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Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2

United States (1943)

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



  Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2  
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.

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).
Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1943
Type: Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Kaiser-Fleetwings - USA
Production: 1
Supported Mission Types
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
Structural
Crew: 0
Width: 48.56 ft (14.80 m)
MTOW: 7,716 lb (3,500 kg)


Installed Power
2 x Lycoming R-680-13 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 280 horsepower each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 225 mph (362 kph; 195 kts)
Maximum Range: 1,715 mi (2,760 km; 1,490 nm)


Armament
1 x 2,000lb warhead payload.

Operators List
United States (cancelled)

Series Model Variants
• BQ-2 - Base Series Designation
• XBQ-2A - Prototype Designation; one completed.


Supported Weapon Systems


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