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Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose

Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose in the R&D Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose in the R&D Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (06/2008) -- The SM-73 Bull Goose in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (06/2008) -- The SM-73 Bull Goose in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - SM-73 Bull Goose in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.  (U.S. Air Force Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - SM-73 Bull Goose in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

The Bull Goose’s solid rocket booster dropped away after launch, while an internal turbojet provided power for sustained flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Bull Goose’s solid rocket booster dropped away after launch, while an internal turbojet provided power for sustained flight. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Fairchild XSM-73 Bull Goose was a pilotless decoy missile designed in the 1950s to simulate the radar signatures of large bombers. If several ground-launched, intercontinental-range SM-73 decoys saturated and confused enemy defenses, the real bombers had a better chance of getting through to their targets. 

The Bull Goose carried electronic simulation and jamming equipment, and reflectors in its airframe made it look like a much larger aircraft on air defense radars.

The first prototype XSM-73 flew in 1957, but the program was canceled the next year after suffering numerous problems. Despite never becoming operational, the Bull Goose's fiberglass-resin wings provided early experience in building aircraft using composite materials. 

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Engines: Thiokol solid rocket booster of 50,000 lbs. thrust, Fairchild YJ85-GE-3 turbojet of 2,450 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 517 mph
Range: 5,500 miles
Ceiling: 50,000 feet

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