Yet one more blog entry as inspired by a visit to the United Air Force Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA!
Before there was the V-1 there was the Kettering Bug!
"The American World War I Flying Bomb"
"After the Allies landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944, the Germans unleashed their V-1 flying bombs against London. By the end of World War II, nearly 10,000 of the terror weapons had been launched against British targets. They were the first pilot less bombs ever used in war, but the very first such weapon (“unmanned aerial vehicle” in modern military-speak or, more commonly, “drone”) was actually developed more than 25 years earlier during World War I by the Americans. It was called the Kettering Bug"
"$400 Flying Bomb"
"The production model flew at 50 mph and had a maximum range of 75 miles, exceeding the original requirement by 35 miles. The power to fly and operate the controls was provided by a 40-horsepower Ford engine, which cost $50, putting the total price per Bug at only $400. Including 300 lbs of explosive, its total weight was just 600 lbs."
Crude, but cheap and effective. Could be built easily in large numbers for a low cost and capable of delivering a high explosive round on target of rather significant size. Technology of the period not adequate but the idea and concept was sound.
AND IF CARRYING A CHEMICAL ROUND A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION AS WOULD HAVE BEEN UNDERSTOOD AT THE TIME!
P.S. That $400 USD cost of a "Bug" in 1918 would be $6.600 USD today. Inflation.