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MQM-40 Firefly

The KD6G is the last of a series of small, low-cost, unmanned drone targets that Globe quickly developed after World War II. The Globe KD6G Firefly was an American target drone, built by the Globe Aircraft Corporation for operation by the United States Navy during the 1950s and early 1960s.

With the end of the Second World War, the US recovered the plans and numerous German V-1 flying bombs. In addition to a job for the type of mission for these weapons within the USAF and the US Navy, these first missile planes will know another development, that of the target drones intended for the training of gunners of DCA and , especially for the US Navy, those in charge of defending surface vessels.

The company Globe presented a drone directly from the concept of the V-1, the XKD2G-1 Firefly. This target drone had exactly the same architecture as the fatal flying bomb of the Third Reich outside a two-drift tailplane that framed the nozzle of its jetjet McDonnell PJ42. The aircraft had a radio receiver that controlled the UAV at a maximum distance of 5,500 m. In the event that the DCA gunners were not in good spirits, the Firefly could be recovered at the end of its flight thanks to a parachute that gently brought it back to the ground, or in the water, in which it could stay on the surface for a quarter of an hour. The launch was either from a catapult or from a carrier aircraft.

The piston-engined KDG Snipe of 1946 was followed by the pulsejet-powered KD2G Firefly and KD5G, and the piston-engined KD3G Snipe and KD4G Quail. The XKD6G-1 Firefly, which appeared in 1951, was based on the KD2G-2, but replaced the latter's PJ32 pulsejet with a McCullough O-100-1 piston engine. It was a ground-launched radio-controlled target of all-metal construction, which was recoverable by parachute.

In 1951, Globe flew the prototype of a drone derived from KD2G, designated XKD6G-1 by the US Navy. The big difference came from the engine, which was no longer a pulse jet engine but a piston engine, a McCullough O-100-1 driving a tractive propeller. The engine was also placed in the nose and no longer in the dorsal position. For the rest, it kept the middle wing and the double drift. It was built entirely of metal, with a wooden propeller. It was catapulted, radio-controlled from the ground, and parachuted if it had not been destroyed.

The tests ran successfully and the US Navy ordered two versions: the KD6G-1, which was the prototype version of the prototype, and the KD6G-2 powered by a 100 hp Kiekhaefer V-105-2. It was extensively used by the US Navy during the 1950s until the early 1960s. The KD6G-2 remained in limited use until the early 1960s. the KD6G-2 was redesignated in June 1963 in the new unified missile sequence, becoming the XQM-40A before being retired soon thereafter. The final designation of the drone was apparently MQM-40A. While it retained the Firefly nickname, this vehicle is totally unrelated to the entirely different MQM-37 Firefly.

Two copies survive today, one at the Pima Air & Space Museum and the other at the Planes of Fame Air Museum. It was the last of the inexpensive target drones built by Globe in the immediate aftermath of the war, but also its greatest success.

Crew None
Length 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Wingspan 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Height 1 ft 7 in (0.48 m)
Empty mass 87 kg
Mass inlay 141 kg
Powerplant 1 Kiekhaefer V-105-2 piston engine, 100 hp (75 kW)
Maximum speed 265 mph (426 km/h; 230 kn)
Stall speed100 km / h
Endurance 60 min
board equipment1x AN / ARW-26Y transmitter / receiver KD6G

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