Derek Gregory: The radio-controlled television plane

Open Geography

Derek Gregory’s latest blog post The radio-controlled television plane, discusses a truly extraordinary proposal first made in 1924 and then republished in 1931.

…the military operation of a ‘radio-controlled television plane’, directed by radio and navigated using ‘electric eyes’ that would enable ‘the control operator, although 50, 100 or possibly 500 miles away, [to] see exactly what goes on around the plane, just the same as if he himself were seated in the cockpit; with the further advantage that, sitting before a screen, he can scan six directions all at once, which no human aviator can do.

See the crazy illustration he dug up:

What makes this additionally remarkable is that the article was by Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967), the well-known science fiction writer and magazine publisher. Gernsback is the American sf figure; as Derek notes the Hugo award (the Oscar of the sf world) is named after him. He…

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