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MQM-61A Drone

MQM-61A CARDINAL DRONE

     Beech Model MQM-61A Cardinal was a simple monoplane, powered by a 125 hp McCulloch engine driving a two-blade propeller. It could tow banners or targets, with two targets under each wing. It could fly as high as 43,000 feet at a top speed of 350 mph.
     The Cardinal was used by the Army from 1958 for surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile and gunnery training. In June 1963, the Cardinal was designated as MQM-61A. When production ended in 1972, more than 1300 Cardinals had been built for the Army.
     At White Sands, the first Cardinal was launched in 1965, according to the firing records. Between 1965 and 1977, 646 MQM-61A Cardinals were fired against missiles under test.

Length: 15 ft.
Wingspan: 13 ft.
Weight: 664 lb
Speed: 350 mph
Ceiling: 43,000 ft
Endurance: 60 min
First firing: 1958