Open: 10am - 4pm, Tuesday - Saturday

Open: 10am - 4pm, Tuesday - Saturday


MQM-61 Cardinal

UAV / Target Drone

MQM-61 Cardinal at Yanks Air Museum

MFG: Beechcraft
Built In: Wichita, KS
First Flight: 1959
Powerplant: McCullouch TC6150-J-2
Service Ceiling: 43,000 ft
Top Speed: 350 mph
Wingspan: 13’
Endurance: 60 min
Range: 300 miles
Empty Weight: 560 lbs
Length: 15’ 1”
Number Built: 1,320 (-61) 2,200 all mods

This Cardinal drone is the jack-of-all-trades in weapons systems evaluation, qualification and training. A simple monoplane with V tail, Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) and tail cone parachute. It is equipped with miss distance and scoring systems to evaluate the accuracy of anti-aircraft missiles and gunfire in micro-detail. It can also carry molten infra red sources for heat-seek testing and could tow banners or targets.

The US Army designation for this drone is Model 1025. Many WWII and later aircraft were used as drones, they were painted this bright orange color to distinguish them from their fighter aircraft configuration.