Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
PQM-56
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Copyright © 2002-2003 Andreas Parsch

Nord/Bell CT.41/PQM-56

In 1957, Nord Aviation in France began the development of the CT.41 supersonic aerial target, which was ready for production in mid-1959. The CT.41 was powered by twin ramjets, boosted to Mach 1.7 ramjet ignition speed by two solid-fuel rocket motors, and recovered after the mission by parachute. It could reach a speed of about Mach 3, and was controlled by a two-way radio-command link and an onboard autopilot. To simulate a bomber aircraft, the CT.41 could be fitted with various simulation equipment, like multi-band radar transponders and infrared flares. A total of 62 CT.41 vehicles were built in France.

Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford
CT.41 (PQM-56A)


In the United States, Bell acquired license-production rights on the CT.41, after the U.S. Navy had expressed interest in the target. Bell-built CT.41s were used by the Navy for a relatively short time during the 1960s, and in June 1963, the targets were designated as PQM-56A. By the early 1970s, the CT.41 was no longer operational with the U.S. Navy.

Specifications

Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for PQM-56A:

Length9.78 m (32 ft 1 in)
Wingspan3.66 m (12 ft)
Diameter51 cm (20 in)
Height2.18 m (7 ft 2 in)
Weight (w/o booster)1300 kg (2860 lb); booster: 1250 kg (2760 lb)
SpeedMach 3.1
Ceiling20000 m (65000 ft)
Endurance14 min.
PropulsionBooster: 2x solid-fueled rocket motor
Sustainer: 2x Type 625 ramjet (76 cm (30 in) diameter)

Main Sources

[1] Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
[2] Norman J. Bowman: "The Handbook of Rockets and Guided Missiles", Perastadion Press, 1963
[3] R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1972-73", Jane's, 1973
[4] E-Mail from Alexis Rocher, quoting "Revue Aérospatiale" magazine, N66, 1990


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Last Updated: 19 January 2003