Globe KD2G Firefly
|National origin||United States|
|Built by||Globe Aircraft Corporation|
|Primary user||United States Navy|
|Developed from||Globe KDG Snipe|
|Developed into||Globe KD6G Firefly|
The Globe KD2G Firefly was a pulsejet-powered American target drone, built by the Globe Aircraft Corporation for operation by the United States Navy in the late 1940s, seeing operational use into the mid-1950s.
Design and development
The KD2G was a mid-wing, twin-tailed aircraft of similar design to the KDG Snipe which Globe was already supplying to the Navy. A single McDonnell PJ42 pulsejet engine was mounted atop the rear of the fuselage. The fuselage was constructed of steel tubing with a duralumin monocoque covering; dural was also used for the flying surfaces. The KD2G was equipped with radio control with an effective range of 6,000 yards (5,500 m); it could be launched using a catapult, or launched aerially from JD-1 or F7F-2D aircraft. Recovery, if it survived its mission, was by a 32-foot (9.8 m) diameter parachute; the Firefly was designed to be able to float for up to 15 minutes in the event of a water landing.
First flying as the XKD2G-1 prototype during 1946, the KD2G-1 entered service with the United States Navy during 1947. The improved KD2G-2, powered by a Solar PJ32 pulsejet, began production in 1950; it was the first successful jet-powered target drone to be developed following the end of World War II. The KD2G remained in service through the mid-1950s, being replaced by the KD6G.
- Prototype with McDonnell PJ42 engine.
- Production version of XKD2G-1 with 28-volt electrical system.
- Improved production model with Solar PJ32 engine.
Data from Standard Aircraft Characteristics
- Crew: None
- Length: 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)
- Wingspan: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
- Height: 2 ft 3 in (0.69 m)
- Wing area: 20.66 sq ft (1.919 m2)
- Empty weight: 191 lb (87 kg)
- Gross weight: 311 lb (141 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 320 lb (145 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 20 US gallons (76 l; 17 imp gal)
- Powerplant: 1 × Solar PJ32-S-4 pulsejet, 107 lbf (0.48 kN) thrust
- Maximum speed: 242 mph; 389 km/h (210 kn)
- Stall speed: 62 mph; 100 km/h (54 kn) power on
- Combat range: 100 mi; 161 km (87 nmi)
- Endurance: 26 minutes
- Rate of climb: 2,180 ft/min (11.1 m/s) at sea level
- Time to altitude: 2 minutes to 4,000 feet (1,200 m); 4.9 minutes to 8,000 feet (2,400 m)
- Wing loading: 14.9 lb/sq ft (73 kg/m2)
- AN/ARW-26Y radio control system
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Parsch 2005
- Standard Aircraft Characteristics: Globe KD2G-2. NAVAER 1335B. Bureau of Aeronautics, 1 August 1950.
- White 1992, p.27.
- Parsch, Andreas (2005). "Globe KD2G Firefly". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. designation-systems.net. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
- White, Maxwell (1992). Datelines, a history of Navy missile testing at Point Mugu, California. Point Mugu, CA: Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division. ASIN B002Y5WHDC.