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Fort Sill in Comanche County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone

 
 
Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, September 9, 2021
1. Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone Marker
Inscription.  Development of the X-7 series of unmanned aircraft began in December 1946, when the US Army Air Force requested an unmanned ramjet test vehicle for speeds up to Mach 3 and by the mid-1950s, as the Nike Ajax, Nike Hercules and Bomarc surface-to-air missile systems were becoming operational: the need arose for a very high performance target drone to test these new systems under realistic conditions.

The X-7A1 drone was launched from a carrier aircraft and would then be accelerated to where the ramjet engine could take over by a single large expendable solid-fueled rocket booster attached to the aircraft's tail. Once its mission was complete, the X-7A1 would deploy a multistage parachute system that slowed the drone to a descent in a vertical nose-down attitude. Literally like a giant lawn dart, the drone's nose spike would hit the ground vertically, burying itself nose first into the desert floor and preventing damage to the rest of the airframe.

A later variant, named Kingfisher, purchased by the Air Force was transferred to the Army, which re-designated the target as the AQM-60A. The Air Defense Artillery Museum also has
The Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, September 9, 2021
2. The Lockheed X-7A1 Target Drone and Marker
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a complete Kingfisher in the collection. In all, 61 airframes of all types of the X-7 family were built.

Length: - 32 ft 9 in - 9.98m
Wingspan: - 12 ft - 3.66m
Weight: - 8,000 lb - 3,600kg
Speed: - Mach 4.31
Ceiling: - 106,000 ft - 32,317m

 
Erected by U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. (Marker Number 318.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Military. A significant historical month for this entry is December 1946.
 
Location. 34° 39.877′ N, 98° 23.099′ W. Marker is in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in Comanche County. Marker is at the intersection of Harry Road and Randolph Road, on the right when traveling east on Harry Road. The marker is located in the southeast section of Missile Park at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Sill OK 73503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. MIM-3 Nike Ajax (a few steps from this marker); Iraqi SZ-60 57mm Anti Aircraft Gun (a few steps from this marker); M51 Skysweeper 75mm Anti Aircraft Gun (a few steps from this marker); MIM-14 Nike Hercules (within shouting distance of this marker); Nike Hercules HIPAR Radar AN/FPS-71 Antenna (within shouting distance of this marker); Soviet M1939 52-K 85mm Anti Aircraft Gun
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(within shouting distance of this marker); MIM-23 Hawk (within shouting distance of this marker); Sprint Missile (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Sill.
 
More about this marker. The marker and museum are located on Fort Sill, an active military installation. The museum is open to the public, but appropriate photo identification is required for access to the post.
 
Also see . . .  U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. (Submitted on September 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 24, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 23, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 23, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Aug. 20, 2022