The First Drones, Used in World War I
We’ve been talking a lot about drones lately, including the very cool and much less terrifying Amazon Drone, but it is not some kind of alien humanoid warrior bee. Too bad sci fi fans. :(
Speaking of drones, here’s something I didn’t know about. The surprising history of the worlds first drones, or remote controlled vehicles used in warfare, have their origins in the first world war. The first remote controlled objects go even further back, but make no mistake about it, these things were extremely primitive and extremely hard to control.
Unmanned remote-controlled aircraft have been around longer than most people think. The Kettering “Bug,” for instance, was developed during World War I. It was a bomb-carrying unpiloted biplane that flew on a pre-set course to its target.
Once its autopilot was set, the plane was on its own. Prototypes were built and successfully tested, but by the time the Bug made its first flights the war was over. Nevertheless, it was the precursor of the modern cruise missile.