Ideas, some good and some peculiar, to provide aerial help in
the world of intelligence operations; from advanced devices such as Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAVs), to rocket packs, inflatable aircraft and other interesting ways
for "infiltration and exfiltration" of personnel. They appear here if
they claimed controlled flight, and had the ability to perform some intelligence
role en route.
HAFNER ROTACHUTE - A 1940 design to test
the concept of using an autogyro rotor to airdrop personnel into enemy territory
with more accuracy than was provided by a parachute.
JUNKERS Ju.87D PERSONNEL POD - The idea of delivering
agents clandestinely by aircraft was not original. The Ju.87 with parachutable
passenger wing pods was possibly the ultimate expression of the concept during
ONR-CIA PNEUMATIC AIRCRAFT - A 1950s American
concept to provide air transport for 'special personnel', packable to roughly
armchair size and able to be inflated when required. And please do bring it back
PERSONAL ROCKET PACKS:
BELL ROCKET BELTS - The concept of personal rocket
packs became workable with Bell's "Rocket Belt" - in fact more of a
backpack - as well as in another design for a jet backpack.
SOLOTREK XFV - A personal flight pack of longer
endurance than the 1960s rocket packs uses small, shrouded rotors.
WW2 GERMAN ROCKET PACKS - Although hinted at, the
WW2 German military's supposed development of personal rocket packs for troops
seems to have been overlooked by history.
UN-MANNED RECON DRONES:
WESTLAND RECON DRONE - Produced by British helicopter
manufacturer Westland, this very small remotely controlled drone was able to carry
a variety of surveillance loads.
TIER II PREDATOR UAV - The Predator
fits into a heirarchy of UAVs being developed by DARPA in the United States, as
a medium-altitude endurance reconnaissance UAV which had already seen deployment.
L.M.B. DARK STAR UAV - Officially known as
'Tier-III-minus Low Observable UAV', the Dark Star was developed in the
1990s and is of a type which will replace manned spyplanes. It is a suitable team
partner to the high-endurance Global Hawk UAV.
GLOBAL HAWK UAV - The Teledyne Ryan Global
Hawk is a high-altitude endurance reconnaissance drone, developed by the United
States to supplement the lower altitude Predator and high-altitude stealthy
Dark Star recon UAVs.
SIKORSKY CYPHER - The Cypher was developed
to meet a close-range UAV requirement by the USA. Sikorsky believe the type is
also capable of non-defence roles.
CANADAIR CL-227 SENTINEL - Development by
Bombardier's Canadair Defence Systems Division of an early version of the Sentinel
UAV began in 1978. It has developed through the CL-227 and CL-289 in the 1990s
as a camera and sensor-carrying field reconnaissance drone.