The Quail, originally designated the GAM-72, is an air-launched decoy missile carried by the B-52 strategic bomber. Designed to produce a radar image very similar to that of the B-52 and to fly at approximately the same speed and altitude, the Quail would be used during an actual bombing attack to confuse the enemy’s defensive radar network. With both Quails and B-52s penetrating the enemy’s air space, it would be difficult for him to distinguish one from the other on his radar.
In order to fit inside the B-52 bomb-bay, the Quail is equipped with folding wings. During launch, the wings unfold for flight.
Quails were assigned to the 19th Bomb Wing in the 1960s and 70s when the unit flew B-52s here at Robins AFB, Georgia. The Quail on display was transferred to the Museum of Aviation in August 2004.
Span: 2 ft. 5 in. (wings folded); 5 ft. 5 in. (wings unfolded)
Length: 12 ft. 11 in.
Height: 2 ft. 2 in. (wings folded); 3 ft. 4 in. (wings unfolded)
Weight: 1,198 lbs.
Engine: General Electric J85-GE-3 of 2,450 lbs. thrust
Serial Number: Unknown
Maximum speed: 650 mph.
Range: 400 miles
Service ceiling: Over 50,000 ft.