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Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2


Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype


United States | 1943



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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/30/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype.
2 x Lycoming R-680-13 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 280 horsepower each.
Propulsion
225 mph
362 kph | 195 kts
Max Speed
1,715 miles
2,760 km | 1,490 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBQ-2A Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype.
0
(UNMANNED)
Crew
48.6 ft
(14.80 m)
O/A Width
7,716 lb
(3,500 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype .
1 x 2,000lb warhead payload.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 family line.
BQ-2 - Base Series Designation
XBQ-2A - Prototype Designation; one completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Kaiser-Fleetwings - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (225mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2
Image from the Public Domain.
2 / 3
Image of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2
Image from the Public Domain.
3 / 3
Image of the Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
X-PLANE
UNMANNED
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Kaiser-Fleetwings BQ-2 Expendable Unmanned Assault Drone / Flying Bomb Prototype appears in the following collections:
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