|Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
|Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch|
In 1974, the U.S. Air Force's FDL (Flight Dynamics Laboratory) converted a single Ryan Model 147G Firebee reconnaissance drone to a high-manoeuverability testbed known as "FDL-23". The structure of the FDL-23 was modified to withstand 10g, and the designation XQM-103A was allocated.
The XQM-103A made a few test flights, which were generally considered successful. The drone could maintain constant altitude turns at 6g, and three-axis control was found identical to that of then current manned aircraft. However, when all tactical RPV programs were curtailed in late 1975, the XQM-103A flight test program was also terminated. The final designation of the drone was XAQM-103A, but the change probably wasn't effective before the end of the program.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for XQM-103A (based on Model 147G airframe):
|Length||8.8 m (29 ft)|
|Wingspan||8.2 m (27 ft)|
|Weight||> 1360 kg (3000 lb)|
|Speed||> 960 km/h (600 mph)|
|Ceiling||> 15000 m (50000+ ft)|
|Propulsion||Continental J69-T-41A; 8.5 kN (1920 lb)|
 William Wagner, William P. Sloan: "Fireflies and other UAVs", Midland Publishing, 1992
 Kenneth Munson: "World Unmanned Aircraft", Jane's, 1988
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