Updated: 23 June 2003
Posted: June 2003
Teledyne Ryan RPVs
All the talk these days is about Predator this and Global Hawk that, but UAVs have been around a while, at least from the Vietnam war. While looking around at a militaria show for U-2 and SR items. I look up and in front of me is a gentlemen with the biggest 4080th SRW patch I've seen on the back of his flight jacket! After talking with Marvin, and finding out he flew C-130s(actually DC-130s, which had been designated GC-130), his crew and one other crew from the 55th SRW at Forbes AFB were sent to C-130 school at Sewart AFB, Smyrna, TN and then to Holloman AFB, NM.
They started training by dropping Q2-C(later changed to BQM-34).
In the above photo notice the little radar dome below the nose, this is the microwave command and guidance system antenna is located. BTW this is a DC-130A dropping a Q2-C at Holloman AFB, NM. The Ryan Model 147 reconnaissance drone that was used in Vietnam was a Ryan Q2-C Firebee target drone (later designated BQM-34A) drone that was modifed with longer wings and a stretched fuselage to carry the camera and extra fuel.
He and his crew were deployed to Tyndall AFB, FL during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Oct. 1962) with two147A drones programmed to photo Havana Harbor, but the drones were not used, as the U-2s and RF-101s were doing a good job.
Most of the flight testing for the recce drones were flown from Eglin AFB, FL, using the Ryan 147B drone.
DC-130A #57-0496 with test Model 147B on pylon #3
Model 147B with radar absorbant blankets (white material over orange paint)