Fairchild BQ-3

The Fairchild BQ-3, also known as the Model 79, was an early expendable unmanned aerial vehicle – referred to at the time as an "assault drone" – developed by Fairchild Aircraft from the company's AT-21 Gunner advanced trainer during the Second World War for use by the United States Army Air Forces. Two examples of the type were built and flight-tested, but the progress of guided missiles rendered the assault drone quickly obsolete, and the type was not produced.

XBQ-3
Fairchild XBQ-3
Role Flying bomb
National origin United States
Manufacturer Fairchild Aircraft
First flight July 1944
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Number built 2
Developed from AT-21 Gunner

Design and development

Development of the BQ-3 began in October, 1942, under a program for the development of "aerial torpedoes", later and more commonly referred to as "assault drones",[1] that had been instigated in March of that year. Fairchild was awarded a contract for the construction of two XBQ-3 prototypes, based largely on the AT-21 Gunner advanced gunnery trainer already in United States Army Air Forces service.[1]

The XBQ-3 was a twin-engined, low-wing aircraft, fitted with retractable tricycle landing gear and a twin-finned empennage; although the aircraft was intended to be operated by radio control with television assist, a two-seat cockpit was included in the design for testing and ferry flights.[2] Power was provided by two Ranger V-770 inline piston engines of 520 horsepower (390 kW) each;[3] up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) of explosives could be carried by the aircraft in unmanned configuration.[2] Like the contemporary Fleetwings BQ-2, the aircraft would be destroyed in the act of striking the target.

Flight testing

The first flight of the XBQ-3 took place in July 1944;[1] later that month, one of the prototypes was severely damaged in a forced landing.[4] Despite the accident, flight testing continued; however, the assault drone was determined to have no significant advantage over conventional bombers, and advances in the field of guided missiles were rapidly rendering the concept obsolete.[5] As a result, the program was cancelled towards the end of 1944.[1]

Specifications (XBQ-3)

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (optional)
  • Length: 52 ft 8 in (16.05 m)
  • Wingspan: 37 ft (11 m)
  • Height: 31 ft 1 in (9.47 m)
  • Gross weight: 15,300 lb (6,940 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Ranger V-770-15 inline piston engines, 520 hp (390 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 220 mph (350 km/h, 190 kn)
  • Range: 1,500 mi (2,400 km, 1,300 nmi)

Armament

  • 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg) warhead

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Parsch 2003
  2. ^ a b Jane's 1947, p.424.
  3. ^ Ross 1951, p.117.
  4. ^ Werrell 1985, p.30.
  5. ^ Craven and Cate 1955, p.254.

Further reading

  • Bridgman, Leonard, ed. (1947). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1947. London: MacMillan. ASIN B000RMJ7FU.
  • Craven, Wesley F; Cate, James L, eds. (1955). The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48-3657.
  • Parsch, Andreas (2003). "Fairchild BQ-3". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. designation-systems.net. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  • Ross, Frank (1951). Guided Missiles: Rockets & Torpedoes. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. ASIN B001LGSGX0.
  • Werrell, Kenneth P. (1985). The Evolution of the Cruise Missile. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Air University Press. ISBN 978-1478363057.
Fairchild AT-21 Gunner

The Fairchild AT-21 was an American World War II specialized bomber crew trainer, intended to train crews in the use of power gun turrets or a gun on a flexible mount, as well as learn to function as a member of a crew. It had a brief career as a training aircraft before modified bombers took over this role.

Fairchild Aircraft

Fairchild was an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company based at various times in Farmingdale, New York; Hagerstown, Maryland; and San Antonio, Texas.

Fleetwings BQ-1

The Fleetwings BQ-1 was an early expendable unmanned aerial vehicle — referred to at the time as an "assault drone" — developed by Fleetwings during the Second World War for use by the United States Army Air Forces. Only a single example of the type was built, the program being cancelled following the crash of the prototype on its first flight.

Fleetwings BQ-2

The Fleetwings BQ-2 was an early expendable unmanned aerial vehicle — referred to at the time as an "assault drone" — developed by Fleetwings during the Second World War for use by the United States Army Air Forces. Only a single example of the type was built; the aircraft was deemed too expensive for service and was cancelled after a brief flight testing career.

List of aircraft (F)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order beginning with 'F'.

List of military aircraft of the United States

This list of military aircraft of the United States includes prototype, pre-production, and operational types. For aircraft in service, see the list of active United States military aircraft. Prototypes are normally prefixed with "X" and are often unnamed (note that these are not the same as the experimental X-planes, which are not generally expected to go into production), while pre-production models are usually prefixed with "Y".

The United States military employs a designation and naming system to provide identifications to all aircraft types. Until 1962, the United States Army, United States Air Force (formerly Army Air Force), and United States Navy all maintained separate systems. In September 1962, these were unified into a single system heavily reflecting the Air Force method. For more complete information on the workings of this system, refer to United States Department of Defense Aerospace Vehicle Designations.

This list does not include aircraft used by the U.S. military services prior to the establishment of a numerical designation system. For these aircraft, see List of military aircraft of the United States (1909–1919). It also does not include aircraft designated under the pre-1962 United States Navy designation system. For these aircraft, see List of military aircraft of the United States (naval).

List of unmanned aerial vehicles

The following is a list of unmanned aerial vehicles developed and operated in various countries around the world.

Ranger V-770

The Ranger V-770 was an American air-cooled inverted V-12 aero-engine developed by the Ranger Aircraft Engine Division of the Fairchild Engine & Aircraft Corporation in the early 1930s.

Fairchild aircraft
Manufacturer
designations
By role
Fairchild (Canada)
Fairchild-Dornier
Fairchild Hiller
Fairchild Republic
Fairchild Swearingen
American Helicopter
USAAF drone aircraft
Controllable bombs
Target control aircraft
Aerial target (subscale)
Aerial target (full-scale)

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