Taifun (rocket)
Taifun was a German World War II anti-aircraft unguided rocket system. Waves of Taifuns were to be launched en masse into US B-17 Flying Fortress formations hoping for a direct hit. Although never deployed operationally, the system was copied in the US as the Loki
Loki (rocket)
Loki, officially designated 76mm HEAA Rocket T220, was an American unguided anti-aircraft rocket based on the German Taifun. Like the Taifun, Loki never saw service in its original role, but later found widespread use as a sounding rocket...

, and the USSR as R-103.

The Taifun project originally dates to 25 September 1942, when Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 authorized the start of a number of anti-aircraft projects after a long hiatus when all such advanced development had been frozen by Hitler. Along with the Taifun, the Enzian
The Enzian was a German WWII surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile that was the first to use an infrared guidance system...

, Rheintochter
Rheintochter was a German surface-to-air missile developed during World War II. Its name comes from the mythical Rheintöchter of Richard Wagner's opera series Der Ring des Nibelungen.- History :...

, Schmetterling
The Henschel Hs 117 Schmetterling was a German surface-to-air missile project developed during World War II. There was also an air-to-air version....

 and Wasserfall
The Wasserfall Ferngelenkte Flakrakete , was a World War II guided surface-to-air missile developed at Peenemünde, Germany.-Technical characteristics:...

 were also given full funding. The design was originally started by Scheufeln, an officer at Peenemünde
The Peenemünde Army Research Center was founded in 1937 as one of five military proving grounds under the Army Weapons Office ....

, who wanted to introduce an extremely simple system in case the more complex projects did not "work out".

The Taifun proposal was developed by a small team at Peenemünde along with the Electromechanische Werke in Karlshagen
Karlshagen is a Baltic Sea resort in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the north of the island Usedom. Karlshagen has 3400 inhabitants and lies between Zinnowitz and Peenemuende....

. Their design was 1.93 metres long and 10 cm in diameter, with four small stabilizing fins at the base. The engine was fueled by a hypergolic mixture of nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

 and "Optolin" (a mixture of aromatic amines, gasoline, Visol, and catechol) pressure-fed into the combustion chamber. The pressure was provided by small cordite charges that were fired into the fuel tanks, in the process bursting a pair of thin diaphragms to allow the fuel and oxidizer to flow into the combustion chamber, and launched the rocket. At burnout 2.5 seconds later, the rocket was travelling at 3,600 km/h (2,237 mph). Nominal range was to have been about 15 km, with a maximum altitude of 12 km. The rockets were fired in salvos of up to 30 from a launcher mounted on an adapted 88 mm gun
88 mm gun
The 88 mm gun was a German anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognizable German weapons of the war...


The original plans called for 2 million to have been produced by January 1945, but the engine experienced lengthy delays and none were ever deployed operationally. The only such system to see operational use was British, who deployed both the Unrotated Projectile
Unrotated Projectile
The Unrotated Projectile, or UP, was a short range rocket-firing anti-aircraft weapon developed for the Royal Navy to supplement the 2 pounder Pom-Pom gun due to a critical lack of close-range anti-aircraft weapons. It was used extensively by British ships during the early days of World War II...

 and 2 inch RP during the war.
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