Interstate TDR Assault Drone
Designed 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.
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."
Siege of Rabaul (1996) by Henry Sakaida Chapter 14 Guided Missile Attacks Against Rabaul pages 58-61