The QF-102 (initially the PQM-102) program was the second Century-Series drone program (after the QF-104), and lasted the longest of any so far. The initial unmanned flight in 1975 was the lead-in to a progression of unmanned (NULLO) flights until June 30, 1986. The last manned flight (with a safety pilot on board - yours truly) was on June 27, 1986. I also remote controlled the last NULLO flight on June 30th which was destroyed by a warhead shot at Holloman AFB/White Sands Missile Range for a missile development program.
It was also the last analog autopilot for full-scale drones as all conversions following it used digital autopilots. Among the firsts achieved by the QF-102 were the first fully computerized take-off and landing by the Drone Formation Control System (DFCS) at White Sands, the first bombs dropped by a remote controlled fighter with remote drop commands (many of which were "shacks"), and the first six-ship drone formation flight flown for the SAM-D (or PATRIOT as it is now known) program.
The wildest flight profile was a 600 Knot profile at 100 Meters (330 feet AGL) with an 8 "G" maneuver for an Army ROLAND missile program which resulted in a kill by a German Army team. The profile was extremely short (45 seconds run-in at altitude and speed) and the drone blew into a million fragments when hit in the missile bay with a non-warhead/TM round.
Hope you find this interesting, and I will write more if you would like.
Kem Owen 11/09/2000 @ 22:09 [ref: 1022]