QUAIL
QUAIL

Manufacturer

MCDONNELL

Markings:

U.S. Air Force

Designation:

ADM-20C

MCDONNELL ADM-20C QUAIL

The Quail decoy was designed to be released from a B-52 bomber just before it attempted to penetrate the aerial defenses of the Soviet Union. Its job was to mimic the radar signature, speed, altitude, and maneuvers of the real bomber to give it a better chance to reach its target. The Quail entered service in 1961. It remained in first line service throughout the 1960s. In 1972, Air Force testing disclosed the fact that radar operators could easily distinguish between the drone and the real aircraft by correctly identifying the drone 21 out of 23 times. The Air Force quickly switched its focus to Air Launched Cruise Missiles to keep the bombers out of harm's way and the Quail was quickly phased out of service.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 5 ft 4 in
  • Length: 12 ft 10 in
  • Height: 3 ft 3 in
  • Weight: 1,198 lbs (loaded)
  • Max. Speed: 650 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 55,000 ft
  • Range: 460 miles
  • Engines: 1 General Electric J85-GE-7 turbojet 2,450 lbs thrust
  • Crew: none