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The Radio Bomb Did Exist
October 1945 Radio-Craft

October 1945 Radio-Craft

October 1945 Radio Craft Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Craft, published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

I frequently refer to magazine editor, inventor, author, and futurist Hugo Gernsback as a genius who accomplished as much in his lifetime as just about anyone has. He often noted in his magazines, including as in the 1945 issue of Radio-Craft, where products, methods, and events he predicted ended up coming true. It might seem like a case of "blowing his own horn," so to speak, but the fact is that then, as now, you have to publicize your successes because competitors and those who wish to cause you harm will not do it for you. Here, he had described a year previous a "Radio Bomb" which had the capability of radio controlled guidance, including onboard navigation for pinpointing targets in the final phase of flight. An onboard transmitter provided telemetry enabling tracking and correction. The guy was amazing.

The Radio Bomb Did Exist

The Radio Bomb Did Exist, October 1945 Radio-Craft - RF Cafe

The radio-controlled rocket bomb, predicted in the July, 1944, issue of Radio-Craft.

On August 17th, the War Department announced a series of new weapons, its spokesman, General H. H. Arnold, disclosed among others the following: Atomic bombs which will be guided by television and find their targets by radar.

He further stated that television guided missiles, which will pack atomic warheads, will find their targets electronically.

General Arnold went on to state that some of these weapons have been experimented with for about a year. There was, however, no statement that they have been in production.

The above statement is of interest to readers of Radio-Craft who have read the article "The Radio Rocket" in the July, 1944, issue, by the Editor, H. Gernsback. Here is an excerpt from that article from which it will be noted that it covered all the new weapon's specifications over a year ago.

The Radio Rocket may be equipped with a transmitting and receiving aerial which trails behind, as shown in the illustrations. This, however, is not absolutely essential and it is probable that in the perfected Radio Rocket, actual aerials may be dispensed with.

One of our illustrations shows the construction of the rocket, which in addition to its warhead, also contains a gyroscope, necessary to keep it on its course. In addition, it carries a radio transmitter and a receiver.

Both the transmitter and receiver are very light and are operated by means of special batteries installed in the rocket. At the moment of launching, the transmitter goes into operation automatically. On a special short wave, it transmits a pulsating frequency which is easily picked up by two ground radio units, shown in our illustration. Using automatic triangulation means, the radio truck "A" and truck "B" plot the course of the rocket accurately during its flight. With electronic instruments the actual flight of the rocket can be observed visually on a special map whereby a moving light-spot illuminates the exact course the rocket is taking. Should it get off its pre-determined path, its flight is instantly corrected from the ground radio truck "B." This truck sends out a special radio wave - also on a short wave frequency - continuously from the instant the rocket is launched. If the light-spot on the map indicates that the rocket drifts over to the right and consequently is off its course, an automatic correction impulse to the rocket instantly corrects its flight. This can be accomplished wholly automatically by electronic means, such as special photo-electric cells, actuated by the moving light-spot. The flight correction is done by radio remote control, whereby either the movable elevators or horizontal rudders of the rocket can be deflected. This will then steer the rocket again on to its correct course. The radio technicians in their radio truck visually observe if the flight of the rocket bas been corrected sufficiently. If it has not, it can then be further corrected if necessary.



Posted August 10, 2021


About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

Copyright  1996 - 2026

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