The AQM-34V (TRA Model 255) was the last production version of the AQM-34 series. A batch of 47 were converted from surplus AQM-34H and J models, and 16 were produced new (serial block 74-2135/2150). Flight testing was performed at Hill AFB, and then the 11th TDS at Davis-Monthan AFB flew it operationally.

Hill AFB testing

Flight testing was performed by the 6514th Test Squadron at Hill AFB starting 13 May 1976 and ending in October 1976. The AQM-34V's tested at Hill AFB were given TAC-style 'HI' tail codes, and are thus easily identifiable as test aircraft. Lou Amadio, DC-130 pilot with the 6514th, and former Teledyne-Ryan Aeronautical engineer Ray Vitkus kindly provided the following photographs of serial numbers 67-369 (fiscal year not sure, if correct the full serial is likely 67-20369) and 67-423 (full serial likely 67-20423). 67-369 has a 1976 bicentennial celebration sticker on the vertical tail, and standard ALE-38 chaff pods on the pylons. In the third photo 67-423 too has a bicentennial sticker, and what appears to be an ALE-2 chaff pod with stripes painted on.

Davis-Monthan AFB operations

The 11th Tactical Drone Squadron of the 432nd Tactical Drone Group at Davis-Monthan AFB flew the AQM-34V operationally. Michael Burke (via Mark Nankivil) kindly supplied the following photo of AQM-34V 68-8300. Of note is the very small serial number presentation on the tail, in the same size as the data block just ahead of the horizontal tail plane. All-black ALE-2 chaff pods are fitted, the one on the right pylon numbered '967' in yellow. Note the chaff ejector opening on the top side, just aft of the cilinder-cone transition


A small walkaround of an operational AQM-34V can be seen on the Larry Engesath photos page, and two photo series of the preserved AQM-34V are presented at the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation page. A DC-130H photo on the DC-130 page shows four AQM-34V's being carried by 65-0979 of 6514th Test Squadron.

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