McDonnell TD2D Katydid

The McDonnell TD2D Katydid was a pulsejet-powered American target drone produced by McDonnell Aircraft that entered service with the United States Navy in 1942, and continued in use until the late 1940s.

TD2D Katydid
McDonnell KDD-1 on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Role Target drone
National origin United States
Manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft
First flight 1942
Primary user United States Navy


In March 1941,[1] the U. S. Navy awarded McDonnell Aircraft a contract for a radio-controlled target drone under the designation of XTD2D-1 for anti-aircraft and aerial gunnery practice. The aircraft had a mid-mounted wing, V-tail, and McDonnell XPJ40-MD-2 pulsejet engine mounted atop the rear fuselage. The drone could be either launched by catapult from the ground or from underwing racks on Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boats.[2][3] It was gyro-stabilized, and control was by radio command;[4] at the end of its mission the drone could be recovered by parachute.[2]

Operational history

The Katydid entered service in 1942;[5] testing took place at the Naval Air Missile Test Center in Point Mugu, California.[6] Production models were originally designated TD2D-1, however the Navy changed its designation system in 1946 and the XTD2D-1 and TD2D-1 were redesignated as XKDD-1 and KDD-1, respectively. Later that year, the Navy changed McDonnell's manufacturer code letter from "D" - which had been shared with Douglas Aircraft - to "H", the KDD-1 being again redesignated, as KDH-1.[7]

Surviving aircraft

A KDH-1 is displayed in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum, having been donated by the U.S. Navy in 1966.[2]

Specifications (KDD-1)

Data from Udvar-Hazy Center,[2] Parsch 2003[7]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 11 ft 2 in (3.40 m)
  • Wingspan: 12 ft (3.7 m)
  • Gross weight: 320 lb (145 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × McDonnell XPJ40-MD-2 pulsejet, 60 lbf (0.27 kN) thrust


  • Maximum speed: 250 mph (400 km/h, 220 kn)
  • Endurance: 40 minutes

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. Bugos, Glenn E. (1996). Engineering the F-4 Phantom II: Parts Into Systems. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1557500892.
  2. "Katydid Drone". National Air and Space Museum. Smithsonian Institution. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  3. Ordway, Frederick Ira; Ronald C. Wakeford (1960). International Missile and Spacecraft Guide. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 187. ASIN B000MAEGVC.
  4. Zandt, J.P. (1948). World Aviation Annual. Washington, DC: Aviation Research Institute. ASIN B000HKMGMI.
  5. Yenne, Bill (2006). Secret Gadgets and Strange Gizmos: High-Tech (and Low-Tech) Innovations of the U.S. Military. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0760321157.
  6. "Navy Guided Missiles". Astro-Jet. Reaction Research Society (18): 12. Fall 1947. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  7. Parsch, Andreas (26 March 2003). "McDonnell TD2D/KDD/KDH Katydid". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
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