Early Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones

We have all seen some of the drones (UAV’s) like the Predator that flies in today’s skies but did you know that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been around since the beginning of aviation?
An Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a type of aircraft which has no onboard crew or passengers. UAVs include both autonomous drones and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) capable of controlled, sustained level flight.

Here are some (not all) of the early UAV’s:

Number 1: Aerial Target, March 1917, Captain Archibald M. Low, of the Royal Flying Corps. Launched from truck.
Number 2: Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane “Flying Bomb”, 1917, Elmer Sperry, and radio engineer Peter Hewitt, able to fly 50 miles carrying a 300-pound bomb after being launched by catapult.
Number 3: Kettering Aerial Torpedo, “Bug”, October 1918, Charles Kettering Dayton, Ohio capable of striking ground targets up to 75 mi from its launch point, while traveling at speeds of 50 mph
Number 4: Royal Aircraft Establishment Larynx, September 1925, Royal Aircraft Establishment a research development organization, small monoplane powered by a 200 hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx IV engine, it had a top speed of 200 mph, launched by catapult.
Number 5: Radioplane OQ-2, 1939, Reginald Denny, The Radio Company, simple aircraft, powered by a two-cylinder two-cycle piston engine, launched by catapault used as target drones.
Number 6: Culver “PQ-14″, 1942, Culver Cadet, 150 HP. 6 cyl. Franklin engine, 150 mph and 512 mile range. Used as target drone.
Number 7: Naval Aircraft Factory TDN-1, November 1942, Naval Aircraft Factory, (2) 220 HP. Lycoming 6 cyl. engine, 145 mph., used as assault drone.
Number 8: Interstate TDR-1, 1942, Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation, (2) 220 HP. Lycoming 6 cyl. engines, 140 mph and 425 mile range, assault drone.
Number 9: McDonnell T2D2-1 Katydid, 1942, McDonnell Aircraft, gasoline powered pulsejet, used for anti-aircraft and aerial gunnery practice, 250 mph.
Number 10: Ryan Firebee, 1955, Ryan Aeronautical Company, jet powered Continental J69-T-29A, 710 mph. target drone.
Number 11: ADM-20 Quail, 1957, McDonnell Aircraft, General Electric J85-GE-7 turbojet, 685 mph., range 445 miles. Used as air-launched decoy.


Aerial Target Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane “Flying Bomb”
Kettering Aerial Torpedo RAE Larynx
OQ-2 Culver “PQ-14″
Naval Aircraft Factory TDN-1 Interstate TDR-1
McDonnell T2D2-1 Katydid Ryan Firebee
ADM-20 Quail

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