La Prieur Rockets

  • World War I
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The innovative and short lived Le Prieur Rocket System was designed in 1916 by .French Army Lieutenant Yves Le Prieur. They were the first Aircraft mounted Rocket System which were among the first Aircraft or “Air To Air” Missile devised. The System was electrically fired and mounted on either the upper front of the fuselage (with a few variations under the upper wing of a Bi-Plane Fighter. Congreve Rocket in similarity, The Le Prieur mounting were cardboard, with the Warhead a leaden, Knife shaped Projectile. In deployment ideally against Airships – The Rocket System fired all Rockets simultaneously. Ripping though the hard Airship skin, a small secondary charge would ignite the Helium (or related) gases (thus exploding or bringing down the Airship).

 

Effective only up to 125-yards, The Le Prieur brought down many Airships, but was never used (or effective against Zeppelin Airships. Steep Dive patterns were seen as best for their release. With the advent of “Tracer” or Phosphorus coated Ammunition rounds, The Le Prieur became obsolete. The System was first deployed in The Battle of Verdun in 1916 and were used by The British in defense over Great Britain up to 1918.