Desk models

AQM-34 desk models

A series of AQM-34 desktop models exists in 1:30 scale. The oldest version appears to be this one, with reported dimensions of 10.75 inches length and 6 inch wingspan. If the reported wingspan is correct, it translates to 15' wings, which suggests the use of extended wing tips on the standard BQM-34A wing. Combined with the ventral fin under the parachute cone, this could make it a Model 147C or 147D. However the paint scheme and colors do not match real 147C/Ds, but instead resembles roughly one of the schemes applied to the 147S series. It's also possible that this desk model is just a generic Model 147 representation. The model's manufacturer is not known, perhaps it was made in-house by Teledyne-Ryan. All models shown below share the same stand. The pitot tube on the fin is made of metal.

An AQM-34L version of the above also exists, its reported dimensions are 11 inch length and 5 inch wingspan. It is reportedly a single piece solid resin casting. Apart from the version without markings, two versions with markings were offered on Ebay. The first is L229 / Tom Cat and the second L161 / 'Brit Special' with 'Col. Ray P. Britton' on the stand (the latter likely a leaving gift).

An AQM-34M desktop model in the same scale was also made. Reported dimensions are 12 inch length, 5 1/4" inch wingspan. The increased length compared to the above model is largely due to the longer radome of this version. The wings appear to lack the extended wingtips used on the M version.

This AQM-34N desktop model is again approximately 1:30 scale. Reported dimensions are 11.25 inch length and 13 inch wingspan. The nose piece is likely missing on the model shown. The stand is in the same style as that of the AQM-34L, as is the name plate on the stand.

This model appears to be identical, but the quoted dimensions are different: 12 inch length and 11 inch wingspan. If the scale is 1:30 and the span was measured correctly, it is most likely a 27 ft wing instead of the 32 ft wing of the model above. That would most likely make it a Model 147G.

An AQM-34Q/R desktop model was offered on Ebay in August 2010. My best guess is that it is a conversion of the AQM-34N model shown above, fitted with drop tanks and a 'football' radome on the fin tip. The model likely represents a Model 147TF / AQM-34R. The Model 147TE / AQM-34Q has a cilindrical UHF antenna probe on the radome, that the model lacks. Instead it should have a small blade UFF antenna just behind the radome, but I don't see that in the photos. The dimensions are reported as 11 3/8 inches length and 12 7/8 inches wingspan, which agrees closely with the AQM-34N dimensions. The stand lacks an identification plate.

Most of the desk models shown above have nameplates on the stand. Craig Kaston obtained a set of these nameplates, covering most of the Model 147 / AQM-34 versions: 147C, 147E, 147G, 147NP, 147NQ, 147NRE, 147NX, 147SK, 147T, AQM-34H, AQM-34G, AQM-34J, AQM-34K, AQM-34L, AQM-34Q, AQM-34R and XBQM-34E. It suggests that desk models of all these versions existed.

BGM-34 desk models

Craig Kaston found a BGM-34C desk model in the collection of the Pima Air & Space Museum. Craig points out the almost full span ailerons and the trailing edge root fairing, along with the full height rudder. Under the wing are ALE-38 chaff pods.

Q-2A / KDA desk models

John Nitka kindly provided photos of 1/28 scale models by Topping Incorporated. On the left is the Air Force Q-2A, on the right the Navy KDA-1.


BQM-34A desk models

John Nitka also provided a photo of an BQM-34A / Q-2C model by W. Osgaard & Co Models from Denmark (left). On the right are two similar models of BQM-34A's in aluminum, found on Ebay.


Former Teledyne-Ryan engineer Ray Vitkus (see his photo page) also has a collection of desktop models. The left BQM-34A Firebee is fitted with some kind of wing tip pods and shows remains of 'US AIR FORCE' on the fuselage side. Ray reports that both the radome and the parachute cone are removable. The right BQM-34A Firebee has correct tail surfaces (including dorsal fin on the parachute cone) and the correct wing cross section.


Offered on Ebay was this plastic model with 'BQM-34A FIREBEE' and 'BB' logo (from Ryan Builds Better) on the base. Dimensions are 9" length and 5 1/2" wing span. The manufacturer is not yet established, but considering the similarity of the metal model below, it could be Fermo.

A similar model, but in metal and with 'RYAN BQM-34A' on the base, was made by Fermo, the later name for the 'W. Osgaard & Co Models' company. On the lower side of the fuselage, behind the exhaust, there is usually a sticker with the text 'A/S Fermo-Model-Factory Charlottenlund Denmark'. Dimensions are 9 1/2" length and 5 1/2 to 6" wing span, making the scale somewhere between 1:26 and 1:29. The tail of the yellow model was broken off.


Again found on Ebay, in 2010, is this desk model of the Firebee I, painted orange with black tips. It measures 2.75" / 70 mm length and 1.75" / 44 mm span. The length suggests a scale of around 1:100, but the wing span does not agree.

In 2022, the scale of the above model was confirmed by this model auctioned on Ebay, that included the box that says '1/100th scale'. Courtesy of Craig Kaston.


BQM-34E/F desk models

Ray Vitkus owns this model of the supersonic BQM-34E/F. The manufacturer is not yet established.

Also offered on Ebay was this plastic model with 'XBQM-34E FIREBEE II' on the base. Dimensions are 11" length and 4" wing span. The manufacturer is probably Fermo (Osgaard ?) - compare with the BQM-34A models shown above.

An identical model was offered on Ebay, this one having the 'BB' logo (from Ryan Builds Better) on the base. Reported dimensions were 10.5 inches length and 3.75 inches wing span.

No dimensions were listed in this Ebay auction, but it appears to be from the same series as above. The base has updated texts, after Teledyne buying Ryan Aeronautical. The 'Ryan Builds Better' logo and text are retained however.


Also found on Ebay is this desk model of the Firebee II, painted dark red with black tips, and measures 3.25" / 83 mm length and 1.5" / 38 mm span. The length suggests a scale of around 1:100, but the wing span does not agree. It appears identical to the Ray Vitkus model shown above.

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