Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Copyright © 2002 Andreas Parsch

Beech MQM-61 Cardinal

The Beech Model 1025 Cardinal was the U.S. Army variant of the U.S. Navy's KDB/MQM-39 target drone (q.v. for further details). The Cardinal was almost identical to the MQM-39, and was used by the Army from 1958 for surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile and gunnery training. Beech also designed a turbojet-powered version, known as Model 1025-TJ, but this was not adopted by the Army.

Photo: U.S. Army Photo: via Jane's

In June 1963, the Cardinal was designated as MQM-61A. When production ended in 1972, more than 1300 Cardinals had been built for the Army.


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

Data for MQM-61A:

Length4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)
Wingspan3.95 m (12 ft 11.5 in)
Height1.02 m (3 ft 4 in)
Diameter45 cm (17.75 in)
Weight301 kg (664 lb)
Speed560 km/h (350 mph)
Ceiling13100 m (43000 ft)
Endurance> 60 min.
Range> 500 km (300 miles)
PropulsionMcCulloch TC6150-J-2 flat-six turbocharged piston engine; 93 kW (125 hp)

Main Sources

[1] R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1970-71", McGraw-Hill, 1970
[2] Kenneth Munson: "World Unmanned Aircraft", Jane's, 1988

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Last Updated: 30 April 2002