Polecat Aerospace 5.5" AQM-37 Jayhawk
In the 1959, the Navy and Air Force issued a joint request for a new high-speed expendable target. Beechcraft won the competition, and the result was a small delta-winged drone with wingtip fins and a liquid rocket motor, originally designated XKD2B-1 but now known as the AQM-37. The type first flew in 1961, then entered service with the US Navy in 1963, and remains in service.
The original version was the AQM-37A or Beech Model 1019. There were several variants of the AQM-37 over the years. One high-performance variant with improved thermal protection attained a speed of Mach 4.7 and an altitude of over 112,000 feet (34 kilometers) on a ballistic trajectory. The final US Navy variant was designated AQM-37C. All variants are air-launched, with the US Navy traditionally using the F4 Phantom for the job.
More than 5,000 AQM-37 targets of all variants have been delivered since the early 1960s. The AQM-37C/D is still in limited production for the Navy.
The AQM-37's engine is built by Rocketdyne, though in some sources it is credited to Harley Davidson, the motorcycle manufacturer, which appears to be due to a sequence of company buyouts. The engine uses "storable" liquid propellants, in contrast to cryogenic propellants like liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen that have to be loaded up just before launch lest they evaporate away. The problem is that the storable propellants in common use are corrosive, highly toxic, and "hypergolic", meaning that the propellants spontaneously ignite when mixed together.
This scale model if the AQM-37 offers a unique look and solid construction. With 1/4" baltic birch laser cut fins, through the wall fin design, a pre-cut mortar and tenant joint for the wingtips, laser-slotted fiberglassed body tube, and molded fiberglass nose cone and boat tail, the Jayhawk offers fast building, easy finishing, and great durability and performance.
The kit also features an upper slot in the body tube for a tab on the fin that makes assembly quick and easy, eliminating fin alignment issues for the longer fins. All fin leading edges are pre-beveled so a minimum of finish sanding is needed to get a great look.
Designed for H through J motors, the Hawk is a performs beautifully on L1 and L2 motors. The kit includes high-quality vinyl decals for a great finishing touch.