A Propelling Artifact: Curtis NC-9H Seaplane Propeller
One of the prominent artifacts at the museum is the propeller from a Curtis NC-9H seaplane that flew unmanned at Dahlgren on September 15, 1924.
Carl Norden came to Dahlgren to work on his bombsight but, because of his previous work on unmanned aircraft, was asked to install his control system on the NC-9H and mate it with a radio system that had been developed by the Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory (later part of the Naval Research Laboratory). After two successful flights with a safety pilot that morning, Lieutenant John J. Ballantine remotely controlled the airplane as it took off, maneuvered, and landed. This was the first unmanned aircraft to do all of these functions.
Visit the museum to see this unique artifact Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm.