Missile head might jazz up jaded garage decor

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 13:37 06/05/2014

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Need a guidance system for that Cold War era supersonic missile you have just stumbled across in dad's shed?

Look no further than Trade Me where a Taranaki man is offering such an item for $9000.

The homing head for a Red Top missile is listed on Trade Me as being produced in 1975 by Hawker Siddeley, which later became British Aerospace.

It has been listed by the seller with the username John123456.

He states the head weighs about 15 kilograms and the buyer must "pick up from New Plymouth".

Yesterday the seller declined to comment on the auction to the Taranaki Daily News, nor would he say how he procured the head.

The Red Top missile had a top speed of Mach 3.2, or 3600kmh, and entered service in 1964, arming the English Electric Lightning and de Havilland Sea Vixen jet fighters.

It was an air-to-air missile with a 31kg warhead and operational range of 12 kilometres. Reportedly, the homing head only worked when it was fired outside cloud, which made it frequently useless during winter in Britain when skies were rarely clear.

It's understood the homing head was built specifically for the Red Top missile and cannot be fitted to other missiles.

It is believed there are no Red Top missiles in private ownership anyway.

The Trade Me auction for the homing head ends today at 5.05pm.

As of last night there were no bidders for the missile guidance device but the page had been viewed more than 100 times.

John123456 is also using Trade Me to sell a Gipsy Major aircraft engine for $6000, a McCulloch J-2 Gyroplane for $35,000, three helicopter skid tubes for $7000 and a Dunlop tyre for $30.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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