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The Radioplane B-67, later redesignated GAM-67 (Guided Air Missile), was a pilotless drone initially designed as a high altitude target. The Crossbow was powered by a Continental J69 gas turbine (based on the French Turbomeca Marboré II) and could achieve speeds approaching Mach I. The Boeing B-47 was capable of carrying 4 GAM-67s on specially designed underwing pylons and the Boeing B-50 could carry a pair of the missiles. The Crossbow was also capable of being ground launched using a zero length rail system.
The Crossbow was later adapted to various missions including Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) decoy and tactical reconnaissance. In the ECM decoy configuration, the GAM-67 would transmit radar jamming signals to confuse enemy defensive radar systems. The carrier aircraft would launch one or more Crossbow's and the resulting radar jamming would allow the bomber force to (theoretically) penetrate to the target area. As a battlefield surveillance vehicle, the Crossbow was launched for a reconnaissance mission over heavily defended areas or locations where time critical reconnaissance was needed and no traditional reconnaissance aircraft were available or suited to the particular reconnaissance target. With a range of only 300 miles and endurance of about 30 minutes the Crossbow was usually flown against a single target area. Recovery of the drone was done with parachutes. Once over the recovery area, a drag chute was deployed and once slowed sufficiently, a large parachute opened. Cushioning air bags deployed before landing to lessen the ground impact forces.
The GAM-67 was controlled through ground control signals and an onboard autopilot. Beginning the late 1950s, the GAM-67 was replaced by more efficient single purpose drones like the Boeing GAM-72 Quail decoy and the Teledyne Ryan Firebee (AQM-34L) reconnaissance vehicle.
||Pilotless target/ECM/reconnaissance vehicle; became GAM-67 (Guided Air Missile)
Engines: One Continental Model 354 J69-T-17 gas turbine of approx. 1000 lbs. thrust; note the J69 was a licensed version of the French Turbomeca Marboré II gas turbine
Maximum speed: 675 mph
Endurance: 30 minutes
Range: 300 miles
Operating altitude: 40,000 ft. maximum
Span: 12 ft. 6 in.
Length: 19 ft. 1 in.
Height: 4 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 2,800 lbs. gross weight
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