NOVA/PBS NOVAPBS
Kettering Aerial Torpedo (USA)
Made of wood and canvas for $400 each, the "Kettering Bug" was a small biplane equipped to carry a bomb load equal to its own weight—300 pounds. Charles F. Kettering of General Motors designed the Bug to take off from a wheeled trolley and then detach its wings, allowing its fuselage to dive vertically towards a pre-programmed target. The U.S. military ordered large quantities of the Bug during the last months of World War I, but when the war ended the orders were cancelled.

Back Next