Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones
TD Series
Copyright © 2003 Andreas Parsch

TD Series

Between 1942 and 1946, the U.S. Navy assigned TD ("Target Drone") designations for remotely-controlled aircraft. The TD-series consisted mainly of target drones, but also included a few assault drones. In March 1946, most existing TD aircraft were redesignated as targets in the new KD category.

Culver TDC Cadet
Culver TD2C
Culver TD3C

The TDC, TD2C and TD3C are described under their USAAF designations PQ-8, PQ-14 and PQ-15, respectively.

Culver TD4C/UC

In 1945 the U.S. Navy received two XTD4C-1 radio-controlled aircraft from Culver. The XTD4C-1 was possibly based on the Culver V-2, and therefore similar to the PQ-15/TD3C. In 1946, the XTD4C-1 was redesignated as XUC-1K, but the two aircraft were probably disposed of shortly thereafter.

Radioplane TDD

The TDD is described under its USAAF designations OQ-2/3/14.

McDonnell TD2D Katydid

The TD2D was redesignated in 1946 first as KDD and then as KDH, q.v.

Frankfort TD3D

The TD3D is described under its USAAF designation OQ-16.

Radioplane TD4D/KDR

The TD4D was redesignated as KDR in 1946, and is described under its USAAF designation OQ-17.

Bell TDL Airacobra

During World War II, the U.S. Navy acquired a single P-39Q from the USAAF and converted it to a radio-controlled target drone with the designation XTDL-1. In 1946, the Navy operated two additional P-39Q drone conversions as the F2L-1K. The latter were possibly also designated as XTDL-1 orginally.

Photo: The Aviation History On-Line Museum


In February and March 1942, the U.S. Navy ordered four XTDN-1 prototype and 100 TDN-1 production assault drones from the Naval Aircraft Factory. For a few details on the Navy's assault drone program, refer to the article on the Interstate BQ-4/TDR. The TDN-1 was rather similar to the TDR-1 except for the former's high-wing layout. It was a relatively simple, low-performance twin-engined aircraft with a TV camera, radio-control equipment, and a 900 kg (2000 lb) bomb load.

Photo: via Jos Heyman

The XTDN-1 used Franklin O-300 engines, but that changed to the Lycoming O-435 on the production aircraft. Information on the testing and operational career of the TDN-1 is lacking, but the drone was almost certainly never used in combat. The USN terminated its TDN/TDR assault drone program in September 1944.

NAMU TD2N Gorgon
NAMU TD3N Gorgon

The TD2N and TD3N were redesignated in 1946 as KDN and KD2N, respectively, and are both described on the page about the Gorgon program.

Interstate TDR
Interstate TD2R
Interstate TD3R

The TDR, TD2R and TD3R assault drones are all described on the page about the BQ-4/TDR.


Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!

Data for P-39Q (XTDL-1 was similar), TDN-1:

Length10.36 m (34 ft)11.3 m (37 ft)
Wingspan9.19 m (30 ft 2 in)14.6 m (48 ft)
Height3.78 m (12 ft 5 in)?
Weight3430 kg (7570 lb)?
Speed605 km/h (376 mph)290 km/h (180 mph)
Ceiling10700 m (35000 ft)?
Range1045 km (650 miles)?
PropulsionAllison V-1710-75 piston engine; 890 kW (1200 hp) 2x Lycoming O-435 piston engine; 163 kW (220 hp) each

Main Sources

[1] John M. Andrade: "U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials, 1909 to 1979", Midland Counties, 1979
[2] Gordon Swanborough, Peter M. Bowers: "U.S. Military Aircraft since 1908", Putnam, 1989
[3] Jos Heyman: "United States Military Aircraft" (unpublished files)

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1

Last Updated: 26 March 2003