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Beech QU-22B

Published on June 21, 2012,

The Beech Model 1079 was an improved version of the Model 1074 Pave Eagle I. Known as the Beech QU-22B, this Model was basically a Model A36 fitted with wingtip tanks and a Continental I0-520-B engine with special reduction gearbox to turn the propeller at very low rpm for noise reduction. Modification of the basic commercial aircraft, by the Univac Division of Sperry Rand, included installation of remote control equipement and an electronic package.

The QU-22Bs were procured for the USAF in 1969 for service over Vietnam as electronic intelligence-gathering drones in the Pave Eagle II project. They could be flown either manned or unmanned, on relay duties for the Igloo White surveillance system, the data being relayed either directly or with intermediate rebroadcasdng by Lockheed EC-121Rs. These aircraft were deployed to Nakhon Phanom RTAFB in March 1969 and about ten of them were lost during the war (two in 1969, one in 1970, two in 1971, and five in 1972).

The six YQU-22A (PD 1079) prototypes were followed by 27 QU-22B production models. Some of these aircraft eventually found their way on to the civil market, as follows: 6810534 became N83475, 68-10536/ N94499, 69-7693/N75210, 69-7695/ N90638, 69-7696/N40CA, 69-7698/ N74TA, 69-7699/N90637, 69-7701/ N73TA, 69-7702/N49893, 69-7703/ N64285, 69-7704/N75208, and 70-1535/N22QU.

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