This object is on display in the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
Collection Item Summary:
This is the XKD5G-1, a pulse-jet powered U.S. Navy target drone. The pulsejet, with a thrust of 170 pounds, was mounted externally as in the German V-1 missile of World War II but of smaller size. The XKD5G-1 had a speed of 300 knots and could be recovered by parachute for re-use. The XKD5G-1 originated in 1949, with tests undertaken at the Naval Air Test Station, Point Mugu, California.
By 1951-1952, requirements of drones increased in terms of speed, and pulsejets were not effective beyond 30,000 feet. Further development of the XKD5G-1 was thus abandoned. The drone was one of the last uses of pulse-jets by the U.S. military. This XKD5G-1 was donated to the Smithsonian in 1966 by the U.S. Navy.
Collection Item Long Description:
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- Overall, aluminum, mainly Reynolds, grade AM-13 T3, .051 thickness; screws on fuel drain outlets along fuselage, steel; fixtures on tail, steel
- Wood equipment shelf at front, inside nose, probably for radio and/or gyro, shelf with cork backing, glued on; wood here probably for vibration absorbency; wood wing tips, vertical stabilizers, trailing edges, and elevators
- Tailpipe for pulsejet Type 347 stainless steel, made in welded sections along entire motor and painted gray; grill steel; fairing on front, non-ferrous, possibly aluminum, painted white, with black rubber pipe affixed to fairing, and possibly used as to gather air for air intake measuring device
- Parachute, possibly nylon or other synthetic fabric