A Precursor to Drone...


Operation Aphrodite

This is our first FPV and RC the granddaddy

After seeing the video in youtube i did a quick lookup on wiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Aphrodite and Anvil were the World War II code names of United States Army Air Forces and United States Navy operations to use B-17 and PB4Y bombers as precision-guided munitions against bunkers such as those of Operation Crossbow.[1]

The plan called for B-17 aircraft which had been taken out of operational service (various nicknames existed such as 'robot', 'baby', 'drone' or 'weary Willy')[2] to be loaded to capacity with explosives, and flown by radio control into bomb-resistant fortifications such as German U-boat pens and V-weapon sites. It was hoped that this would match the British success with Tallboy and Grand Slamsupersonic ground penetration bombs but the project was dangerous, expensive and unsuccessful.


Aphrodite, BQ-7, BQ-8

Aphrodite drone at takeoff
Typeguided missile
Service history
In service1944
WarheadPayload: 18,000 lb (8,200 kg)[citation needed] Torpex

Azon (TV sensor, radio control)

Castor (radar & TV sensors, radio control)

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  • Some people have said that one of the reasons the US was slow to adopt and even opposed to drones is the fact that Josepth Kennedy died during this program. 

    The German's used boats with long control line tethers and a bunch of explosives as a ocean going guided missile.

    There have been a lot of precursors to drones throughout history. Look up why General Atomics makes the predator... Oh and GE had drones back in the day as well.


  • T3

    That is like Megan Fox being a member of diydrones.com

  • so marilyn monroe was building drones when she was discoverd ?

  • T3

    Here is an interesting link to early target drones:


    The company Radioplane was eventually sold to Northrop

  • I beleive there has been quite a bit of work done by German folks in this space, from various books i have come across, not being a historian i couldnt validate any of this.

  • I've been to the V3 bunker in France and there is a small monument for Kennedy.

  • ah thanks for the link so this is where they based the aphrodite project and anvil from doc sperry's experiments

  • Moderator

    There was stuffing happening a while before this http://www.nationalaviation.org/sperry-sr-elmer/

  • I think they started S.T.A.G. after that in the pacific I think they have one at pensacola nas navel musem

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