Interstate TDR-1: the first aircraft-type UAV

Interstate TDR-1: the first aircraft-type UAV

Today it is difficult to imagine an armed conflict in which UAVs would not be used. Drones have finally and irrevocably become an integral part of the wars of the 21st century.

Meanwhile, the first appeared Drones back during the Second World War. Moreover, if we are talking about aircraft-type drones, the first such device was created and used in combat conditions by American troops.

The Interstate TDR-1 is an unmanned attack torpedo bomber developed by the United States during World War II. The device was created to carry out missions involving striking enemy targets without the participation of pilots, which reduced the risk of casualties among the crew. Development of the drone began in the 1940s. It was then that the US Navy began to show interest in remotely controlled aircraft.

The TDR-1 test flight took place in 1942. The device became one of the first successfully used drones in combat conditions.
Interstate was developed by Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation. The TDR-1 was equipped with a remote control system that allowed an operator on the ground or aboard another aircraft to control its flight and carry out missions to destroy specified targets.

Externally, the first UAV was a compact twin-engine low-wing aircraft. The designers sought to reduce the cost of the device as much as possible, and therefore its fuselage was assembled from plywood, and the frame consisted of pipes used in bicycle frames.
The drone was powered by two 220-horsepower Lycoming O-435-2 engines. The TDR-1's wingspan was 14 meters and its length was about 10 meters.

The maximum take-off weight was approximately 5 tons. The drone could reach speeds of up to 225 km/h and had a range of up to 680 km. As weapons, the TDR-1 could carry torpedoes, bombs or other types of ammunition, depending on the assigned tasks.

The TDR-1 was used by the US Navy in the Pacific Theater in 1944, where it was used to attack Japanese ships and fortifications. Despite the fact that this UAV did not become widespread, its use allowed the Americans to accumulate significant experience in the field of unmanned technologies and remote control of aircraft.

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  1. +1
    4 July 2024 10: 08
    “From plywood” I read about this in some novel, but there the designer died along with the plane during testing
  2. 0
    4 July 2024 10: 34
    During World War II, drones were actively used for air defense training.
    The photo shows a worker at the Radioplane Co. plant, which produced the Radioplane TDD-2/OQ-3 UAV and other UAVs, Norma Jean Dougherty, later known as Marilyn Monroe.
    Takeoff was carried out by a launch catapult, landing (if the target was not destroyed during the exercise) was carried out using a parachute, which was automatically fired when contact with the control station was lost.
    Length 2,65 m
    3,73 span m
    Take-off weight 47 kg
    Engine - internal combustion engine two-stroke two-cylinder "Righter O-15"
    power 5 kW
    Top speed 137 km / h
    Maximum flight time 1 hour
    Only about 15000 copies were produced.
  3. +1
    4 July 2024 10: 38
    I read about it, it's a good car. It’s a pity that the generals were dumb and weren’t interested in its mass production, otherwise drones would have long ago become commonplace
  4. 0
    4 July 2024 12: 48
    Meanwhile, the first drones appeared during the Second World War.

    Meanwhile, the first drones appeared in the 1849th century. In July 200, Austrian troops besieging Venice attempted to launch about 24 balloons, each carrying a 30-XNUMX pound bomb dropped from a balloon over the besieged city. The balloons were launched mainly from the ground and from the Austrian ship SMS Vulcano.
    And during the First World War, “aircraft-type UAVs” became a reality. Below is a photo of a Sopwith Sparrow (1917) and a Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane (1918).
    The quality of publications on the site has successfully passed the zero mark and is declining further at a rapid rate.
  5. 0
    6 July 2024 21: 29
    In the 30s and early 40s, the USSR also dabbled with remote-controlled airplanes. True, nothing good came of it.