Note: This aircraft is located in the Research & Development Gallery on a controlled-access portion of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The gallery will close until further notice beginning May 1, 2013, as part of budget reduction requirements due to sequestration.
The YQM-94A is a high-altitude, long-range, remotely piloted vehicle designed for long-endurance photographic reconnaissance and electronic surveillance missions. Piloted from the ground, the RPV received guidance signals through a radio link. A television and other electronic equipment aboard Compass Cope sent in-flight data back to the ground-based pilot. Unlike most RPVs, which are ground- or air-launched and retrieved in mid-air, Compass Cope was designed to take off and land from conventional runways.
The Boeing Aerospace Co. built the YQM-94A in 1972 for a fly-off competition with the Teledyne-Ryan YQM-96A. The two were designed to meet the same specifications. The first prototype YQM-94A made its initial flight on June 1973 but was destroyed in a crash on Aug. 4, 1973. The vehicle on display is the second prototype. It flew for the first time on Nov. 2, 1974. Later tests included a successful endurance flight of 17 hours 24 minutes at altitudes of more than 55,000 feet.
After the USAF decided not to buy production versions of the Compass Cope vehicle, the remaining YQM-94A was retired to the museum in September 1979.
SPECIFICATIONS: Span: 90 ft. Length: 40 ft. (including nose probe) Height: 12 ft. 8 in. Weight: 14,400 lbs. maximum Armament: None Engine: One General Electric J97-GE-100 of 5,270 lbs. thrust Crew: None
PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed: 390 mph Cruising speed: 330 mph Endurance: Over 24 hours Range: 9,000 miles Service ceiling: Over 55,000 ft.