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MQM-58 Overseer / SD-2 Observer

In the late 1950s, along with the Falconer, the US Army acquired another reconnaissance drone, the Aerojet-General "MQM-58 Overseer". It had a similar configuration to the Falconer, but featured a V-tail and was about twice as heavy. This poorly attested system does not appear to have been built in large quantities, and may have never been much more than an experimental platform to evaluate more sophisticated reconnaissance sensors than could be carried by the Falconer.

The development of the MQM-58 took place on the basis of a contract with the US Army Signal Corps and in close cooperation with the Army Electronic Proving Ground instead. The Manufacturer was the US company Aerojet-General Corporation, then a subsidiary of General Tire & Rubber Company. Aerojet gained the contract by the purchase of a division of Rheem Manufacturing Company in the year 1959. The first flight of the prototype took place in July 1958. After thorough comparative flight tests, in 1959 the MQM-58A (until June 1963 designated as SD-2) was selected by the US Army as a carrier of various sensor-systems. The first copy of the improved production version with an extended hull flew for the first time on 19 April 1960.

The MQM-58 was a cantilevered shoulder decker with a NACA 65-A412 wing profile. The wing had neither a V-position nor a swept angle. The hull in half-shell construction consisted of magnesium, aluminum and fiberglass composites. The V-tail with an angle of 90 was also made of magnesium and aluminum built. The recovery of the vehicle was carried out by a two-stage parachute with a diameter of 20.5 meters.

The MQM-58 was launched from a a 2-1/2 ton Army truck, with two releasable solid rocket booster motors. The flight control was with an ITT - radio system, with a crew of three people. Flaps on the underside of the missile allowed the installation of different types military equipment, such as photo transmission equipment, side-looking radar, infrared monitoring systems and also a 70-mm camera. There were also inserts for the US Army Chemical Corps to Spread of biological or chemical warfare agents. Flares for lighting were used for photographic night operations.

parameter data
length4.90 m
span4.06 m
height1.09 m
wing area2.58 m
aspect Ratio6.4
Volume of the payload shaft0.15 m
Military payload106 kg
empty weight450 kg ( equipped )
max . Take-off mass ( without booster )510 kg
max . off mass605 kg
top speed556 km / h
Service ceiling6100 m
combat radius185 km
period of use45 min
engine1 x Lycoming IMO - 360 - BIB 4 - cylinder air cooled boxer engine
@ 225 hp ( 165 kW ), Hartzell propeller


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