Gargoyle Missile

Gargoyle missile in flightIn 1944, McDonnell won the contract to build the Gargoyle missile to counter German guided anti-ship glide bombs. Carried by carrier-based aircraft, the LBD-1 Gargoyle glide bomb was to be equipped with a 1,000-pound armor-piercing warhead.

The Gargoyle's Aerojet solid-propellant rocket booster allowed it to reach a high diving speed. A bright flair in its tail allowed operators to monitor its progress and correct its trajectory via radio.

Glide tests of the LBD-1 began in March 1945, followed by the first powered flights in July. It was redesignated as a KSD-1 anti-shipping missile in 1945, but World War II ended before it was deployed. It then became a research vehicle and designated KUD-1, which first flew in July 1946.

McDonnell produced 250 Gargoyles before production ended in mid-1947. The remaining missiles, redesignated as RTV-2 in September 1947 and RTV-N-2 in early 1948, were used to test components for other guided missile programs. In December 1950, the program was officially terminated and surviving missiles were scrapped.

First flight: March 1944
Model number: KSD-1 (RTV-N-2)
Length: 10 feet 1 inch
Wingspan: 8 feet 6 inches
Weight: 1,500 pounds
Speed: 600 mph
Range: 5 miles
Propulsion: Aerojet 8AS100 solid-fueled rocket
Warhead: 1,000-pound armor-piercing