Radioplane OQ-17

The Radioplane OQ-17 was a target drone produced by the Radioplane Company for the United States Army Air Forces and, as the TD4D/KDR Quail, the United States Navy. Suffering from an unreliable engine, the OQ-17 production run was cut short in favor of the OQ-19.

KDD Quail
Role Target drone
National origin United States
Manufacturer Radioplane Company
Designer Reginald Denny
Primary users United States Army Air Forces
United States Navy
Number built 430
Developed into Radioplane OQ-19

Design and development

As the end of World War II approached, the U.S. Army Air Forces issued a requirement for a new target drone to replace the Radioplane OQ-2 family of drones, with higher performance to better simulate the improved capabilities of combat aircraft.[1] The RP-18, designed by Radioplane's Reginald Denny in response,[2] was of all-metal construction, with a high-mounted wing and conventional empennage. Power was supplied by a Righter O-45 four-cylinder horizontially-opposed engine, and launch was via catapult.[1] Control was maintained through conventional radio control, while if the drone was not shot down by the gunners using it for training, it could be recovered via an onboard parachute.[3] It was claimed that the OQ-17 could perform any maneuver that an ordinary fighter aircraft could.[3]

Operational history

Evaluation of the RP-18 began in March 1945; following trials, the U.S. Army Air Forces ordered the drone into production in February 1946, designating it OQ-17. The U.S. Navy also ordered the drone; it had been evaluated as the XTD4D-1, but before entering service the production TD4D-1 was given the new designation of KDR-1 Quail.[1]

Production of the OQ-17 and KDR was terminated after 430 aircraft had been completed, as persistent reliability issues with the O-45 engine could not be overcome; the Radioplane OQ-19 was ordered as a replacement.[1]

Variants and operators

  • RP-18 - Original prototype version.[1]
  • XOQ-17 - U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) designation for testbed RP-18s.[1]
  • OQ-17 - USAAF; production version of XOQ-17.[1]
  • XTD4D-1 - U.S. Navy (USN) designation for testbed RP-18s.[1]
  • TD4D-1 - USN; original designation for production version of XTD4D-1[1]
  • KDR-1 - USN; definitive designation for production version of XTD4D-1.[1]
  • KDR-2 - USN; KDR-1 with structural improvements.[1]


Data from Parsch 2003[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Length: 8 ft 4.9 in (2.563 m)
  • Wingspan: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Gross weight: 143 lb (65 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Righter O-45-35 , 35 hp (26 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 190 mph (310 km/h, 170 kn)
  • Endurance: 60 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,600 m)

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Parsch 2003
  2. ^ Newcome 2004, p.58.
  3. ^ a b Astro-Jet #18, p.12.
  • "Navy Guided Missiles". Astro-Jet. Reaction Research Society (18). Fall 1947. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  • Newcome, Lawrence R. (2004). Unmanned Aviation: A Brief History of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Reston, Virginia: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. ISBN 978-1-56347-644-0.
  • Parsch, Andreas (21 March 2003). "Radioplane OQ-17/TD4D/KDR". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
Frankfort OQ-16

The Frankfort OQ-16, also known as the TD3D, was a target drone designed by the Frankfort Sailplane Company for use by the United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy.

The OQ-16 was developed under a contract for a radio-controlled target drone awarded in early 1945. Fifteen aircraft were ordered by the USAAF; later in the year the contract was transferred to the United States Navy, which assigned the designation TD3D-1 to the type. However, the contract was cancelled before any of the aircraft were built.

List of unmanned aerial vehicles

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


The OQ-15 was a prototype American subscale drone built for the US Army Air Forces in the mid-1940s.

In early 1945, the OQ-15 was built and tested by the USAAF, but only five were built. It was built to meet the same USAAF drone requirement as the Radioplane OQ-17.

Righter O-45

The Righter/Kiekhaefer O-45 was an air-cooled, two-stroke aircraft engine of flat-twin configuration, used extensively for powering target drones in the late 1940s.Designed by the Righter Manufacturing Company, the O-45 was also built by the Kiekhaefer Corporation and the Menasco Motors Company.

Radioplane aircraft
Company designations
USAAF/USAF designations
USN designations
USAAF drone aircraft
Controllable bombs
Target control aircraft
Aerial target (subscale)
Aerial target (full-scale)
USN target drone aircraft pre-1945
Naval Aircraft Factory
USN/USMC drone designations 1946–1962
Naval Aircraft Factory


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