November 4, 1974: Remotely Piloted Aerial Vehicle Sets Endurance Records

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Teledyne Ryan YQM-98A established an unofficial endurance record for remotely piloted vehicles on its fifth flight, remaining airborne for 28 hours and 11 minutes at an altitude above 55,000 feet. In spite of this success, the Compass Cope program was canceled in July 1977 due to deficiencies in the Precision Location Strike System.

The Ryan YQM-98 R-Tern (also called Compass Cope R) was a developmental aerial reconnaissance drone developed by Ryan Aeronautical. It could take off and land from a runway like a manned aircraft, and operate at high altitudes for up to 24 hours to perform surveillance, communications relay, or atmospheric sampling.

Compass Cope was a program initiated by the United States Air Force to develop an upgraded reconnaissance Unmanned aerial vehicle. The two aircraft that participated in the program were:  Boeing YQM-94 B-Gull – Compass Cope B and the Ryan YQM-98 R-Tern – Compass Cope R.

The Precision Location Strike System is a developmental surveillance and control system designed to detect, identify, and accurately locate modern mobile jammers and electronically agile radars in near real time.Such emitters would accompany and protect follow-on forces. An ability to attack these emitters soon after they are detected in a new location would be very valuable for protecting allied aircraft that detect and attack follow-on forces. PLSS has demonstrated a capability to locate and report more such emitters per hour with greater accuracy and timeliness than can all other U.S. systems now reporting to Europe combined.

News Search