• Short Summary

    At Edwards Airforce Base in California the United States Air Force recently revealed a new kind of weapon - a remote controlled war plane equipped with laser beam and TV camera.

  • Description

    At Edwards Airforce Base in California the United States Air Force recently revealed a new kind of weapon - a remote controlled war plane equipped with laser beam and TV camera.

    The pilotless plane, called a drone, is carried to within one hundred miles of a potential target by it's mother aircraft. It is then launched from it's housing under the big plane's wing and remotely controlled to the target area to carry out photographic surveys. The U.S. Air Force claim that they have been using this technique over Vietnam since 1964. Now by equipping the pilotless planes with television equipment and missiles the mother plane pilot will be able to guide the drone to the target area and remotely fire the missiles with pin-point accuracy. Tests on the guidance system have already proved accurate.

    Drones will also be used to support ground troops. These will carry a miniature television camera and a laser transmitter. The TV camera is used to seek out the target, and the laser beam guides the bombs.

    Development problems with the drone engines have led to a new design - it's battery-powered and together with a new, more efficient wing span allows the small plane to hover for hours over enemy positions, sending back television pictures and directing artillery fire.

    At Edwards Air Force base there are hangers full of drones designed for a multitude of applications. These aircraft are expected to play an increasing part in U.S. National defence. They don't expose pilots to dangerous situations and they are relatively inexpensive to build - one million dollars (417 pounds sterling) compared with 15 million dollars (6,255,000 pounds sterling) for a manned aircraft.

    SYNOPSIS: This United States Air Force Command aircraft is launching a new era in air warfare - the sophisticated pilotless remotely-controlled plane.

    From it's mother aircraft the drone, as it's called, is directed towards the target area to carry out photographic surveys.

    The United States Air Force claim that they have used survey drones over Vietnam for years. Now they are developing drones which carry television cameras and guided missiles.

    Drones, very similar to the models flown by amateurs, have been developed for field use.

    These drones are primarily used for ground troop support. They carry a miniature television camera and laser transmitter. They are designed to replace the small, vulnerable observation planes that are currently used to direct artillery fire.

    The pilot uses the television camera to find the target. The laser transmitter then directs the bombs to the target with extreme accuracy.

    Problems with previous drone engines have led to a new design. Engines are now battery powered and the wing span has been increased to make it more efficient.

    Edward's Air Force Base has hangers full of drones designed for a variety of tasks.

    Because drones don't expose pilots to danger, and are relatively inexpensive to build, they are expected to play an increasing part in United States National defence.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACIILK818QUNW5SFFINLWNYGLF
    Media URN:
    VLVACIILK818QUNW5SFFINLWNYGLF
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    22/04/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:42:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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