Getting the Drone Identification Right
In your June 2018 issue, one letter writer misidentified the drone in the photo he discusses.
The drone is a U.S. Navy Interstate XTD3R assault drone, not an Army drone and not the TRD drone nicknamed “Edna III” on exhibit at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida. The drone in the photo had two Wright R-975s, with each rated at 450hp, and was the last Navy assault drone. Testing of these drones was done by the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit, located in Johnsville, Pennsylvania. The Unit had several all-yellow SB2C Helldivers, with “Johnsville” lettering on their fuselage. These could have played a role in drone testing. I have not found any other photos of all-yellow SB2Cs in Navy service. It’s amazing how far back drones go, isn’t it? Thanks for the clarification, Dave.—BD