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Interstate TDR Assault Drone
Technical Information

Click For EnlargementDesigned by Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation in El Segundo, California. The TDR Assault Drone (Attack Drone) was a remote controlled drone for use as guided bomb. The TDR was designed to takeoff on a wheeled carriage which fell off after becoming airborne, or be launched from a catapult. Once airborne, controlled by an observer aboard a parent aircraft, a modified TBM Avenger. Only one drone could be controlled by each parent aircraft. Some earlier versions were built with simple cockpits, but these were fared over.

Inside the nose was a television camera and transmitter that relayed a black & white image to the parent aircraft and the image was viewed on a small television screen. The observer controlled the TDR using a joystick and flew it into the target. Armed with a single 2,000 pound aerial bomb or an aerial torpedo.

A total of 195 were built by Interstate in DeKalb, Illinois.

Two prototypes built powered by 2 x 150hp Franklin O-805-2 engines.

Production version powered by  2 x Lycoming O-435-2 engines. A total of 189 were built. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as the TDR-1 bureau number range 27859-27958 (99 built), 33515-33614 (only sixteen built: 33515-33531, the remainder 33532-33614 were canceled).

In the South Pacific (SOPAC), U. S. Navy (USN), Special Task Air Group On (STAG-1) commanded by Captain Robert F. Jones based at Banika Field (Sunlight) tested the weapon in combat, with forty-two launched against targets in the Western Solomons, Bougainville. Later, STAG-1 moved to Nissan Airfield (Green Island) and launched nineteen against Rabaul and New Ireland.

Japanese Capture
At Rabaul, the Japanese recovered wreckage of at least one TDR crash at Rabaul. Likely, this was from one of the October 1944 mission. On November 8, 1944 key pieces of wreckage were loaded aboard a J1N1 Irving to be flown to Japan for technical evaluation, but the aircraft went missing on the first leg of the flight bound for Truk.

Navy Serial Number Search Results - Interstate TDR-1 Bureau Numbers 27859-27958
"Naval Aircraft Factory TDN development built in modified configuration by Interstate as TDR-1. Was unmanned remotely-conrolled aircraft for use in combat as assault drone."
The Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida Chapter 14 Guided Missile Attacks Against Rabaul pages 58-61

Technical Details
Pilot  None (remotely control)
Engines  2 x Lycoming O-435-2 piston engines 220 hp each driving two bladed propellers
Wingspan  48' / 15m
Length  30' / 9.144m
Cruise Speed  140 mph
Range  425 miles
Weight  5,900 pounds
Armament  2,000 pounds aerial bomb

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