|Retired||1971 (U.S. Navy)|
|Primary users||French Air Force
United States Navy
Design and development
Starting development in 1957, the CT.41 used a canard configuration, with a short, straight wing located at mid-fuselage with wingtip-mounted ramjet engines. Launched using an elevating ramp, two solid rocket boosters provided initial thrust upon launch, with the ramjets igniting at a speed of Mach 1.7. Command guidance was used for control; the aircraft could be fitted with electronic enhancers and flares to boost its target signature. Two types were produced, the CT.41A for high-altitude use, and the CT.41B for low-altitude training. If the drone was not shot down, recovery was via parachute.
The CT.41 began test flights during 1959, with production starting later that year; 62 aircraft were constructed for use by the French Air Force. They had only a brief service life before being retired due to being too fast to provide practical training for interceptor pilots. Hawker Siddley acquired a manufacturing license for the type in November 1960. Six were acquired by Bell Aircraft for evaluation by the United States Navy; Bell also acquired a production license for the type, which in 1962 received the U.S. designation PQM-56A. The PQM-56A was out of service by the early 1970s.
- Crew: None
- Length: 9.80 m (32 ft 2 in)
- Wingspan: 3.73 m (12 ft 3 in)
- Height: 2.18 m (7 ft 2 in)
- Gross weight: 1,297 kg (2,860 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,550 kg (5,622 lb) with boosters
- Powerplant: 2 × Type 625 ramjet
- Maximum speed: Mach 3.1
- Endurance: 14 minutes
- Service ceiling: 20,000 m (65,000 ft)
- Parsch, Andreas (2003). "Nord/Bell CT.41/PQM-56". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. designation-systems.net. Retrieved 2014-05-09.