Aviation and Space History DVDs
We're dedicated to making great films and DVDs highlighting the little known chapters in aerospace history. Working from materials unearthed from the National Archives, NASA, and military sources, the source films are professionally transferred into the digital domain. In most cases, we're using film that hasn't been seen in years. In some cases, it's never been seen before by the public.
If you're a historian, a model builder, or an aerospace enthusiast, you'll find something exciting in each rocket.aero DVD from Spacemonkey Models.
Supersonic: the Bell X-1 DVD
The rocket powered Bell X-1 was the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound, shattering the transonic barrier in October 1947. Tied closely to the classic mythology of the American test pilot, the X-1 and her follow-on variants served as research platforms for well over a decade. Our X-1 DVD package is almost three hours in length, and contains the following:
- "Supersonic: the Bell X-1," a twelve-minute long original film that serves as an overview of the X-1 research program and an introduction to the DVD content
- a 1948 United States Air Force briefing film covering the original X-1 aircraft and the early transonic research program
- The U.S. Air Force documentary "Flight to the Future," featuring the Bell X-1 and X-2, plus glimpses of the Douglas X-3, Northrop X-4, and Bell X-5
- An extended composite mission highlighting the early X-1
- footage of the first X-1 glide flights at Florida's Pinecastle Army Air Field
- exciting coverage of a 1949 X-1 ground launch, the only time this was done in the entire research program
- footage of an extended X-1A composite mission
- X-1B composite mission footage
- X-1E composite mission footage
The V-2 in America DVD
Designed as a weapon of war and leveraged as an instrument of terror, the German V-2 was the world's first ballistic missile. While the story of the V-2 during World War II is widely known, the post-war history of the V-2 in America remains largely untold. Our "V-2 in America" DVD contains over four hours of video content:
- "The V-2 in America," an original short film covering the early years of V-2 research at White Sands and Cape Canaveral
- A USAF-produced overview of the "Blossom" upper atmosphere research project, plus additional archival footage of Blossom flight and payload preparation
- Footage of Bumper WAC flights B-8 and B-7, the first flights from America's Cape Canaveral launch facility
- Background coverage of V-2 assembly, testing, and launches in Germany at the Peenemunde research center
- The USAF-produced briefing film "Guided Missiles"
- "The Cape," a 1963 film on the early years of the Cape Canaveral Missile Range
- Archival footage of the US Navy's "Operation Sandy," the launch of a V-2 rocket from the aircraft carrier US Midway
- "Project Backfire," a British-produced film on the first post-war V-2 research launches at Cuxhaven
- V-2 assembly and launch campaign footage from the White Sands Proving Ground
- A special "Modeler's Notes" audio track
Running time approximately 265 minutes. NTSC, encoded for all regions. All footage and images courtesy NARA, USAF, and USN. Compilation ©2010, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
Hustler: The B-58 Bomber DVD
Emerging from a Cold War requirement for an aircraft capable of striking targets deep behind the Iron Curtain, the Convair B-58 Hustler was the world's first bomber capable of sustained Mach 2 flight. This comprehensive DVD overview of the Hustler program contains almost four hours of content, including the following highlights:
- Color film coverage of the first two flights in the B-58 program, plus footage of Maj. Gen. Albert Boyd flying the Hustler in January 1957
- Footage of Air-Launched Ballistic Missile launches from an airborne Hustler platform
- A short film highlighting the USAF B-58 crew that successfully won the Blériot Trophy in 1961
- A USAF-produced introduction to the B-58 program
- "Airplane Number 31," a USAF film featuring the first tactical Hustler to enter service
- Coverage of the B-58's low-altitude bombing capability
- Footage of the first flight of the TB-58 trainer version of the bomber
- Extensive 1960 footage of a Hustler tire failure and subsequent emergency landing
- A 1956 USAF progress report on B-58 production and testing
- "Champion of Champions," a USAF-produced film on the B-58's Bendix, Blériot, Thompson, McKay, and Harmon trophy wins, hosted by Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart, USAF (Retired)
- Detailed coverage of the Bendix Trophy campaign
- A special "Modeler's Notes" audio track
Running time approximately 235 minutes, NTSC, encoded for all regions. All footage courtesy NARA and USAF. Compilation ©2009, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
Mach 2: D-558-2 and X-2 DVD
Taking to the skies in the decade following World War II, the Bell X-2 and Douglas D-558-2 pushed the boundaries of high speed flight to Mach 2 and beyond, expanding our understanding of transonic flight. This exciting DVD package from rocket.aero features almost four hours of exciting archival content on these remarkable research aircraft, including the following highlights:
- Footage of the Douglas D-558-1, precursor to the rocket-powered D-558-2
- Coverage of the D-558-2, the US Navy's high-speed jet- and rocket-powered research aircraft
- Extensive coverage of most flights in the Bell X-2 research program, including flights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, and 20
- The U.S. Air Force documentary "Flight to the Future," featuring the Bell X-2, plus glimpses of the Douglas X-3, Northrop X-4, and Bell X-5
- Coverage of ground handling, systems testing, B-50 carrier aircraft loading, photo and film sessions, and much more
- An X-2 walkaround showing placement and detail of Templac high-temperature paint
- Footage highlighting USAF support of the production of the motion picture "Toward the Unknown," a fictional Air Force drama from 1956
- Two exclusive "Modeler's Notes" audio commentaries covering the D-558 series and the X-2
Running time 227 minutes, NTSC. Encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USAF, NASA and USN unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2007, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
Bomarc: IM-99 Sentinel DVD
Designed to protect North America from potential Soviet bomber threats, the USAF Bomarc was the first long-range surface-to-air missile defense system. Flying at speeds approaching Mach 4 with a range of up to 400 miles, Bomarc missiles were deployed with conventional and nuclear payloads. Bomarc served as a silent sentinel protecting the United States and Canada until the early '70's. This rocket.aero DVD covering the revolutionary Bomarc missile system contains almost two hours of historic archival footage, including the following:
- Extensive coverage of Bomarc launch testing at Cape Canaveral
- Footage of Bomarc crew training, including assembly, transport, and maintenance
- The 1953 USAF "Bomarc Annual Report"
- The 1950 USAF "Guided Missiles Review," featuring coverage of Bomarc, Rascal, Snark, and other early guided missile programs
- A spectacular Bomarc launch failure, captured from multiple angles
- A special "Modeler's Notes" audio track
- Still photos of Bomarc, accessible via DVD slide show or as DVD-ROM files
Running time approximately 120 minutes, NTSC. Encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USAF and NARA unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2007, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
FJ Fury: Wings for the Fleet DVD
During the late 40's through the 50's, the Navy's Fury series introduced jet power to the US carrier fleet. Developed concurrently with the USAF F-86 series, the FJ-2 and -3 eventually led to the advanced and stunningly beautiful FJ-4. Included on this exciting rocket.aero DVD package are:
- U.S. Navy FJ-2 procedues training films
- An alternate "Modeler's Notes" audio track
- FJ-2 carrier operations on the USS Hancock
- FJ-3 operations at Barber's Point, Hawaii
- FJ-4 weapons testing at Point Mugu
- A selection of FJ Fury still photos, accessible via DVD slide show or DVD-ROM drive
- A vintage film highlighting the development and construction of North American Aviation's 50's era 16" wind tunnel
Running time approximately 89 minutes, NTSC. DVD encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USN and NARA unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2005, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
F-107A: The Ultimate Sabre DVD
Developed by North American Aviation, the F-107A was the final member of the Sabre family and was designed to meet an Air Force requirement for an air superiority fighter with fighter-bomber capabilities. Although the F-107A ultimately lost this role to the F-105, many advanced fighter technologies made their first appearance with this innovative fighter, including semi-submerged stores and a highly advanced stability augmentation system. Included on this exciting rocket.aero DVD package are:
- A vintage documentary highlighting F-107A static and flight testing
- A special "Modeler's Notes" audio track featuring Phil "Bondo" Brandt and James Duffy
- Extensive coverage of flight testing
- F-107A weapons testing at Edwards AFB
- A selection of F-107A still photos, accessible via DVD slide show or DVD-ROM drive
Running time approximately 70 minutes, NTSC. DVD encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USAF and NARA unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2005, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
A3J/RA-5C Vigilante DVD
The largest aircraft ever to fly operationally from an aircraft carrier, the A3J Vigilante was originally designed as a nuclear attack bomber. The Vigilante was soon modified to fill a reconaissance role as the RA-5C and saw extensive action in the skies over Vietnam. With almost an hour of fascinating archival coverage on the Vigilante, this rocket.aero DVD package features:
- A U.S. Navy film highlighting pre-flight and in-flight operations of the A3J
- A3J operations on board the U.S.S. Enterprise in 1962, including catapult and recovery
- RA-5C deck and flight operations off of the coast of Vietnam, with expert commentary from Vigilante aviator Capt. Walter Alt, USN (Ret.)
- RVAH-12 photo recon ops aboard the USS Constellation
- LSO onboard operations and on-shore training activities, with audio commentary from Capt. David Carey, USN (Ret.)
- Extensive still photo archives
- An alternate "Modeler's Notes" audio program
Running time approximately 60 minutes, NTSC. DVD encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USN, NASA, and NARA unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2005, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
Wings of Fire: the Messerschmitt Me 163 DVD
Taking to the skies over Germany in the final days of World War II, the Messerschmitt Me 163 was the world's first rocket-powered fighter. This DVD release from rocket.aero contains the following:
- an original short film covering the exciting history of the first rocket-propelled fighter to see combat
- flight testing and development footage of the early Me 163A and the operational Me 163B, with special audio commentary tracks
- coverage of Walter engine testing, with audio commentary
- a vintage US Army Air Corps briefing on the Me 163, with original audio
- World War II gun camera films, including shots of the Me 163B in combat
- rare footage of Me 163 catapult launch testing with audio commentary
- fascinating coverage of Reinhold Tiling's early research on rocket-boosted gliders with audio commentary
- footage of early German rocket vehicle testing by Sander, Valier, and von Opel with audio commentary
- coverage of the Lake Greenwood Mail Rocket, a 1936 attempt to launch mail via rocket-powered glider
- still photos of the Me 163, accessible via DVD slide show or computer DVD-ROM drive
- a special “Modeler’s Notes” audio commentary track
Running time approximately 98 minutes, NTSC. DVD encoded for all regions. All images courtesy USAF and NARA unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2006, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.
Little Joe: Mercury's First Steps DVD
A little-known chapter in the early history of manned space exploration, Little Joe paved the way for Project Mercury and the first manned US space flights. Assigned the task of testing the escape tower system, seven Little Joe boosters were launched from 1959 through 1961. In addition to the original documentary "Little Joe: Mercury's First Steps," this rocket.aero DVD presentation also includes:
- Archival film footage of every Little Joe launch
- Highlights of Little Joe 1B primate preparation and recovery
- Coverage of Little Joe booster construction at the North American Aviation plant in California
- An alternate "Modeler's Notes" audio track narrated by Sven Knudson, David Carlton, and James Duffy
- Over 50 Little Joe photographs and drawings, presented in an interactive DVD slide show. The slideshow content can also be accessed on a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive.
- Bonus footage of Mercury pressure suit testing, with Alan Shepard and Wally Schirra
Running time approximately 2 hours, 10 minutes, NTSC. DVD encoded for all regions. All images courtesy NASA, USAF, and USN unless otherwise noted. Compilation ©2004, rocket.aero. This DVD contains both silent and sound film elements.