Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones
Copyright © 2003 Andreas Parsch

Radioplane OQ-17/TD4D/KDR

To provide the U.S. armed forces with a more modern target drone to supersede the OQ-2/-3/-14 family, Radioplane designed their model RP-18. It was first tested by the USAAF in March 1945 as the XOQ-17, which was followed by the first production order for the OQ-17 in February 1946.

The OQ-17 was a streamlined all-metal target powered by a Righter O-45-35 four-cylinder piston engine. Like the earlier Radioplane drones, it was launched by catapult and retrieved by parachute. It was also equipped for operations over water.

Photo: Northrop

The U.S. Navy originally tested the RP-18 as XTD4D-1, but the TD4D-1 production version was redesignated as KDR-1 Quail. The designation KDR-2 was allocated to a variant with minor stuctural changes.

The production of the OQ-17/KDR series was terminated after only 430 units, because the O-45 engine proved to be unreliable. Radioplane had already started in July 1945 to redesign the RP-18 to use the McCulloch O-90 engine as tested in the OQ-6A. This effort resulted in the model RP-19, which was eventually produced as the OQ-19/KD2R.


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

Data for OQ-17/KDR-1:

Length2.56 m (8 ft 4.9 in)
Wingspan3.10 m (10 ft 2 in)
Weight65 kg (143 lb)
Speed306 km/h (190 mph)
Ceiling4600 m (15000 ft)
Endurance60 min
PropulsionRighter/Kiekhaefer O-45-35 piston engine; 26 kW (35 hp)

Main Sources

[1] Richard A. Botzum: "50 Years of Target Drone Aircraft", Northrop, 1985
[2] US Army Air Forces: "Army Aircraft Model Designations", 1946
[3] US Navy: "Model Designations of Naval Aircraft", 1947 and 1950

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1

Last Updated: 21 March 2003