TDR assault drone file photo [27031]

TDR

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerInterstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation
Primary RoleOther

Contributor:

ww2dbaseThe TDR unmanned assault drone aircraft was developed by Interstate Aircraft starting in Apr 1942 by request of the United States Navy. The prototype took its first flight in 1942. They were built using steel-tube framing from the bicycle manufacturer Schwinn and molded wood skin. They were powered by two 220-horsepower engines. They were equipped with fixed tricycle landing gears which were jettisoned following takeoff for an operational mission. They could be flown either from a control aircraft (which was usually a TBF Avenger torpedo bomber fitted with a television display, seeing a display transmitted from the camera at the TDR drone's nose), or aboard the drone itself (for test flights). Originally the US Navy envisioned, under Operation Option, a force of 1,000 to 2,000 assault drones, organized into 18 squadrons with 162 control aircraft. Ultimately, however, the contract was reduced to 300 assault drones. In 1944, TDR-1 aircraft were deployed to the South Pacific. They conducted their first operational sortie on 27 Sep 1944, bombing Japanese ships. On 27 Oct 1944, 50 TDR-1 aircraft were launched against the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul, New Britain; 31 of them reached the target and damaged several buildings. The project was canceled on 28 Oct 1944, one day after the small success at Rabaul, the project was cancelled. By this date, a total of 189 production examples were built.

ww2dbaseOne TDR-1 aircraft was tested by the US Army Air Forces under the designation of XBQ-4. No orders were issued.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

TDR Timeline

30 Jul 1944 Leaders of US Navy ComAirSols (Commander Air Solomons) was given a demonstration of unmanned TDR drones. Four of them took flight and each released a 2,000-pound bomb on Yamazuki Maru which was beached at Guadalcanal. 3 of the bombs hit, although 1 of the failed to detonate.
27 Sep 1944 Four TDR-1 drones, controlled from TBM-1c aircraft, were launched against beached Japanese freighter used as antiaircraft emplacement off Kahili airstrip, Bougainville. Two drones hit the ship, one crashed just short (bomb did not explode) and one was lost enroute.
1 Oct 1944 Eight TDR drones were launched against positions on Ballale and Poporang Islands south of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands with mixed results.
5 Oct 1944 Four TDR drones, each carrying a 2,000-pound bomb, were launched against Japanese supply caves near the coast of Keravia Bay, south of Rabaul, New Britain. One hit in the vicinity of cave entrances, one missed the target area, two were lost enroute due to interference from communications frequency used by motor gunboats operating in the waters over which the drones flew.
9 Oct 1944 Four TDR drones were launched against Matupi Bridge, Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain. Three were lost to antiaircraft fire and one was lost enroute to the target.
15 Oct 1944 Four TDR drones were launched against Matupi Bridge, Simpson Harbor, Rabaul, New Britain as part of coordinated attack by conventional bombers against Simpson Harbor. Poor picture reception and pilot error resulted in none of the TDRs hitting their targets.
17 Oct 1944 Four TDR drones were launched against Japanese installations near East Rabaul, New Britain. One of the four hit the objective, one hit a target of opportunity, a third was lost due to the failure of a tube in the receiver of the drone, and a fourth may have been shot down (light and inaccurate antiaircraft fire was noted).
18 Oct 1944 Three TDR drones were launched against lighthouse on Cape Saint George, New Ireland. None hit the target.
19 Oct 1944 Two TDR drones were launched against Japanese gun positions west of Ballale Island south of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. One missed its target, the other dropped two of its four 100-pound bombs on the target before it crashed.
20 Oct 1944 Three TDR drones were launched against Japanese gun positions west of Ballale Island south of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. One was lost, one made a hit with its bomb but crashed before it can be directed into a beached Japanese freighter serving as an antiaircraft gun platform, and the third scored a bomb hit and crashes into the beached freighter as planned.
23 Oct 1944 Six TDR drones were flown against beached Japanese ships in Moisuru Bay, Bougainville and off the south end of the Kahili airstrip. Two TDRs scored a direct hits on a beached Japanese freighter serving as an antiaircraft gun platform at Kahili, and one hit another beached merchantman in Moisuru Bay.
26 Oct 1944 Four TDR drones were flown against lighthouse on Cape Saint George, New Ireland. One of the four hit squarely and demolishes the structure.
27 Oct 1944 Unmanned TDR drones attacked Rabaul, New Britain with bombs, damaging some buildings.
28 Oct 1944 One day after a mission over Rabaul, New Britain in which unmanned TDR drones damaged some buildings, the US Navy canceled the TDR project.

SPECIFICATIONS

TDR-1
MachineryTwo Lycoming O-435-2 opposed piston engines, rated at 220hp each
Armament1x2,000lb (910kg) bomb or 1x aerial torpedo
Span15.00 m
Weight, Maximum2,676 kg
Speed, Cruising225 km/h
Range, Maximum425 km

Photographs

TDR-1 assault drone in flight, 1942




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TDR-1 assault drone in flight, 1942




Famous WW2 Quote
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945