Rise of the Reapers: A brief history of drones

Real nice history on un-manned planes , ending in the killer “drones we have today and the future.

Drone Wars UK

Part One – the early years

Winston Churchill at launch of De Havilland Queen Bee drone 1941.  Copyright Imperial War Museum Winston Churchill watches launch of a De Havilland Queen Bee drone 1941. Copyright Imperial War Museum

Although some trace the ancestry of today’s drones back to the V-1 rockets (‘doodle bugs’) of the Second World War, or even to the use of hot air balloons laden with explosives in the middle of the 19th Century, the real origins of today’s drones lie in the development of the first recoverable and reusable radio-controlled aircraft in the 1930s. The Royal Navy, looking for aircraft to shoot at for gunnery practice, developed out of the De Havilland Tiger Moth a remote-controlled aircraft dubbed ‘the Queen Bee’. Over 400 of these were built and used for target practice by the Royal Navy in the 1930’s and 1940’s.[1] Similarly (and possibly from this aircraft although that is disputed) the US developed a radio-controlled drone for gunnery practice in the…

View original post 2,919 more words