Science: The Heat Seeker

First U.S. air-to-air missile to be tested in real combat is the Navy's Sidewinder, which was adopted by the Air Force and used to equip Chinese Nationalist Sabre jets flying out of Formosa (TIME, Oct. 6). During one air operation against the Chinese Communists, the Nationalists used Sidewinders to knock down an estimated ten Red jets while coming off unscathed themselves. The Sidewinders given to the Chinese were an early model, but their general design, with improvements, is still in use.

The Sidewinder is a small (9.5 ft. long, 5 in. diameter) rocket driven by a solid propellant. In its nose is...

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