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Fleetwings XBQ-1.jpg
Role Flying bomb
National origin United States
Built by Fleetwings
First flight May 1944
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Number built 1
Variants Fleetwings BQ-2

The Fleetwings BQ-1 was an early expendable unmanned aerial vehicle — referred to at the time as an "assault drone" — developed by Fleetwings during the Second World War for use by the United States Army Air Forces. Only a single example of the type was built, the program being cancelled following the crash of the prototype on its first flight.


Development of the BQ-1 began on July 10, 1942, under a program for the development of "aerial torpedoes" - unmanned aircraft carrying internal bombs - that had been instigated in March of that year. Fleetwings was contracted to build a single XBQ-1 assault drone,[1] powered by two Franklin O-405-7 opposed piston engines, and fitted with a fixed landing gear in tricycle configuration. The aircraft was optionally piloted; a single-seat cockpit was installed for ferry and training flights; a fairing would replace the cockpit canopy on operational missions.[2] The BQ-1 was intended to carry a 2,000 pounds (910 kg) warhead over a range of 1,717 miles (2,763 km) at 225 miles per hour (362 km/h); the aircraft would be destroyed in the act of striking the target.[1] A single BQ-2 was to be constructed as well under the same contract.[1]

Flight testingEdit

Following trials of the television-based command guidance system using a PQ-12 target drone, and earlier trials of the XBQ-2A, the XBQ-1 flew in May 1944; however, the aircraft crashed on its maiden flight. Following the loss of the lone prototype BQ-1, the project was cancelled.[1]

Specifications (XBQ-1)Edit

Data from [2]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1 (optional)
  • Wingspan: 48 ft 7 in (14.81 m)
  • Gross weight: 7,700 lb (3,493 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Franklin O-405-7 opposed piston engines, 225 hp (168 kW) each


  • Cruise speed: 225 mph (196 kn; 362 km/h)
  • Range: 1,717 mi (1,492 nmi; 2,763 km)</ul>Armament
  • 2,000 pounds (910 kg) warhead

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Werrell 1985, p.30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Parsch 2005

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