Air Force Space and Missile Museum
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Quail

Quail

Display location: Hangar C, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Type: Air-launched decoy missile
Designation: GAM-72 / ADM-20
Serial Number: 59-2249
Agency: U.S. Air Force
Contractor: McDonnell Aircraft Company

Quail, officially designated GAM-72, was an air-launched decoy missile carried aboard Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 bombers. Designed to produce a radar image very similar to the B-52 while flying at approximately the same altitude and speed as the bomber, Quail would be used during bombing runs to confuse enemy radar. The combination of flying Quail decoys and actual B-52 aircraft were intended to protect the actual aircraft in a combat situation.

In order to fit into the B-52 bomb bay, Quail missiles were installed with folding wings. During deployment, the wings unfolded and were locked into flight position.

In the earliest days of the museum, the Quail was on display inside the blockhouse, but later moved to storage. In 1975, the Quail was put on display in the museum rocket garden until it was removed in October 2010 for a major restoration. The restored Quail returned to the museum on 11 February 2011.

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Quail in the blockhouse as one of the earliest exhibits