More than 500 illustrations—photographs, drawings, and plans, many of them never before published—are featured in Unmanned Systems of World Wars I & II.
Vintage woodcut engraving (author’s collection) entitled “The Lay Torpedo – The Public Trial at Cleveland, Ohio – from photographs by Thomas T. Sweeny,” circa 1877. Note conical shape, dual rudders, and twin parallel pipes beneath the false keel at lower left for engine exhaust and control-cable payout.
The WWI German Fernlenkboot underway at full speed. Limited success of the radio-controlled surface torpedo, combined with a growing reliance on the more practical U-boat, led to eventual discontinuation of the FL Series in late 1918.
Hammond spark-gap transmitter installed at the Cruft Laboratory, Harvard University, for testing wireless control of underwater torpedoes, circa 1921 (photos courtesy Gelman Library, George Washington University, Albert F. Murray Papers).
With its cockpit faired over and carrying a 2,000-pound torpedo, this WWII TDR-1 assault drone has jettisoned its landing gear and is committed to the drop (US Navy photo courtesy Norm Tengstrom, Special Task Air Group One control pilot).
Constructed at the Fisher Tank Arsenal, the radio-controlled T-10 Mine Exploder’s front drive wheels were 8 feet in diameter, while the trailing rear wheel measured 6 feet (US Army photo courtesy Joe DeMarco). Note the bottom of the Sherman M4A2 tank is above the front axle, providing more room for blast dispersion.
Rare in-flight photo of an unmanned Culver PQ-14B drone and its twin-engine CQ-3 director, trailed by a Curtiss Helldiver chase plane at bottom right (USAAF photo courtesy James Binder).
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