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Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2

United States (1943)
Picture of Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype
Picture of Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype Picture of Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype

The Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A was an early American attempt at an expendable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - a flying bomb.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype.  Entry last updated on 8/18/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Fleetwings origins were in 1926 and the company eventually created a small stable of aircraft designs including the "Fleetwings 33" and the BT-12 "Sophomore" trainers during the 1930s. One of its more interesting initiatives became the "BQ-1", a flying bomb design intended to interest the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War 2 (1939-1945). Henry J. Kaiser purchased the company in 1943 and the name was changed to Kaiser-Fleetwings.

The BQ-1 laid the groundwork for the subsequent BQ-2, an early attempt at an expendable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Only one was completed and a first-flight was had in 1943. The aircraft was given a conventional layout with fixed, spatted tricycle undercarriage (jettisonable), wing-mounted engine nacelles (two engines) and a standard single-finned tail unit. The cockpit section, while glazed, only sat a pilot as optional. The aircraft's development began in July of 1942 and the type of aircraft was then known as an "assault drone".

Power was from 2 x Lycoming R-680-13 series air-cooled radial piston engines driving two-bladed propeller units. Performance specifications included a speed of 225 miles per hour with a range of 1,715 miles. As an unmanned bomb, the payload was 2,000lbs of explosive materials making up the warhead -the entire aircraft would be expended upon impact with the target.

In the end, the XBQ-2A proved too expensive to procure and field in the numbers anticipated, leading to only one prototype example being completed before project's end. It did conduct several test flights for its time in the air.

The earlier BQ-1 was flown and crashed on its maiden flight. The same USAAF contract covered both designs.


Picture of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype
Picture of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype



Any available statistics for the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (225mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1943
Type: Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Kaiser-Fleetwings - USA
Production: 1
Global Operators:
United States (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
48.56 ft


Meters
14.8 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,716 lb


Kilograms
3,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Lycoming R-680-13 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 280 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
225 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
362 kph


Knots
195 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,715 mi


Kilometers
2,760 km


Nautical Miles
1,490 nm

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

1 x 2,000lb warhead payload.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• BQ-2 - Base Series Designation
• XBQ-2A - Prototype Designation; one completed.