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Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 435 ft; Running time: 5 mins
Notes: Summary: 'Hajile' was a deceleration device developed by the British Admiralty's Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapons Development (DMWD) at the request of the Army which was looking for a method of dropping heavy equipment from aircraft at high speed. This requirement ruled out parachutes, so the DMWD came up with the idea of using cordite-fuelled retro-rockets which would ignite at the last moment to slow the final rate of descent. The initial test produced the project's codename 'Hajile'. The plume of smoke and fire made by the retro-rockets caused one officer who witnessed it to exclaim, "Look at it! It's Elijah in reverse", referring to the biblical prophet's ascension to Heaven in like fashion. 'Hajile' was probably the world's first retro-rocket but, for a variety of reasons, the project was a failure.