FIREBEE
FIREBEE

Manufacturer

TELEDYNE RYAN

Markings:

432nd Tactical Drone Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1978

Designation:

AQM-34L

Serial Number:

69-0432

TELEDYNE RYAN AQM-34L FIREBEE

The AQM-34L was developed from the BQM-34A target drone as a low altitude photographic reconnaissance drone. They were launched and controlled from DC-130s and were extensively used over North Vietnam. Once the drone had completed its mission it would be directed to a safe area usually over water, where the engine would shut down and a large parachute would deploy. There were two methods of recovery at that point. First it could simply be recovered from the water, but this was not preferred due to the damage salt water would do to the drone's systems. The second, preferred method was to use a helicopter equipped with a special hook system.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 13 ft
  • Length: 29 ft
  • Height: 6 ft 8 in
  • Weight: 3,200 lbs (loaded)
  • Max. Speed: 645 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft
  • Range: 750 miles
  • Engines: 1 Teledyne Continental J-69 turbojet with 1,920 pounds of thrust