|Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
|Copyright © 2002-2003 Andreas Parsch|
In 1957, Nord Aviation in France began the development of the CT.41 supersonic aerial target, which was ready for production in mid-1959. The CT.41 was powered by twin ramjets, boosted to Mach 1.7 ramjet ignition speed by two solid-fuel rocket motors, and recovered after the mission by parachute. It could reach a speed of about Mach 3, and was controlled by a two-way radio-command link and an onboard autopilot. To simulate a bomber aircraft, the CT.41 could be fitted with various simulation equipment, like multi-band radar transponders and infrared flares. A total of 62 CT.41 vehicles were built in France.
|Photo: via Ordway/Wakeford|
In the United States, Bell acquired license-production rights on the CT.41, after the U.S. Navy had expressed interest in the target. Bell-built CT.41s were used by the Navy for a relatively short time during the 1960s, and in June 1963, the targets were designated as PQM-56A. By the early 1970s, the CT.41 was no longer operational with the U.S. Navy.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for PQM-56A:
|Length||9.78 m (32 ft 1 in)|
|Wingspan||3.66 m (12 ft)|
|Diameter||51 cm (20 in)|
|Height||2.18 m (7 ft 2 in)|
|Weight (w/o booster)||1300 kg (2860 lb); booster: 1250 kg (2760 lb)|
|Ceiling||20000 m (65000 ft)|
|Propulsion||Booster: 2x solid-fueled rocket motor|
Sustainer: 2x Type 625 ramjet (76 cm (30 in) diameter)
 Frederick I. Ordway III, Ronald C. Wakeford: "International Missile and Spacecraft Guide", McGraw-Hill, 1960
 Norman J. Bowman: "The Handbook of Rockets and Guided Missiles", Perastadion Press, 1963
 R.T. Pretty, D.H.R. Archer (eds.): "Jane's Weapon Systems 1972-73", Jane's, 1973
 E-Mail from Alexis Rocher, quoting "Revue Aérospatiale" magazine, N°66, 1990
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