RAE Larynx

The Royal Aircraft Establishment Larynx (from "Long Range Gun with Lynx engine") was an early British pilotless aircraft, to be used as a guided anti-ship weapon. Started in September 1925, it was an early cruise missile guided by an autopilot.

A small monoplane powered by a 200 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV engine, it had a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h); faster than contemporary fighters.[2]

It used autopilot principles developed by Professor Archibald Low and already used in the Ruston Proctor AT, a radio controlled biplane that was intended to be used against German Zeppelin bombers.

Project history

  • First test 20 July 1927. Launched from cordite-powered catapult fitted to the S class destroyer HMS Stronghold. Crashed into Bristol Channel.
  • Second test 1 September 1927. Thought to have flown 100 miles (160 km) and was then lost.
  • Third test 15 October 1927. 112 mile (180 km) flight, hit five miles from target.
  • Two more launches in September and October 1928 from HMS Thanet, another S class destroyer.
  • Two additional launches May 1929. Launched from land, one overflew target and other was successful.[3]



  1. The Evolution of the Cruise Missile by Werrell, Kenneth P. see PDF page 29
  2. Gibson and Buttler. British Secret Projects: Hypersonics, ramjets and missiles Midland 2007
  3. Werrell PDF page 29
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