Thunderbird 3 cutaway drawing
Chemical rocket explosion chamber; chemical
rockets are used for take-off and boost
Gate seal blocking off particle accelerator from
explosion chamber when chemical rockets are firing
Particle accelerator
Particle gun; once escape velocity is reached, the three particle
accelerators provide a steady continuous acceleration by means
of an exhaust stream of atomic particles
Radiant cooling fins
Ring of pitch-and-yaw jets
Propellant tanks for main motors, helium pressurised
Ring of atomic electricity generators provide
power for particle accelerators and auxiliaries
Shielding protecting entry tunnel through
which ramp-operated seat 'loads' crew
Rectifiers
Flywheel rotor assemblage; the spinning flywheel makes
the ship turn in the opposite direction which is more
economical for course correction than pitch-and-yaw jets
Retro rockets
Retro rockets fuel
Sensors for guiding Thunderbird 3 to lock on
position when docking with Thunderbird 5
Additional retro rockets
Entry tunnel, used in flight as an air-reservoir
Lift to upper decks
Ramp-entry chair, centered in the lounge
Bunks – sleeping accommodation
Twin-walled hull at this point for extra meteor protection;
al such spare spaces such as this are filled with propellant
Essential life-support services (air-recycle
pumps, heating, etc.) under the floor
Stores level
Twin-seat pilot position
Flight computers serving console below
Domed bulkhead of inner 'living space' capsule (pressurised)
Sensors, accelerometers and other flight instruments
Forward pitch-and-yaw correction jets
Hangar, Thunderbird 5
Sensors on the ring on Thunderbird 3
guide the nose into the docking port
Electro magnets clamp the ring of Thunderbird 3
to form an airtight seal; air is then pumped into
the hangar to correct pressure and a warning light
informs the pilot that it is safe to open
Exit hatch
Ramp into the satellite
Airlock door to inspection platform
Ramp entry seat
Air duct
Library of microfilms
Intercom speaker
Monitor screen
Lift to other floors

Technical specifications published originally in Thunderbirds 1966 Annual,
later reprinted in Dutch Albert Heyn Codes and Extra 3 Album

Thunderbird 3 launch bay
Thunderbird 3 launch bay
settee
motor assembly
radio link
tunnel and bogie
The tunnel, through which runs a railway carrying a motorised bogie. This transports the settee which is lowered onto it from the Tracy lounge. (1) The settee. (2) Motor assembly. (3) Radio link with control so that briefing can take place en route, and computer control which governs the bogie's movement.
supports
In the silo Thunderbird 3 rests on three enormous columns (1). The base of the Thunderbird 3 nacelle rests on a heat resistant ring (2) which is cushioned on a ring of shock absorbers (3). When fully depressed the weight is taken by the collar (11). Bracing struts (12) transmit thrust to the concrete and rock below. On take-off, the hot exhaust passes through the blast duct (4) down the inside of the column cooled as it goes by water jets from the injection nozzles (5) which are supplied from a pressure ring from the pump (6). Drainage (7) removes excess water. The cooled gases are passed through the tube by the extractor turbo fans (8) and finally disperse from a vent some distancce from the silo. The ramp (9) lifts a flat head which pushes up a portion of the bogie, carrying the settee up into the rocket as shown in the inset (10).
Thunderbird 3 launch bay
round house
The top of the silo is camouflaged by the suntrap Round House.
Thunderbird 3 launch bay
electrical gear and atomic generators
hatch
gallery with control panels
servicing mechanisms
Tucked behind the steel sides of the silo are the servicing mechanisms. This portion (1) houses the electrical gear and the atomic generators. The hatch (2) conceals retractable arms which swing out carrying the heavy high tension cables. The control panels are on the gallery below (3).
Thunderbird 3 launch bay Thunderbird 3 launch bay
guidance system
Thunderbird 3 returns to the silo by landing vertically. To this effect the radar which tracks her climb is also used as a landing aid, computer linked to position the returning rocket squarely on the columns. Electronic eyes (on the right) further assist this operation.
Thunderbird 3 launch bay Thunderbird 3 launch bay
guidance system
Thunderbird 3 returns to the silo by landing vertically. To this effect the radar which tracks her climb is also used as a landing aid, computer linked to position the returning rocket squarely on the columns. Electronic eyes (on the right) further assist this operation.
Thunderbird 3 launch bay Thunderbird 3 launch bay
guidance system
Thunderbird 3 returns to the silo by landing vertically. To this effect the radar which tracks her climb is also used as a landing aid, computer linked to position the returning rocket squarely on the columns. Electronic eyes (on the right) further assist this operation.
Thunderbird 3 launch bay
cooling system
If the rocket's reactors are run for any length of time during maintenance and testing, considerable heat collects round the cooling vanes on the fuselage. Outside air is refrigerated and blown through the tilting heads of these cooling fans.
The silo housing Thunderbird 3 is the farthest from the Tracy home. The method of approach differs accordingly but the few minutes longer taken by the astronaut to board the craft are of no account when weighed against the lengthy voyages it undertakes in space. Like the others, the launchbay is compact and businesslike, function being the keynote of design.

Launch bay specifications orginally published in Thunderbirds 1967 Annual

Thunderbird 3 blueprint
Bill Earle's Thunderbird 3 blueprint
published originally in SIG #18
©1987 Bill Earle
Thunderbird 3 reverse plan
Reverse Plan
Thunderbird 3 plan
Plan
Thunderbird 3 front
Front elevation
Thunderbird 3 rear
Rear elevation

Elevations published originally in Thunderbirds model sheet, later reprinted in Dutch Albert Heyn Codes

Thunderbird 3
Technical Specifications
name: Thunderbird 3
designer: Derek Meddings
other data: launch sequence