NOVA/PBS NOVAPBS
Sperry Aerial Torpedo (USA)
In 1917, Dr. Peter Cooper and Elmer A. Sperry invented the automatic gyroscopic stabilizer, which helps to keep an aircraft flying straight and level. Cooper and Sperry used their technological breakthrough to convert a U.S. Navy Curtiss N-9 trainer aircraft into the first radio-controlled UAV. The Sperry Aerial Torpedo flew 50 miles carrying a 300-pound bomb in several test flights, but it never saw combat.

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