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RYAN BQM-34F "FIREBEE II" SUPERSONIC AERIAL TARGET

Posted 10/22/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Ryan BQM-34F
DAYTON, Ohio -- Ryan BQM-34F "Firebee II" Supersonic Aerial Target in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Note: This aircraft is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Click here for requirements to visit this gallery.

In the mid-1960s, capitalizing on the proven design of their subsonic Firebee I remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), Ryan developed a supersonic version with which the Navy and Air Force could train and test new weapons systems. The Air Force ordered 99 BQM-34Fs and, by February 1974, had started using them. The BQM-34F was a rocket-boosted from a short rail ground launcher or dropped from a DC-130 or -E aircraft modified to carry up to four RPVs. They were normally recovered with the Mid-Air Retrieval System (MARS), which included a specially equipped helicopter that "snatched" the target while it descended under its 80 ft. diameter parachute. If the BQM-34 landed in water, it could float for several hours until it was recovered. The BQM-34F carried an assortment of electronic devices to enhance its radar image, permit flying as low as 50 feet, control it up to 200 miles away, "score" the missiles fired at it and telemeter information to and from it during flight. 

The Firebee on display, 69-3374, was retired from active service with the 6514th Test Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah, in August 1978. 

SPECIFICATIONS:
Span: 9 ft. 8 in.
Length: 29 ft. 2 in.
Height: 5 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 2460 lbs. maximum
Engine: Continental YJ69-406 turbojet with 1,920 lbs. thrust

PERFORMANCE:
Max. Speed:
Mach 1.5 dash (for 4 minutes at 60,000 ft.)
Endurance: 73 minutes
Service Ceiling: 50-60,000 ft.

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