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BQM-34F Firebee II

BQM-34F Firebee II

BQM-34F Firebee II    BQM-34F Firebee II
Drawing on the success of its earlier Firebee target drones, or "RPVs" (remotely piloted vehicles), of the 1950s, the Ryan Aeronautical Company of San Diego developed the supersonic Firebee II against which more advanced weapons systems could be tested.

In 1969, the Air Force ordered the BQM-34F from Ryan. Similar to the Navy's BQM-34E, the F model was slightly heavier with different avionics and an additional parachute for MARS operations. MARS (Mid-Air Retrieval System) featured a specially-equiped helicopter with hooks trailing behind it that "snatched" the Firebee II as it descended in its parachute. If it landed in the water, the drone could float for several hours until recovered.

When launched, the BQM-34F was rocket-boosted from a rail ground launcher or dropped from a Lockheed DC-130 Hercules. The BQM-34F carried an assortment of electronic devices which enhanced its radar image, enabled it to fly as low as fifty feet, controlled it from up to 200 miles away, "scored" missiles fired at it, and transmitted information to and from the drone during flight.











Ryan Aeronautical Company (Teledyne Ryan),
San Diego, CA

Remotely-Piloted Vehicle

Teledyne J69-T-406 turbojet; 1920-lb
(8.5 kN) thrust

9 ft 8 in (2.94 m)

29 ft 2 in (8.89 m)

5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)

1,446 lbs (656 kg)

1,140 mph (Mach 1.5; 1,835 km/h) at 60,000 ft

1 hour 13 minutes


BQM-34F Firebee II BQM-34F Firebee II

About the Museum's Aircraft
This drone, serial number 70-01418, was built in 1970 and flown by the United States Air Force. It was donated to the Museum by its manufacturer, Teledyne Ryan, in 1980.

BQM-34F Firebee II BQM-34F Firebee II

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