Remote Piloted Aerial Vehicles
Remote Piloted Aerial Vehicles : An AnthologyThe first air raid by balloons!On August 22, 1849, the Austrians, who controlled much of Italy at this time, launched some 200 pilotless balloons against the city of Venice. The balloons were armed with bombs controlled by timed fuses they are also said to have used fuses electrically activated via signals fed up trailing copper wires (to be confirmed Ed.). Some of the bombs exploded as planned but the wind changed direction and blew several balloons back over the Austrian lines. The balloons were armed with bombs controlled by timed fuses they are also said to have used fuses electrically activated via signals fed up trailing copper wires (to be confirmed Ed.). Some of the bombs exploded as planned but the wind changed direction and blew several balloons back over the Austrian lines. This is, by most accounts, the first recorded action of its typeScientific American, March 1849 “The Presse, of Vienna, Austria, has the following: ‘Venice is to be bombarded by balloons, as the lagunes prevent the approaching of artillery. Five balloons, each twenty three feet in diameter, are in construction at Treviso. In a favorable wind the balloons will be launched and directed as near to Venice as possible, and on their being brought to vertical positions over the town, they will be fired by electro magnetism by means of a long isolated copper wire with a large galvanic battery placed on the shore. The bomb falls perpendicularly, and explodes on reaching the ground.”[Editors’ note: This experimental idea became the first use of aerial bombing, and its effect, though minor, contributed to the collapse of the Venetian revolt.]
Bombing by Balloon, 1848Source : Prof. Predictably, this didn’t sit well with the Austrians, and they returned in force to make mischief but encountered difficulty. In particular, Austrian Lieutenant Uchtaius looked about Venice and saw that, for the purposes of laying siege to the city, the topography was wanting: he had trouble placing big guns in a position to properly shell the Italians. In Japan’s World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America, Robert C. Mikesh details the project’s efficacy: No great material damage was done to the enemy, though one of the charges burst in St. Mark’s Square. On that occasion, the Royal Navy’s Lord Thomas Cochrane flew kites from the 32 gun frigate HMS Pallas to spread propaganda leaflets over the French coast. Some 43 years later, on July 12, 1849, the Austrian vessel Vulcano launched a manned hot air balloon to drop bombs on Venice. However, because of unfavorable winds, the attempt was unsuccessful. All of the balloons in use during the Civil War were used strictly for reconnaissance. Crowell converse trainers of West Dennis, Mass., received a patent for a flying machine capable of carrying a bomb load. The sharp edged hollow wings of the machine were designed to hold hydrogen gas, and with the power of a steam engine located in the cab, the wings were to pivot from a horizontal to a vertical position. Dual propellers linked by chains or bands were to revolve in opposite directions, and they were also hinged so that they could function both vertically and horizontally. This aerial bomber had a cone or pyramid shaped rudder, and the craft was designed to take off and land vertically. In February 1863 Charles Perley of New York City was awarded a patent for an unmanned aerial bomber. His design was a hot air balloon that carried a basket containing a timing mechanism. The timer would trip a hammer on a cylinder to eject a hinge pin, opening the hinged basket at the bottom so that the bomb would drop out. The ejection on the hinge also ignited the bomb’s fuse. Perley recommended that operators first send up test balloons or gas bags to check the speed of the air current so that they could set the timing device accurately. Of course the aerial bomber converse trainers also had to be sent up directly to the windward side of its target. A Confederate veteran recalled an attach to the Confederate War Department who appealed for money through Richmond newspapers to build a big balloon. “He said that with it he could fly over Grant’s army, and by dropping explosives annihilate them.”In the Civil War era, men envisioning aerial bombers were considered cranks, not progressive forward thinkers ahead of their time. The primary object of this invention was to provide a weapon for use innaval warfare, which, if in the form of a dirigible torpedo, controlled from a shore or shipwireless installation, would be most deadly in its effect on a hostile fleet. No mention has beenfound of actual apparatus constructed according to Wilson’s plans. The Wireless Control of Torpedoes and other mechanisms; New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1916, 206pp + 43pp book catalog. Nikola Tesla demonstrated remote control of objects by wireless. This was two full years before Marconi began his experiments. His demonstrations of remote control climaxed in an exhibition in 1898 at Madison Square Garden in which Tesla caused a small boat (right) to obey commands from the audience. Of course, it was Tesla interpreting the verbal requests and sending appropriate frequencies to tuned circuits in the miniature ship, but to the audience it was magic.
To the press, Tesla prophesied a future in which telautomatons (robots) did man’s bidding, perhaps some day exceeding mankind. converse trainers Tesla had already decided that men were “meat machines”, responding only to stimuli and incapable of free will, so to him the succession of man by machine seemed less preposterous. He also chose to join others in the race to use America’s newfound technological superiority to devastate the Spanish in the converse trainers the Spanish American War. He offered his remote controlled boat to the military as a new kind of “smart torpedo” that would make war so terrible nations would cease to wage it.
The idea of banishing warfare by making it inconceivably horrific was a widely held conceit pretty much until the end of WWI. Even at the time, though, it was less popular with the literary crowd Tesla had insinuated himself with (although his good friend Samuel Clemens encouraged him to continue this work). Moreover, by this time his wild prognostications had caused many former colleagues to openly distance themselves and to belittle his inability to deliver inventions equal to the extravagent claims he made for them. Tesla had reached the zenith of his notoriety and the fall from this state of grace would be long and painful. This patent is the basis of contemporary robotics. In the artificial lake, the audience saw a six foot, iron hulled boat decorated with tiny electric lights. Ever the master showman, Tesla invited the crowd to shout out commands, “Turn left! Turn right! Flash the lights!” In response, Tesla signaled the boat using his wireless transmitter and the boat executed the command. With the Spanish American War just over, Tesla described how he could easily build a larger boat, arm it with dynamite, and then steer it by remote control toward an enemy ship.