Katydid Drone


Display Status:

This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Katydid Drone

Collection Item Summary:

The Katydid was a U.S. Navy pulsejet-powered target drone built by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation between 1946-1947. It could be either air-launched or fired from a AT-1 catapult on land. The Katydid was powered by a McDonnell 7-inch pulsejet of 55 pounds thrust. Its pulsjet was like the one on the famous German V-1 of World War II.

Katydid was usually carried on bomb racks of a PB4Y Catalina aircraft and was parachute-recovered for re-use. The endurance of the drone was about 0.7 hours. Its maximum speed was 175 miles per hour. This Katydid was donated to the Smithsonian in 1966 by the U.S. Navy.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from U.S. Navy


Mainly, aluminum, ALCLAD 24 S-7; some stainless steel, A N772-T302 1/2H .016 [thick]; pulsejet grill, steel; pulsejet tube, probably Inconel (has higher nickel content for heat resistance); painted zinc chromate in the interior with some red and black; electrical wires with white cloth insulation


Overall: 11 ft. 2 1/4 in. long x 1 ft. 3 in. diameter x 12 ft. 6 in. wing span, 158 lb. (341 x 38.1 x 381cm, 71.7kg); gross weight, operational, 320 lbs

Country of Origin

United States of America


ca. 1945-1947


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number