Photos courtesy MSgt Leroy Lewis


Pictured is an OQ-19B RCAT and below is its 38' recovery chute. The RCAT is on the "Rotary Launcher" which was a paved circular runway with a tether pole in the center to which the detachable trolley was attached. You can see the attaching cable coming off the drone and going toward the center of the Rotary. When the RCAT was ready to launch, the engine was started, fuel mixture set and it began taxiing around the track, always attached to the tether pole. A windsock was attached to a nearby pole and when the drone attained sufficient speed and was heading into the wind, the controller would release the drone from the trolley and off it would go, airborne. The M-33 Radar would lock onto the drone and the controller would go inside the van to fly the mission using the plotting boards to guide him.

This OQ-19B drone has the radar corner reflecting wing pods mounted on top of the wings. Without those pods, the drone was too small to track with Nike Radar.