We are now on Patreon! Click here to learn more about how you can help support the site.

Thursday, December 2, 2021
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Science & Technology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Science & Technology

Revealed: the CIA's nuclear-powered bird drone

August 4, 2020 | Comment icon 1 comment



Would this have really tricked the Soviets ? Image Credit: CIA Archives
Newly declassified CIA documents have revealed details of a secretive Cold War spy drone that looked like a bird.
Known as Project Aquiline, the unusual device served as a precursor to today's Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and was first conceived in the 1960s at a time when the United States was eager to find effective new ways to spy on the activities of the Soviet Union without risking its pilots.

The bird-like, propeller-driven drone was designed to look like a soaring bird from a distance, which would have helped it to evade detection while flying reconnaissance over the USSR.

As many as five prototypes were constructed and the drone could be equipped with everything from infra-red cameras to radio receivers and eavesdropping devices.

According to declassified CIA files, it was also capable of dropping equipment at predetermined locations that could later be picked up by US agents operating in the field - James Bond style.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the project was the fact that there were even plans to equip the drone with a nuclear power supply, despite the obvious safety concerns.

"It will have vast utility for over-water applications; its radiation hazards will be so low as to permit consideration of its use for over-land missions," the report reads.

The nuclear-powered drone was estimated to be capable of operating non-stop for 120 days.

Ultimately, however, the project ended up being canned due to disagreements over its rising costs.

Source: Forbes | Comments (1)



Unexplained Mysteries is now on Patreon!

Click here to learn more about how you can help support the site and gain access to a range of perks including a subscriber badge, ad-free browsing, an exclusive weekly newsletter, sneak peaks of upcoming features and more.
24 / 25  
We are 96% of the way to our second Patreon subscriber target - thank you!
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Kenemet 1 year ago
TL;DR - it's plans for a device... never made and the nuclear power angle was proposed but never got off the drawing board.   (had to read it because when I saw "nuclear power" I frowned.... they weren't making nuclear power units that small in the 1960's)


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Recent news and articles