Curtiss KD2C Skeet

The Curtiss-Wright KD2C Skeet was an American target drone produced by Curtiss-Wright for the United States Navy that began development in 1945. The KD2C-1 first flew in 1947, however it was found unsatisfactory and the program was cancelled in 1949.

KD2C Skeet
Curtiss-Wright KD2C Skeet on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Role Target drone
National origin United States
Manufacturer Curtiss-Wright

Design and development

The KD2C was a target drone, powered by a pulsejet engine and intended for air-launch for use in fleet gunnery training. The KD2C-1 was powered by a Continental pulsejet engine, 14 inches (360 mm) in diameter; the KD2C-2 used a McDonnell J-9 or J-11 pulsejet of the same diameter.[1] Control was provided by a radio command system, assisted by a gyrostabilizer. The KD2N could reach a top speed of 335 miles per hour (539 km/h) and had an endurance of 30 minutes.[2]

Operational history

Begun in August 1945, the first prototype KD2C flew for the first time in 1947. The Skeet's internally mounted pulsejet proved unsatisfactory, however, as it produced low speed and high fuel consumption in both wind tunnel and flight tests at the Navy's Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, California. As a result, the KD2C program was cancelled in 1949,[2] and the last of the produced aircraft were out of service by 1951.[1]

Surviving aircraft

The U.S. Navy donated a surviving KD2C-2 to the National Air and Space Museum in 1971; it is on display in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.[2]

Variants

KD2C-1
Baseline model with Continental pulsejet engine.[1]
KD2C-2
Modified KD2C-1 with McDonnell pulsejet engine.[1]
XKD3C-1
Developed KD2C with improved engine.[1]

Specifications (KD2C-2)

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 17 ft (5.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
  • Gross weight: 1,258 lb (571 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × 14-inch (356 mm) pulsejet, 282 lbf (1.25 kN) thrust

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 335 mph (539 km/h, 291 kn)
  • Endurance: 30 minutes

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References

  1. Parsch, Andreas (2 April 2003). "Curtiss KD2C/KD3C Skeet". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  2. "Skeet (KDC-2) [sic]". National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution. 26 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
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