Teledyne Ryan AQM-34L Firebee

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Teledyne Ryan
Markings
432nd Tactical Drone Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1978
Designation
AQM-34L
Serial Number
69-0432

Teledyne Ryan AQM-34L Firebee

The AQM-34L was developed from the BQM-34A target drone as a low altitude photographic reconnaissance drone. They were launched and controlled from DC-130s and were extensively used over North Vietnam. Once the drone had completed its mission it would be directed to a safe area usually over water, where the engine would shut down and a large parachute would deploy. There were two methods of recovery at that point. First it could simply be recovered from the water, but this was not preferred due to the damage salt water would do to the drone’s systems. The second, preferred method was to use a helicopter equipped with a special hook system.

Specifications
Wingspan 13 ft
Length 29 ft
Height 6 ft 8 in
Weight 3,200 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 645 mph
Service Ceiling 50,000 ft
Range 750 miles
Engines 1 Teledyne Continental J-69 turbojet with 1,920 pounds of thrust