Over the years the Royal Aircraft Establishment has built and flown a great variety of test vehicles. The Jaguar, later called Jabiru to avoid confusion with the strike aircraft of the same name, was a three-stage vehicle used to study heat transference in re-entry vehicles under hypersonic conditions.
Jaguar / Jabiru was part of HRV (Hypersonic Research Vehicle) programme and was used mainly to test components for re-entry vehicles and analyse the effects of kinetic heating.
Jaguar comprised a Rook first stage, Gosling second and Lobster third stage. Later version used Goldfinch second and Gosling third stage. Variants on the Jaguar theme were the Leopard, a two-stage version with Rook booster and a Gosling upper stage. Further variants included Panther and Tiger.
Jagaur could be fitted with a variety of noses to test out aerodynamics and thermal effects, including Oberon, a hypersonic wing model.
The Jaguar / Jabiru ultimately led to the Aeromach research rocket.
Test Vehicles or Rockets