Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Remote-Controlled WWII Aircraft

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25

    Default Remote-Controlled WWII Aircraft

    This is actually a question -- preceeded by an explanation you might find interesting.

    When I was shipped overseas in WWII my first stop was Hawaii -- specifically Maui Island -- where I bounced back and forth for a short period of time between the Fourth Marine Division's foreward base Camp Maui -- located in the shadow of Mount Haleakala, and Puunene Naval Air Base -- located just outside the town (now city) of Kehului. Neither Camp Maui nor Puunene Air Base are still in existance. Both are now history.

    I was in a close air support control unit (ALP) and a part of our training involved flying as observers in Navy planes (Avengers, Helldivers) during "live" bombing and strafing exercises on targets on Kahoolawe Island -- a small island just south of Maui. The purpose of the training was to experience the actions, tactics, etc. of the pilots and the aircraft we would be working with later from the ground. The pilots were also involved in advanced training exercises. There was no habitation on Kahoolawe Island. It was strictly a Navy and Marine live-fire range. Still is, as far as I know.

    During the time I was at the Puunene air base the Navy was experimenting with little un-manned, remote-controlled aircraft called "drones". They probably had an official name, but I'm not aware of what it was. The drones, operated from larger Navy planes, were very small. They looked like mini-airplanes. I remember them as having a wingspan of perhaps 8 to 10 feet from tip to tip, and, as I recall, painted red. I would guess that these remote-controlled experiments were some of the first conducted by the U.S. military in WWII. I only witnessed the little planes taking off and landing and sitting on the runways, so I'm not aware of their intended ultimate use: Remote bombers? Gun platforms? Observation planes? Target towers? The U.S. answer to the Jap kamikaze Ohka (Baka) bomb? Or something else? Being so close to the Kahoolawe live-bombing range would have provided an ideal spot for testing these new weapons. Rumers were that several crashed during experiments, but I suppose that was to be expected. After leaving Maui I never saw anything more of the little drones for the remainder of the war.

    QUESTION (Finally!): Would anyone in this forum possibly have any information on the little drones -- or what might have become of them. Were there other remote-controlled aircraft in WWII? (Besides old bombers rigged up as remotes).

    Any information would be appreciated. . - . - .
    In memory of Lt. Donald J. Jones. Shot down and killed over Oranienburg, Germany.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Paramilitary wing of CAMRA
    Posts
    4,089

    Default Re: Remote-Controlled WWII Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by vcs-ww2
    Any information would be appreciated. . - . - .
    Excellent article here: http://www.vectorsite.net/twuav_01.html
    I have neither the time nor the inclination to differentiate between the incompetent and the merely unfortunate - Curtis E LeMay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bucharest - Romania
    Posts
    3,302

    Default

    Maybe....

    ASM-2 Bat radar-guided glide bomb








    Dimensions

    * Length: 11 feet 11 inches
    * Span: 10 feet
    * Empty weight: 600 pounds
    * Loaded weight: 1,600 pounds.


    Reference
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bucharest - Romania
    Posts
    3,302

    Default

    Maybe...

    OQ-2/TDD-1 target drone


    Source
    Regimentul 38 "Neagoe Basarab"
    Divizia 10 Infanterie


    101st Airborne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wilts, England
    Posts
    759

    Default

    I found that quite funny! Seems this guy answering(though it wasn't really an answer) uses any excuse to waffle on about his military service!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cordoba-Argentina
    Posts
    6,363

    Default

    Related Info:

    THE SECRET MISSION OF JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, JR.

    THE STORY

    From 1939 thru 1945 there were many secret missions by the allies to destroy the Nazi war machine. On Aug. 12, 1944, one of our most tragic secret missions occurred. A PB4Y-1, the Navy version of the B-24, loaded with 374 boxes of high explosives weighing over 20,000 pounds, took off from England. This flying bomb was piloted by Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and accompanied by an armada of various types of aircraft.

    Flying V-Bombs launched by the Germans were creating havoc in England, and it was imperative they be destroyed. Besides the V-1 Buzz Bomb and the deadly V-2 Rocket, the Germans had developed a huge V-3 Supergun.

    Most of the launch sites were situated in heavily fortified underground bunkers that were difficult to destroy by conventional bombing. Kennedy was on his way to eliminate one of these sites when at 6:20 PM his flying bomb exploded in mid air. The U.S. Government ordered an immediate coverup. For almost 60 years the incident was shrouded in secrecy. Kennedy's younger brother became President. Why did the U.S. want this hushed up? What actually happened on that fateful flight? How was this flying bomb going to be guided to the target? What was Joe Kennedy's background, and how was he selected to carry out this dangerous mission?


    FAMILY BACKGROUND
    Joseph Kennedy Sr. was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. In the 1920' he reportedly made a fortune bootlegging liquor. He made five million producing low budget movies. In 1938 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Britain. He was involved in high society, associating with the Royal Family. But Joe Kennedy Sr. had other problems.

    He had an admiration for Nazi Germany, and advised the U.S. to remain neutral in the growing conflict. He made no secret about his admiration of Germany. As Hitler became more powerful, he announced that he could conquer all of Europe. Britain was feeling the pressure as Dunkirk was evacuated, and London was viciously bombarded. Hitler planned on Britain being the next to fall. Joe Sr. in his opposition to America joining the war had angered Churchill and Roosevelt. Even his two sons opposed their father. In Dec. 1940, he was removed from office and recalled to the U.S. Politically damaged, his admiration for Germany had been his downfall. On Dec. 7, Japan attacked the U.S. and America declared war. Three days later Hitler declared war on the U.S. Joe Jr. immediately enlisted, entering training as a naval aviator.

    He started flight training in PT-17s, and after graduation was upgraded to the multi-engine B-24 [PB4Y-1] flying maritime anti-sub patrol. In Aug. of 1943 his younger brother John was involved in a mishap when a Japanese destroyer sliced through his PT-109. The crew made it to nearby islands and all were rescued. John was recognized as a hero. In the meantime ships carrying critical supplies to Britain were being increasingly sunk by German subs. Churchill called for a stepped up effort to destroy the subs. Joe Jr. flew 35 missions in six months destroying many of the U-boats. Joe reportedly fell in love with a married English woman while on leave. It was a top secret affair, with his entire life now veiled in secrecy. On June 5, 1944, an armada set sail across the English Channel, the invasion of Europe had begun. German V bombs were now killing thousands of innocent civilians.

    This presented a great opportunity for Joe Jr. to see some real action. Hitler continued to introduce his wonder weapons, with Buzz Bombs carrying 2000 pounds of explosives. Over 2000 were launched killing over 5000, it was total devastation. Meteor jets and anti-aircraft guns were able to destroy many of the V-1s, but England had no defense against the V-2. It was 46 feet long with a one ton warhead and was difficult to locate when launched from a mobile site. The V-2 was propelled by liquid alcohol and liquid oxygen, taking it to 315,000 feet, then plunging back to earth at 1800 MPH. Over 1000 were fired at London. The new bunker type underground launch sites were not being destroyed by conventional bombing. The new V-3 Supergun could fire a projectile 95 miles, two every minute, striking London. It was obvious the V-1,V-2, and V-3 had to be stopped.
    THE PLAN

    England formed an elite group to destroy the launch sites, and asked for volunteers. Joseph Kennedy's squadron, flying in bitter winter weather over the Bay of Biscay, had suffered heavy casualties, with Joe losing his former co-pilot and a number of close friends. He was due for a leave but persuaded his crew to stay on until D-Day. Flying frequently in June and July they were given another opportunity to go home. Joe felt it would be unfair to ask his crew to remain any longer, so they returned to the U.S. Joe remained to volunteer for the very dangerous assignment which would require another month. Joe had completed probably more combat missions in B-24s than any other pilot and was well qualified. He considered his chances at fifty-fifty. Joe was an expert in Radio Control projects and was considered a natural to fly the "drone" in the highly secret mission. To destroy the V-2 menace it was decided to use radio controlled drones carrying massive bomb loads. The U.S. had been experimenting with R.C. drones, as had Germany, who was developing R.C. glider bombs. The X-1 rocket boostered bomb released from a German bomber could glide for six miles when released from 26,000 feet.
    The X-1 demonstrated devastating results by sinking many Allied ships, showing the promising use and accuracy of the R.C. guided missile.The U.S. guided their missiles in test using operator-television, however the pay load was too small. They then advanced to full size Radio Controlled aircraft that after establishing control the pilot bailed out. The aircraft would fly to the target by remote control. The Army experimented with B-17s while the Navy made test using the B-24. Early U.S. test failed. Pilots were killed, and the drones missed their target. Despite the numerous failures the U.S. proceeded with their testing of full size aircraft.


    Continues in here....

    http://www.b-29s-over-korea.com/kenn...y_story02.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Back in Indiana
    Posts
    3,049

    Default

    Damn I was going to mention that story too!

    101st Airborne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lombard, Il.
    Posts
    1

    Default WW2 drones.

    My name is Bill Coons and I have just finished writing a book about WW2 drones, from the first 12 foot drones to the F6F-5K Hellcats, and F8F 5-D Bearcats as drone controllers. It is being edited now.
    If anyone has a question about the drone period from 1936 to 1949, please feel free to ask.
    During WW2 I was an aviation radioman in Navy, stationed at the U.S.Naval Air Station in Santa Ana CA. and had first hand knowlrdge of anti arcraft training missions using the drones in the Pacific to teach shipboard gunners how to destroy a real; live airplane. The exercises were called NOLOs.
    (no live operator).
    Bill Coons

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    368

    Default

    Bill,
    That sounds interesting! Do you have a picture of a drone that you can share with us? Let me know if you need help adding it to the post.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,758

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vcs-ww2 View Post
    I remember them as having a wingspan of perhaps 8 to 10 feet from tip to tip, and, as I recall, painted red. I would guess that these remote-controlled experiments were some of the first conducted by the U.S. military in WWII. I only witnessed the little planes taking off and landing and sitting on the runways, so I'm not aware of their intended ultimate use: Remote bombers? Gun platforms? Observation planes? Target towers?
    If they were red I imagine they'd have been AA tgts.
    The normal tgt tugs all seem to have been painted a similar pillarbox colour but I'd have thought that the size of these RC a/c would have precluded them from towing a tgt.
    I'm sure there must be an aeromodeller on site that can confirm or refute this.
    "Don't call me stupid !" - Otto 'Galtieri' West.
    __________________
    Stupidity should be a crime. Ignorance should be punished.
    Refusal to accept corroborated facts should result in a chainsaw enema.

    a luta continua, em adiante a vitória
    __________________

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3,855

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mike M. View Post
    I thought he did a good job giving us his history in the Military, its replys like yours that hurt this forum and make new members think twice about making more posts. Thats my 2 cents..carrry on, time to earn more ribbons.
    Agree with Mike unless you mean something else?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    1,607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani View Post
    Maybe....

    ASM-2 Bat radar-guided glide bomb








    Dimensions

    * Length: 11 feet 11 inches
    * Span: 10 feet
    * Empty weight: 600 pounds
    * Loaded weight: 1,600 pounds.


    Reference
    i doubt it can be effective, because the german can just jam its transmission and it will miss the target.
    If you are a P-51D pilot, you are going down soon
    The Axis Project



    Great game: www.cybernations.net

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    City of the Angels USA
    Posts
    347

    Default

    And nearly all combatants, including the Japanese, had remotely controlled missiles and/or winged aerial vehicles.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. [What if series] Hitler approve to use Me-262 jets earlier
    By FW-190 Pilot in forum 2006 Archive Room
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 06-22-2006, 12:19 PM
  2. Type Zero
    By Firefly in forum 2006 Archive Room
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-25-2006, 09:53 AM
  3. KG.200 and allied planes used by the Luftwaffe
    By 1000ydstare in forum 2006 Archive Room
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 01-22-2006, 12:21 PM
  4. Your Favorite Fighter?
    By skunker in forum 2006 Archive Room
    Replies: 77
    Last Post: 01-17-2006, 08:58 AM
  5. WWII Aircraft Birds and the Goose
    By Gutkowski in forum 2005 Archive Room
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-23-2005, 01:42 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •