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OQ-17
KDD Quail
[[File:File:160629-F-DW547-014.jpg
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Role Target drone
National origin United States
Manufacturer Radioplane Company
Designer Reginald Denny
Primary users United States Army Air Forces
United States Navy
Number built 430
Developed into Radioplane OQ-19

The Radioplane OQ-17 was a target drone produced by the Radioplane Company for the United States Army Air Forces and, as the TD4D/KDR Quail, the United States Navy. Suffering from an unreliable engine, the OQ-17 production run was cut short in favor of the OQ-19.

Design and development[edit | edit source]

As the end of World War II approached, the U.S. Army Air Forces issued a requirement for a new target drone to replace the Radioplane OQ-2 family of drones, with higher performance to better simulate the improved capabilities of combat aircraft.[1] The RP-18, designed by Radioplane's Reginald Denny in response,[2] was of all-metal construction, with a high-mounted wing and conventional empennage. Power was supplied by a Righter O-45 four-cylinder horizontially-opposed engine, and launch was via catapult.[1] Control was maintained through conventional radio control, while if the drone was not shot down by the gunners using it for training, it could be recovered via an onboard parachute.[3] It was claimed that the OQ-17 could perform any maneuver that an ordinary fighter aircraft could.[3]

Operational history[edit | edit source]

Evaluation of the RP-18 began in March 1945; following trials, the U.S. Army Air Forces ordered the drone into production in February 1946, designating it OQ-17. The U.S. Navy also ordered the drone; it had been evaluated as the XTD4D-1, but before entering service the production TD4D-1 was given the new designation of KDR-1 Quail.[1]

Production of the OQ-17 and KDR was terminated after 430 aircraft had been completed, as persistent reliability issues with the O-45 engine could not be overcome; the Radioplane OQ-19 was ordered as a replacement.[1]

Variants and operators[edit | edit source]

  • RP-18 - Original prototype version.[1]
  • XOQ-17 - U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) designation for testbed RP-18s.[1]
  • OQ-17 - USAAF; production version of XOQ-17.[1]
  • XTD4D-1 - U.S. Navy (USN) designation for testbed RP-18s.[1]
  • TD4D-1 - USN; original designation for production version of XTD4D-1[1]
  • KDR-1 - USN; definitive designation for production version of XTD4D-1.[1]
  • KDR-2 - USN; KDR-1 with structural improvements.[1]

Specifications[edit | edit source]

Data from Parsch 2003[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Length: 8 ft 4.9 in (2.563 m)
  • Wingspan: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Gross weight: 143 lb (65 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Righter O-45-35 , 35 hp (26 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 190 mph (306 km/h; 165 kn)
  • Endurance: 60 minutes
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,572 m)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Parsch 2003
  2. Newcome 2004, p.58.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Astro-Jet #18, p.12.
Bibliography

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