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KD6G Firefly
Role Target drone
National origin United States
Built by Globe Aircraft Corporation
First flight 1951
Primary user United States Navy
Developed from Globe KD2G Firefly

The Globe KD6G Firefly was an American target drone, built by the Globe Aircraft Corporation for operation by the United States Navy during the 1950s and early 1960s.

Design and development[edit | edit source]

The design of the KD6G was based on the earlier Globe KD2G Firefly target drone, featuring a mid-wing configuration with a twin-fin empennage, but instead of a pulsejet powerplant as in the KD2G the KD6G was fitted with a single piston engine in a tractor configuration. Launched via catapult, the KD6G was radio-controlled during flight, and, if it was not shot down in the course of its mission, would be recovered via parachute.[1]

Operational history[edit | edit source]

First flying in prototype form in 1951, the KD6G proved successful and was ordered into production in two forms, the KD6G-1 with a McCullough O-100 engine, and the KD6G-2 with a Kiekhaefer V-105 powerplant.[1] Used extensively by the United States Navy during the 1950s in the gunnery training role, the KD6G-2 was redesignated in 1963 in the new unified missile sequence, becoming the MQM-40A before being retired soon thereafter.[1]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Prototype with McCullogh O-100-1 engine[1]
Production version of XKD6G-1[2]
Production version with Kiekhaefer V-105-2 engine[2]
Initial redesignation of KD6G-2[1]
Final redesignation of KD6G-2[1]

Survivors[edit | edit source]

A KD6G-2 is on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum;[3] another is at the Planes of Fame Air Museum.[1]

Specifications (KD6G-2)[edit | edit source]

Data from Parsch[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • Wingspan: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • Height: 1 ft 7 in (0.48 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Kiekhaefer V-105-2 piston engine, 100 hp (75 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 265 mph (426 km/h; 230 kn)
  • Endurance: 60 min

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Parsch 2002
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fahey 1958, p.32.
  3. Globe KD6G-2. Pima Air Museum. Accessed 2013-02-13.

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