High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
China Lake
Page 4
   The Ranges
SupersonicNavalOrdnanceResearchTrack
Baker  Four Track
George Four Track
  Rocket sleds shot down these tracks have tested an amazing variety of military and space Administration gear at realistic speeds to determine how they will respond at mission speeds and the strains of launch and braking.
The search of the 0/0 rocket ejection seat across many airframes was tested and proved.  Aircraft parts, Missile engines, spacecraft boosters, All covered by hi speed cameras so that analysis is immediately available.
 
  Pictured above is the SNORT range illustrating the size of the test range.  On the right is the development of a Chapparal missile array developed for the US Army comprised of multiple Siedwinder 1 C  missiles.
  Rocket powered sleds shot down narrow gauge tracks on shoes of magnesium braked by a small channel of water and a probe.  Rapec or other rocket assisted ejection seats being tested, aircraft parts tested, high speed cameras to completely record an event which takes just milliseconds.  Big boom fast tracks and lots of money make this a conitinuing effort which pays off in saved lives and dependable weapons.
  At the risk of really making someone with a mission angry I gotta say that at China Lake they play with some of the greatest "Boy Toys" I have ever seen.  They make things go boom in the nite and what guy wouldn't like a piece of that action.  Of course that is a rather uneducated analogy but it strikes me as the one that impresses me the most. 

I have on occasion had a reason to use one or two of the weapons developed and tested at China Lake and they worked to a "T".  For a military man a weapon that works faultlessly is a real blessing.  I know many of my fellow Marines who have been so blessed.
 
Photo courtesy of John Culp
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. 1 & 2  -  In the beginning
   3        -  Naval Air Facility
   4        -  The Ranges
   5   -        Doc the B-29
   6   -       NAWC Museum
. 1 & 2  -  In the beginning
   3        -  Naval Air Facility
   4        -  The Ranges
   5   -        Doc the B-29
   6   -       NAWC Museum
|_1_|_2_|_3_|_4_|_5_|_6_|_7_|_8_|_9_|_10_|
    7   -        The Sidewinder
    8    -      
Weather
  
9    -      60 Year FED service
   10  -      
China Lake named
                  National Historic site
|_1_|_2_|_3_|_4_|_5_|_6_|_7_|_8_|_9_|_10_|
    7   -        The Sidewinder
    8    -     
Weather
  
9    -      60 Year FED service
   10  -      
China Lake named
                  National Historic site