The AUVM founder, LT COL HAROLD (RED) F. SMITH, acquired the drone approximately 30 years ago. The drone has been pulled out of storage and we have began the restoration process. We are in the mock up phase of the restoration, and it's a bit painstaking as we currently are lacking manuals. We will update the Facebook page and our website as progress is made.
"In the late 1960s, the Navy studied the possibility to convert the BQM-34A Firebee target drone to a remote-controlled anti-ship missile. In several test flights, BQM-34As equipped with a TV system in the nose, were successfully flown by remote "pilots" watching the TV image. Precision low-level flight above the sea was made possible by the Ryan-developed RALACS (Radar Altimeter Low Altitude Control System). In September 1971, successful tests of Model 248 missiles (called "BQM/SSM") against ship targets showed the validity of the basic concept, but the project was terminated due to lack of funding."
More information regarding the BGM-34B Strike drone credited from:
"In the same year, the USAF showed interest in a development of the Firebee I to be used for enemy air-defense suppression, because of the high loss rate in these missions. In March 1971, Teledyne Ryan received a contract to convert four Model 147S drones to BGM-34A (Model 234) configuration. Like the Navy's BQM/SSM, the BGM-34A was piloted by an operator watching a TV image transmitted from the drone's nose. In tests during 1971/72, the BGM-34As successfully launched AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles and electro-optically guided glide bombs against simulated SAM sites. Interestingly, almost 30 years later a firing of an AGM-114 Hellfire missile by an MQ-1L Predator UAV was much hyped as a breakthrough in armed UAV technology. "
Following the successful BGM-34A tests, Teledyne Ryan developed the BGM-34B (Model 234A) operational strike RPV. This featured the higher-rated J69-T-41A engine, a modified tail, larger control surfaces, and improved operational capabilities. Eight BGM-34Bs were built, and tested in 1973/74. The tests included the modification of some of the drones with a new nose containing a LLLTV (Low Light Level Television) camera and a laser designator, to act as a "pathfinder" for weapon-carrying RPVs."
Screen shot photo of our drone- "BGM-34B" on the bottom rear of the drone, as the drone is being prepared for a strike mission. See the strike video on the videos page!
Data plate of the BGM-34B
Surveillance Drone 1 or SD-1—originally was a target for training anti-aircraft gunners. The MQM-57 became the Army's 1st unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Equipped with still picture and TV cameras in 1955! The drone was launched off a take off stand with two RATO Boosters. A remote pilot controlled the Falconer with radio signals and tracked by radar.
Length: 13, 4"
Wingspan: 11' 6"
Weight: 430 LBS
Service Ceiling: 15,000'
Max Speed: 184 MPH
Range: 100 Miles
Flight Time: 30-60 MINS
The OQ-2 is a simple aircraft, powered by a two-cylinder two-cycle piston engine, providing 6 horsepower (4.5 kW) and driving two contra-rotating propellers. The RC control system was built by Bendix. Launching was by catapult only and recovered by parachute should it survive the target practice. The landing gear was used only on the OQ-2 versions as sold to the Army to cushion the landing by parachute. None of the drones including the improved variants shipped to the Navy had landing gear. The subsequent variants delivered to the Army did not have landing gear.
The OQ-2 led to a series of similar but improved variants, with the OQ-3 / TDD-2 and OQ-14 / TDD-3 produced in quantity.
During the war Radioplane manufactured nearly fifteen thousand drones. The company was bought by Northrop in 1952.
The BQM/MQM-74 “Chukar” is a series of aerial target drones produced by Northrop. It is a recoverable, remote controlled, subsonic aerial target drone, capable of speeds up to Mach 0.86 and altitudes from 30 feet to 40,000 feet. It was introduced in 1968 and many are still in service. It is normally launched from a DC-130 aircraft, but can also be launched from strike fighters such as the F-15 and F-16 as well as from ships.
In the 1991 Gulf War, BQM-74Cs were used as decoys during the initial air attacks into Iraq. When Iraqi air defense radar sites began tracking them, allied strike fighters were then able to launch anti-radiation missiles to destroy the sites. The U.S. Air Force was put in charge of this multi-service decoy effort, which was codenamed “Project Scathe Mean.”
DASH was a major part of the United States Navy's Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program of the late 1950s. FRAM was started because the Soviet Union was building submarines faster than the US could build anti-submarine frigates. Instead of building frigates, the FRAM upgrade series allowed the US to rapidly update by converting older ships that were less useful in modern naval combat. The navy could upgrade the sonar on World War II-era destroyers but needed a stand-off weapon to attack at the perimeter of the sonar's range. The old destroyers had little room for add-ons such as a full flight deck. The original DASH concept was a light drone helicopter that could release a nuclear depth charge or torpedoes. The aircraft was considered expendable.
In 1940, before the Air Force, The US Army Crops desired a radio controlled target drone for anti-aircraft gunnery practice. The aircraft was unique as it was both manned, and unmanned operated.
Powerplant: Franklin 6cyl, 150 HP
Max Speed: 185 MPH
Cruise Speed: 150 MPH
Range: 512 Miles
The Culver was first flown in 1942! The drone was flown unamnned, by radio control via mothership, Beech C-45. Most drones were destroyed in the Sky by anti-aircraft gunners, but a few survived included this one. It will under go restoration.
The bird has been in storage for 40 YEARS! We just got it mock assembled and rolling on it's landing gear!
Lockheed X7, AKA "Flying Stove Pipe" was designed to test Ram Jet engines & our air defenses against nuclear missile attack. The drone was tested against our SAM's, and the X7 outperformed the missiles and only a few hits were achieved; Due to the pressure and embarrassment put on the military, the X7 project was trashed. Besides the SAM testing, the X-7 was also used to test communication equipment, testing aerodynamics, thermodynamics, parachute systems, and booster propellants.
Weight: 8,000 lbs
Speed: 2800 MPH
Range: 130 Miles
Booster: X202 C3 Solid Rocket Fuel, 467 kN for approx 4 seconds.
The MQM-61A target drone was a simple monoplane with a vee tail. The drone was used for gunnery and air-to-air combat training. Powered by a flat six air cooled, two stroke piston engine and a two blade propeller. The drone could tow targets or banners, with two targets under each wing. Launched via RATO BOOSTER, parachute recovery.
Length: 15' 1"
Weight: 664 LBS
Engine: McCulloch TC6150-J-2 125 HP
Max Speed: 350 MPH
Flight time: 1 HR
Service Ceiling: 43,000'
The AQM-37 Jayhawk is an air launched Supersonic target drone capable of simulating inbound ICBM warheads for shoot down exercises. First flight 1961, and still remains in service. Driven by a liquid rocket fueled motor, one of the high performance models was able to attain a speed of Mach 4.7!
Weight: 620 LBS
Engine: Rocketdyne LR64-NA-4 liquid fueled rocket, 850 LBF
Max Speed: Mach 4.0
Range: 113 Miles
Service Ceiling: 100,000'
The BTT, Basic Training Target, MQM-36A. The target drone was equipped with an AN/ARW-79 radio command guidance system with automatic altitude hold, the target drone could be tracked by radar. Optional equipment ranged from flare kits, radar reflector pods on the wingtips, towed targets/ banners. We have original tow banners.
Length: 12' 7"
Wingspan: 11' 6"
Weight: 400 LBS
Engine: McCulloch O-100-2 piston engine, 90 HP
Max Speed: 224 MPH
Flight time: 1 HR
Service Ceiling: 27,000'
The TRX RADAR AGUMENTED TOW TARGET.
TRX radar-augmented tow target is designed for use with any gun or missile weapons system that requires a radar signature for acquisition, tracking, ranging, guidance or fusing.
The TRX’s normally passive radar-augmentation system uses the arrangement of lenses or reflectors to change the target radar signature to effectively emulate a variety of airborne threats.
The TRX also operates within a wide range of bands to meet precision radar signature
requirements. Varying Radar Cross Section (RCS) sizes are provided by either the TRX-1 4 passive precision target or through active augmentation. ultra-small, (stealth type) radar characteristics are also available.
To increase the system’s value for testing and training, the TRX has the capability to support virtually any current acoustic or doppler radar scoring system.