North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner was an American army-based remote-controlled aircraft, designed in the first half of the 1960s by the company North American Aviation. Early Mach 2 UAV targets consisted of several prototypes such as the turbojet powered Northrop Ventura AQM-35 and the ram-jet powered Lockheed AQM-60 that never made it into full scale production, but did provide essential data for other supersonic manned aircraft. Later, the North American Company built a Mach 2 UAV target called the MQM-42A Redhead/Roadrunner in modest numbers for the training of Hawk Surface to Air Missile Training.
The work on the design of the unmanned aircraft of the North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner model began with American experts in the field of space development in the late 50s of the last century. The new airborne target was intended only for army use, and the scope of operation of this drone was severely limited - the device could only be used as an air target, used, in most cases, to test new types of weapons, and as a means for training soldiers to fight with rival airs.
The REDHEAD/ROADRUNNER Target Missile was powered by a normal shock inlet ramjet that is pylon-mounted on top of the missile. Interchangeable, low-aspect-ratio, fixed delta wings are mounted close to the missile center of gravity. Interchangeable, movable tail surfaces are mounted aft at a 34-deg cathedral angle. These tail surfaces operate together for pitch control and differentially for lateral-directional control. A small fixed fin is mounted on top of the ramjet to provide an adequate lateral stability margin through the transonic region. A small trim tab is located in the aft portion of the engine pylon for lateral directional trim. A solid-propellant booster mounted under the missile body is used to launch the missile. The booster falls away from the missile after burnout.
The airframe weight for the MQM-42 is 349 lb. MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner owns a fairly compact dimensions - with its own length of 7 meters 57 centimeters, the wingspan of the drone is only 1 meter 90 centimeters, which from its side and provides good aerodynamics to this drone. The power plant of the North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner unmanned aerial vehicle is represented by one rocket solid propellant engine, which allows the device to develop a speed of 2,200 km / h, while the long range of this UAV is limited to a distance of 400 kilometers.
Historical cost data was derived from a previous study of airframe cost prepared by the Cost Analysis Division of the U.S. Army Missile Command. This study reflected the average unit cost of $26,000 for 700 airframes in FY 72 dollars. This data was adjusted to FY 77 dollars by applying the inflation adjustment factor of 1.328. The average unit cost for the first 700 MQM-42 airframes is $34,528.
The first flight of the North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner unmanned aircraft took place in 1961, and in view of the fact that the device successfully coped with all the test tasks, the project was immediately sent to mass production, where it was quite long, which shows an a high demand for UAVs of this model.
|Large take-off weight||400 kg;|
|Cruising speed of flight||900 km / h;|
|High speed of flight||2200 km / h;|
|Long range of flight||400 km;|
|High altitude||18000 m;|
|Type of aircraft engine||jet;|
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