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North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner


North American MQM-42 Redhead-Roadrunner

MQM-42 Redhead
Type Target drone
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1961 - mid-1970s[1]
Used by United States Army
Production history
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Weight 400 kilograms (880 lb)
Length 7.57 metres (24.8 ft)
Diameter 30 centimetres (12 in)

Wingspan 1.90 metres (6 ft 3 in)

solid-fuel booster

Marquardt MA-74 ramjet sustainer
400 kilometres (250 mi)
Flight ceiling 18,000 metres (59,000 ft)
Speed Between Mach .09 and Mach 2+

The MQM-42 Redhead was an American high altitude supersonic drone manufactured by North American Aviation (as model NA-273 Redhead/Roadrunner) used by the U.S. Army for testing and training as a high-performance target for the MIM-23 Hawk air-defense missile system.

The Redhead variant was used for high-altitude testing and the Roadrunner for low altitude. The MQM-42 was launched by a Rocketdyne solid-propellant RATO booster, derived from the solid fuel motor for the U.S. Army's Little John battlefield rocket, and was recovered by parachute. NAA manufactured the NA-273 in Columbus, Ohio. The sustainer engine was a Marquardt MA-74 ramjet.

In June 1963, it was designated as MQM-42A.


  1. ^ "North American MQM-42 Redhead/Roadrunner". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. 
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