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Q: F-108 Airborne Target??

Andreas Parsch

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Hi,

this is a question for the real 8) F-108/WS-202A experts.

My research in the less-known corners of U.S. aircraft nomenclature space ;) turned up two pages (attached) about the request for allocation, and subsequent rejection, of the "XQ-11" designation to something called "F-108 Airborne Target". Unfortunately, while I have a few sources which say a bit about the development of the F-108 Weapons System (WS-202A) and its components, none of them mentions any associated "Airborne Target". So, has anyone ever heard about an effort to develop an aerial target specifically for (test and evaluation of) the F-108?

TIA!

Andreas
 

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SOC

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Haven't heard anything, but it is seriously not suprising. Given the massive quantum leap in capability they were after, a new type of aerial target would have been logical as at the time there weren't a lot of high-performance jet targets available, nor were there loads of bomber-type targets either. The interesting part is that they state that they want a storable rocket, implying that they aren't interested in simulating slower moving targets. I do have one slightly off-the-wall theory: it was an X-11 Atlas missile variant. The YF-12A, using pretty much the exact same weapon system, was used to track ICBMs out of Vandenberg AFB to test the system's applicability in a potential ABM role. Maybe that was a planned role the whole time, and what they were after was an X-11 Atlas missile variant to use for testing? I'll dig through what I have at home tomorrow or Sunday (I'm off on vacation right now). On a related note, do you have anything about an armed D-21 variant?
 

Andreas Parsch

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Thank you for the input, Sean. However, the specific connection to the ATLAS missile is probably a bit far-fetched. The proposed "XQ-11" nomenclature has definitely nothing to do with the old "X-11" designation for an ATLAS research vehicle (Q- and X-series were totally distinct; 11 was simply the next available number in the Q-series in 1958). Of course, that doesn't mean that the XQ-11 was not to be a ballistic rocket.

As for the armed D-21, I haven't read anything about such a derivative. Sorry.
 

sferrin

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Andreas Parsch said:
Hi,

this is a question for the real 8) F-108/WS-202A experts.

My research in the less-known corners of U.S. aircraft nomenclature space ;) turned up two pages (attached) about the request for allocation, and subsequent rejection, of the "XQ-11" designation to something called "F-108 Airborne Target". Unfortunately, while I have a few sources which say a bit about the development of the F-108 Weapons System (WS-202A) and its components, none of them mentions any associated "Airborne Target". So, has anyone ever heard about an effort to develop an aerial target specifically for (test and evaluation of) the F-108?

TIA!

Andreas

My first thought was to suggest you contact Andreas Parche but I gues that won't work huh? ;) Could it have been a theoretical derivative of some other existing system at the time such as the X-7 or one of the ALBMs considered for the B-58?
 

Andreas Parsch

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sferrin said:
My first thought was to suggest you contact Andreas Parche but I gues that won't work huh? ;)
*LOL* ;D

Could it have been a theoretical derivative of some other existing system at the time such as the X-7 or one of the ALBMs considered for the B-58?
The X-7 drone was the XQ-5, which was under US Army control at that time - so it was probably ignored by the Air Force ;). A projected derivative of another existing high-performance missile is of course entirely possible. I also have a few more or less spurious references to new high-performance target projects in the 1959 time frame, but nothing really substantial (e.g. Bell/Bendix "Penny 1C"; strange name, if it is actually real).

Anyway, I just wanted to tap into the amazingly big combined knowledge base of all members of this forum :) - there's always the chance that one of you pulls something out of a 1950s AvWeek ;).
 

elmayerle

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http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/app1/q-11.html has this to say:

"In July 1959, the USAF's WADC (Wright Air Development Center) requested the allocation of the designation XQ-11 to a so called "F-108 Airborne Target". This probably referred to a projected high-performance aerial target for evaluation of the whole F-108 interceptor weapons system (WS-202A). However, USAF Headquarters did not approve the request, stating that a specific designation for the target would not be necessary at such an early stage of the program. In the end the WS-202A program, and with it the "F-108 Airborne Target", was cancelled before a F-108 prototype had been built."
 

TomS

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An image of the XQ-11 is available online at the following link:

This thread is nearly 13 years old. What's the point of resurrecting it just to link to a page that is:

A) already linked earlier in this thread, and
B) written by the very person who was asking for more information?

Do you think this is helpful? It really isn't. This is exactly the sort of "shit posting" that Paul (Overscan) has already warned you about. Please stop. It's making the site less useful and enjoyable for me and I suspect for a lot of others as well.
 
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