This is the KDN-1 drone, a version of the U.S. Navy's Gorgon missile. It dates from the immediate post-World War II period (1946-1947). The Bureau of Aeronautics managed development and production, which took place at the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit at Johnsville, Pennsylvania. A small turbojet engine powered the KDN-1 to speeds reaching 500 miles per hour. It also incorporated preset controls, a radio-command guidance system, and a parachute for recovery and reuse. The Navy Reserve used the drone for gunnery practice at the Navy Test Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The Navy donated the KDN-1 shown here to the Smithsonian in 1965.
Transferred from U.S. Navy