UAV (UAV/UAV) — unmanned aerial vehicle, drone. Until the beginning of the 21st century, it was used exclusively for military purposes. Recently, drones have been widely used both in everyday life and in business. In this review, we have collected historical facts about how the unmanned industry was born.
How it was…
1849 Revolt in Venice. On the wave of bourgeois revolutions in the Austrian Empire, the Venetians declared independence. The city was taken under siege. The work of artillery was not effective due to the peculiarities of the relief and good fortifications on the outskirts of Venice.
Franz von Juchatik, lieutenant of the Austrian artillery, put forward the idea of bombarding the city from balloons. On July 12, 1849, the first two balloons with bombs were launched on the besieged city. There were shrapnel bombs on board, as well as mechanisms that dropped them at the right time. The bombing did not bring significant results, but sowed panic among the Venetians.
This case is considered the first ever documented evidence of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Wartime is the time of active use of new technologies and innovative developments in various branches of science and technology.
bomb with wings
1910 Inspired by the success of the Wright brothers, an American military engineer from Ohio, Charles Kettering, proposes the idea of an unmanned aerial vehicle — in fact, a bomb with wings. Thus, laying the foundation for the development of unmanned strike aircraft.
As conceived by the creator, the aircraft filled with explosives was able to fly in a straight line, without a pilot, for some time. Then the drone dropped its wings and fell on enemy positions. It is known that in 1914, Kettering received an order from the US Army for the manufacture of such unmanned aircraft. A total of 45 units were made. Later they were put into service, but they were never tested in battle.
The First World War gave impetus to the development of many of the fundamental technologies of our time, including radio-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles. Experiments with drones began almost immediately after the start of the mass introduction of radio transmitting devices. At the same time, experiments began on the alteration of conventional aircraft for remote control.
One such developing project during World War I was the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane. Its creators, Elmer Sperry and Peter Hewitt, served together in the US Navy. Sperry was engaged in the creation of gyroscopes for the use of the latter on destroyers. They were both passionate about aviation and saw potential in drones.
Once they still managed to interest the command and they began to develop their unmanned torpedo. In fact, it was a radio-controlled winged bomb. The first successful test flight took place in September 1917.
First unmanned aircraft
Radio-controlled ships received a new breath after the introduction of autopilots in the early 30s.
1935 British engineers create a reusable unmanned aerial vehicle. He got the name “queen bee». The Fairy Queen biplane model was taken as a basis. After reconstruction and refinement, the drone could be controlled remotely from a sea vessel at a distance of up to 5 km. The maximum speed of horizontal flight reached 170 km / h. Having received the code name — DH82B, the model was used by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force of Great Britain as a target for training firing until 1947.
By the beginning of the Second World War, radio-controlled unmanned objects were already mass-produced. Especially the Target type. One of these UAVs was the well-known radio plane QQ‑2. The first working model of which appeared in 1939. The QQ‑2 radioplane was the most produced drone. In total, 14,000 copies were issued.
In conclusion, we note that even in those days, there were people who believed in the benefits of technology and predicted the massive use of drones for peaceful purposes. However, at that time such reflections were in the category of science fiction. Until the beginning of the 21st century…