While many airports have runways or landing strips, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has a skid strip. It actually is a runway, but the name "skid strip" has remained from the earliest days when Snark winged missiles were returned to the Cape after launch. A simple landing gear with short metal pads (skids) in place of wheels enabled the Snark to be landed on the skid strip by radio control. Not all landings were successful, but a successful landing allowed a more economical study of the flight. The name "skid strip" was coined and remains to this day. The skid strip has hosted landings from a wide variety of aircraft, everything from missile deliveries to Air Force One.
The Skid Strip also served as a takeoff and landing place for test flights of the Navaho X-10 under remote control and automatic flight control. An aircraft carrier type arresting barrier was installed to assist with stopping the X-10 upon landing.
|19 August 1955||GM-19312||Destroyed on landing|
|24 October 1955||GM 52-4||Destroyed on landing|
|3 February 1955||GM 52-1|
|29 February 1956||GM 52-1|
|20 March 1956||GM 52-1|
|24 April 1956||GM 52-2||Crashed in ocean|
|5 June 1956||GM 52-5|
|18 July 1956||GM 52-5|
|27 August 1956||GM 52-1||Deliberate dive crash test to target|
|21 September 1956||GM 52-6|
|24 October 1956||GM 52-6|
There were also three X-10 flights as drone vehicle for the Bomarc.
|24 September 1958||GM 52-5||Missile burned after running off Skid Strip at end of mission|
|13 November 1958||GM 19313||Missile burned after running off Skid Strip at end of mission|
|26 September 1959||GM 52-3||Missile destroyed itself. Crashed 57 miles downrange after power failure|
|Snark launch, skid deployment, and landing sequence (no audio)|