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XKD5G-1 Target Drone


Display Status:

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

XKD5G-1 Target Drone

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:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


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


Credit Line

Transferred from U.S. Navy


  • 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


Overall: 13 ft. 7 in. long x 1 ft. 7 in. diameter x 9 ft. wing span, 700 lb. (414.02 x 48.26 x 274.32cm, 317.5kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America




CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Inventory Number