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A Skylark that never was!
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Above: The label on the
SL1113 payload section
(Author Img_7383)

Below: The Skylark sections in the author's shed!
 (Author Img_7381)


Summary: The author has acquired three Skylark payload sections, one labelled "SL1113 Telescope". Interestingly, in his extensive researches he has never previously come across this number, and so this designation does not appear in his definitive book on the Skylark sounding rocket.

One of the sections (not acquired by the author) did include a 14 inch mirror, which has since been refurbished as part of an ordinary telescope. Hence, it seems this designation was issued for a proposed vehicle whose astronomical payload was started but never finished, for whatever reason.

The author would very much like to find out more, and if anyone reading this could help with information, he would be most grateful. Please email

The payload sections originated second hand from the Birmingham area - a clue perhaps?  Also, one of the sections not acquired by the author had "SL972" written under the assembly number in an official manner, and another had "ARU Culham" in felt pen. SL972 was launched from Woomera on 8th October 1970, carrying an astronomical (cosmic X-ray) experiment from the University of Leicester. So perhaps it was left over from that, and used to help build the SL1113 prototype?

For further details and several more photos of the original find, see the "Stargazers Lounge" discussion forum:


                       New Forest Electronics Tel. +44 (0) 1425 650089                 Issue 3.108    12 March 2024