inventor succeeded as well and secretly proved his stickless rotating rockets in trials for Prussian officers and some years later officially for Saxon artillery officers. His invention was then bought by the kingdom of Saxony, but these were never use in the field because of lack of money.