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AQM-60 Kingfisher

After WWII, the U.S. Government through NASA and the military, began an extensive program of flight research and development of jet- and rocket-powered vehicles. The impetus for this flight research and these developments was the unmitigated desire to fly higher, faster, and farther. The flame of that desire was stoked by the winds of the Cold War. As supersonic flight matured, missile technology likewise advanced via air-launch tests.

The X-7 “Flying Stove Pipe,” a prototype AQM-60 Kingfisher missile defense target drone first launched in 1951, flew from a Boeing B-50 Superfortress. The AQM-60 Kingfisher , originally designated XQ-5 , was a target drone version of the USAF's X-7 test aircraft built by the Lockheed Corporation.

The AQM-60 Kingfisher consists of three engines - two Thiokol XM45 solid rocket motors, each of which had a thrust of 222 kN, and a Marquardt XRJ-43-MA ramjet engine. This enabled the air vehicle to reach speeds of up to 4600. km/hr, while the maximum flight range of the Lockheed AQM-60 Kingfisher was limited to 210 kilometers.

The first flight of an unmanned air vehicle model Lockheed AQM-60 Kingfisher in April 1951 years, however, for several reasons, the drone was not able to complete the necessary tests, so that the project continued to be refined, however, already 1951 year retests UAV Lockheed AQM -60 Kingfisher were successful, because that was launched serial production of the UAV.

The AQM-60 Kingfisher should not be confused wtih the the Kingfisher developed in 1948 by McDonnell as a Navy air-launched ASW weapon, which had small monoplanar wings, a butterfly tail, and a pulsejet engine. With a lO00-pound warhead, it was intended to home on either ships or submarines.

Length 11.6 m
Wingspan 3. m
Height 2.1 m
Maximum takeoff weight 3600 kg
Cruising flight speed 3500 km/h
Maximum flight speed 4600 km/h
Maximum flight distance 210 km
Maximum flight height 30000 m
aircraft engine Type rocket
  • 1 x Marquardt XRJ-43-MA;
  • 2 x Thiokol XM45;

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