Drone, Target, KDN-1


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

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.

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


Overall, wood; steel cables inside front compartment; steel screws; actuator for controlling wings, steel; wire, with plastic insulation inside; some fabric covering on one compartment at front, on top of fuselage.


Overall: 4ft 2in. x 16ft 3in. x 1ft 10in. x 10ft 9in. (127 x 495.3 x 55.88 x 327.66cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


ca. 1946-1947


CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number