Or should that be Eagle Eye*? Judge for yourself after you check out this article from Popular Mechanics, readers!
The CIA Built a Nuclear Bird Drone to Spy on Communists. Now It’s Declassified.
Why did this thing fail?
AUG 11, 2020
- During the Cold War, the CIA considered building a bird-sized drone designed to spy on the communist bloc.
- The drone would carry “black box” spy packages into Russia and China, as well as take secret photographs—all while hiding in plain sight disguised as a bird.
- Project Aquiline was eventually canceled, likely due to its technical complexity.
At the height of the Cold War, America’s military industrial complex was churning out impressive airplanes designed to spy on the Soviet Union and other communist countries. The speedy SR-71 Blackbird and high-flying U-2 Dragon Lady spy planes, for example, were big, impressive planes designed to outrun or outfox enemy air defenses. These planes set records for speed, operating altitude, and are still considered technical marvels today.
Then there was Project Aquiline, one of the most unusual—and complicated—technical espionage efforts of the Cold War. The project envisioned a fleet of 12 bird-shaped drones, powered by nuclear energy, that could stay aloft for up to a month. The drone, which was supposed to act as a robotic spy plane and courier for secret payloads, was never completed. The CIA recently declassified and posted documents pertaining to Project Aquiline.
*This is an Amazon affiliate link. When you purchase something through it, this author receives a commission from Amazon at no extra charge to you, the buyer. If you liked this article, friend Caroline Furlong on Facebook or follow her here at www.carolinefurlong.wordpress.com. Her stories have been published in Cirsova’s Summer Special and Unbound III: Goodbye, Earth, while her poetry appeared in Organic Ink, Vol. 2. She has also had stories published in Planetary Anthologies Luna and Uranus. Another story was released in Cirsova Magazine’s Summer Issue. Her most recent piece is available in Planetary Anthology: Sol. Order them today!