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UV-23 Scout

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere

The Dominion UV-23 Scout was an prototype airplane built in the late 1980s through a collaboration between Skytrader and McDonnell Douglas, in response to a U.S. Army request for a intelligence gathering plane.

During the late 1980s, the U.S. Southern Command became interested in acquiring a reconnaisance plane which would do well in the rugged terrain and with the clandestine operations that the command was executing at the time. A contest, named Grisly Hunter, was opened for interested contractors to enter canidate airplanes for consideration.

Skytrader and McDonnell Douglas thus teamed up to produce the only UV-23 Scout. It had a wingspan of 55 feet and was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines. The passenger capacity was 16, and it could be armed with 2.75 in air-to-ground rockets. Additionally, it had low noise and radar signatures, as well as the ability to take off on a very short runway.

Despite these features, the plane was never ordered. Grisly Hunter was rolled into another competition for intelligence gathering planes, the eventual winner of which would be the RC-7. It appears that the Army didn't even take delivery of the sole prototype, although it was awarded a the designator UV-23 (U for Utility, V for Vertical or Near-Vertical takeoff, and 23 for the number of the plane in the series. This is actually the last number of this series, which contains the V-22 Osprey) When the parent company fell into corporate troubles and eventually collapsed, the plane became orphaned. Most recently, it lies derelict, with engines stripped, at Washington County Regional Airport, in Hagerstown, Maryland.


  • Borch, Fred L. and Robert F. Dorr. "Lone UV-23 was designed for intelligence missions". Army Times, January 15, 2007. 52.

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