Anatomy of a Weapon System

Geoff Goodchild

This book is a detailed insight into the Thor weapon system. Diagrams and previously unseen photography support full descriptions of the missile, its UK bases and ground equipment. Simple explanations of gyroscopes and ballistics aid an understanding of missile navigation, whilst the launch countdown is presented in easily followed flow charts.
Date Published :
January 2017
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Color and B&W
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781555682
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Thor: Anatomy of a Weapon System examines, in plain English, the technical aspects of the Thor IRBM. The missile and its ground support equipment are covered in detail. The guidance system is conveniently spread across two chapters and includes a sub section to help understanding of the gyroscopes. The ground based guidance components, including the mysterious theodolites, are described with accompanying drawings. Included are discussions on ballistics and how the properties of the Earth affect the missile’s flight. A chapter is dedicated to Thor’s raison d’etre; the 1.44 megaton warhead, its principles of operation and its terrifying effects. The launch countdown process is comprehensively covered in a series of easy to follow flow diagrams, accompanied by detailed drawings and descriptions of the launch control consoles and equipment. The launch site itself is examined with details of surveys, locations and layout. Detailed drawings of site buildings, by the author, complete the book, which contains photographs from the author’s collection, believed to be previously unseen.

About The Author

Geoff Goodchild was born in Lincolnshire in 1951. Qualifying as a pilot in 1969, he pursued a career in the airline industry, retiring in 2006 as a long-haul Airbus captain. He continues to work in flight simulators with trainee airline pilots. His first close encounter with Thor, aged 9, kindled a fascination with the missile of which this book is the result. Always passionate about anything that can be made to fly, his hobbies include rocketry, aero modelling and light aviation. He lives with his partner Jan and their two sons in Northamptonshire.

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