People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning
some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through
April 1985. As time permits, I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights (if any) are hereby
This angled, twin rotor, no-tail-rotor (NOTAR) configuration
for a remotely controlled helicopter was pioneered by
Kaman Aircraft Corporation in the 1950s, and is still a unique part of their product
lineup today. Per their website, "The Unmanned Aerial Truck (UAT) continues a Kaman tradition of
pioneering unmanned helicopters. In 1957, Charles Kaman, founder of Kaman Corporation, created the first
pilotless aircraft." The embedded video below is a 1957 edition of the "You Asked for It" television
show, where host Jack Smith reported on a demonstration of the craft. It is amazingly stable and easy
to fly, by a pilot in the cockpit, from a ground-based remote control station, or from a remote control
unit located in another airborne helicopter. As you will see, this probably qualifies as the first practical
first-person-view (FPV) remote controlled aircraft.
Flown aloft by a technician operating a radio-control setup from the ground is the "robot" helicopter
above. The ground controller is not a pilot himself; ease of control makes the robot capable of being
"flown" by anyone. Inside the helicopter, in addition to the R/C equipment, are facilities for taking
still pictures as well as TV pictures and transmitting them to ground observers.
In addition, the robot can lay communications lines, fly a "memory" course fed into a ground control
station, and respond to commands transmitted from an airborne control station in a second helicopter.
Developed by The Kaman Aircraft Corporation, Bloomfield, Connecticut, the robot is shown in the above
photo being demonstrated to U. S. Department of Defense officials at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
"You Asked for It" television show demonstrates Kaman remotely piloted helicopter.