Ryan 147NC Firebee wreck in Lyle Canyon, Huachuca Mountains, Arizona

This early drone was known as a RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicle). Today it would be referred to as a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). This turbojet powered drone could hit 600mph! It was 23' long, with a wingspan of 13', weighing 2,400 lbs.

Photos from crash site in Lyle Canyon. Each photo opens in a new window.
(Note: these are large images, 1600 x 1200, approx 1 meg each.)

894 Tail parachute cone
895 same
896 same
897 same
898 Engine nacelle
899 same
900 same
901 same
902 same
903rear horizontal stabilizer
905 same
906 same
907 same
908 same
909 electronic control part
910 same
911exhaust shroud
912 same
913 interior fuselage
914 same
915 fuselage
916 engine and nacelle
917 electronic control part
918 same, with Univac label
920 same
921 Bendix generator label
922 misc debris
923 Jet engine turbine, slightly curled blades.
924 Detail of curl.
925 Mid section of jet engine.
926 fuselage
927 misc debris
928 misc debris
929 overview of fuselage
930 misc debris
931 same
932 same
933 pylon mount
934 same
935 same
936 Shows fabric on fuselage
937 fuselage
938 same
939 fuselage, shows JATO mount (Jet Assisted Take Off)
941 Engine and misc debris.
942 mounting point
944 fuselage
946 misc part
947 same, other side
948 Wing with pylon mount.
949 Wing with pylon mount.
950 Top side of wing.
951 wing
952 wing
954 misc ID tag
955 Wing with pylon mount.
956 rear horizontal stabilizer
957 same
958 engine
959 tail
960 tail (unearthed and dirty)
961 tail
962 tail, showing fabric on top
963 tail overview (upside down), showing bent pitot tube
965 tail, rudder control
966 tail, showing bent pitot tube
968 engine
969 ?
972 misc electronic part
973 chaff pod pylon
974 electronic part, Lear
976 Overview of wreckage.
995 Overview of Lyle Canyon, wreck site about in center of photo.
897 rear parachute cone
Access cover This part is down the canyon, appears someone tried to carry it away but got tired.
Chaff Pod 1 Chaff pod located further up canyon.
Chaff Pod 2 Chaff pod located further up canyon.
Chaff Pod Plate Chaff pod plate detail.
Diagram Diagram of a Ryan 147.

A small aluminum tag removed from the site 20 years ago reads "Configuration Control, Date 7/27/68, CC NC/1".

This wreck is either a Firebee, Firefly, or a Lightning Bug, with military designation AQM-34G, AQM-34H, or AQM-34J.

A variant of the Model 147N, the Model 147NC, was also flown during this time (1969-1975). It had been designed a few years earlier to fly at medium altitude, carrying a "chaff" dispenser under each wing to jam enemy radar systems. It had originally been intended to support bombing raids over North Vietnam, but air strikes on North Vietnam were drastically scaled back in 1968 and the Model 147NC was not used in its intended role. When bombing was scaled back up in 1972, chaff was dropped by piloted F-4 Phantom fighters instead. However, during the "political offensive" of that year, Model 147NCs were used to drop propaganda leaflets. The project was codenamed Litterbug, but the troops called them "bullshit bombers".

Some sources mention a Model 147NA, which was apparently an early version of the Model 147NC with a less sophisticated guidance system, and a low-level version designated the Model 147NC(M1).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Model_147_Lightning_Bug.

Additional info is available here, here, and here.
Of interest, here.
Additional history is in this PDF.
Excellent book source, Reconnaissance is Black.

Photos by Leonard Taylor.