BQM-34 photos

Although the Firebees shown below are BQM-34's, and not AQM-34's that this site is dedicated to, they have many details in common, and the photos below show many details that are rarely clearly visible.

Mark Nankivil visited Tyndall AFB (Florida) in April 2003. At Tyndall, the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron (part of 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group) operates a fleet of QF-4E/G's, BQM-34 Firebee and MQM-107 Streaker target drones, providing realistic targets for air-to-air missiles (AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder). Mark made walkaround-style photo series of several Firebees.

The Firebees shown here are of the upgraded type as described in 'Fireflies and other UAVs' (page 88). The main modification is a switch from the J69 to the much more powerful J85 engine, but this is very hard or impossible to see externally. Likely related to the engine change is that the inlet of these Firebees is set back and subsequently somewhat larger. Also, the radome is tilted a bit, making the radome point straight ahead instead of slightly downwards.

First shown is a photo series of Firebee serial number 91-23156. It is complete, and not equipped with burner or flare devices.

Firebee serial number SN-5476 was equipped with burners on its wing tips and flare dispensers on the tailplane tips.

Firebee serial number '3310' was clean like the first one shown, and likely ready for launching. Joe Baugher's 1992 serial list has a single entry for 92-3309, but an order for a single aircraft seems unlikely. Therefore my guess is that this Firebee' full serial number is 92-3310.

Firebee serial number SN-5493 had a lot of detail to show, while parked in front of the hangar. Note the exhaust tube on the dolly.

Concluding this photo series, various Firebee components with lots of interesting details visible.

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