Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2004 Andreas Parsch|
In the mid-1970s, Teledyne Ryan built three Model 262 Manta Ray mini-UAVs for the U.S. Navy's STAR (Ship Tactical Airborne RPV) program. The goal of this program was to evaluate the feasibility of a low-observable ship-board UAV which could survive in a high threat environment and could be easily recovered.
The Manta Ray was small delta-shaped glassfibre vehicle powered by a McCulloch MC-101 engine which drove a small ducted propeller. These features ensured inherently low radar, infrared and noise signatures. The UAV was started from a compressed-air rail launcher, and could automatically fly into a net for recovery. In flight, it was controlled by a radio command guidance system. In the proposed tactical configuration, the Model 262 could have carried e.g. electro-optical sensors, radar, or electronic warfare equipment.
|Photo: Dave Gossett||Photo: Teledyne Ryan|
|Model 262 Manta Ray|
The flight test program in 1976/77 successfully demonstrated the fully automatic net recovery system. However, no follow-on development occured after these tests.
Note: Data given by several sources show slight variations. Figures given below may therefore be inaccurate!
Data for Model 262 Manta Ray:
|Wingspan||2.29 m (7 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||75 kg (165 lb)|
|Propulsion||McCulloch MC-101 piston engine; 18.6 kW (25 hp)|
 William Wagner, William P. Sloan: "Fireflies and other UAVs", Midland Publishing, 1992
 Kenneth Munson: "World Unmanned Aircraft", Jane's, 1988
Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4