Share
twitterlinkedinfacebook
Image 1 of 1
BNPS_HistoricAircraftRestored_013.jpg
BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: NationalMuseumOfTheRoyalNavy/BNPS<br />
<br />
1916 - Very rare footage of a Sopwith Baby firing off the rudimentary rockets.<br />
<br />
From 'Glorified fireworks' to pilotless drones in only 100 years.<br />
<br />
A museum has recreated the world's first air to air missile - almost 100 years to the day after they were first used.<br />
<br />
The worlds only remaining Sopwith Baby seaplane has been fitted with the rockets to show how missile weapons have come on a long way in the last century.<br />
<br />
In 1916 the British boffins used what were essentially glorified fireworks to protect the country from the threat of Zeppelin airship raids.<br />
<br />
The pilots had to get within 200 metres of their target to have any accuracy and risked being shot at or catching on fire themselves if they did hit their target.<br />
<br />
Staff at the Fleet Air Arm Museum near Yeovil, Somerset, have used old engineering drawings and photographs to replicate the aircraft missiles on the only surviving Sopwith Baby in the world for a new exhibition.<br />
<br />
The missiles were called Le Prieur rockets, named after the French lieutenant who invented them, and they were first used at the Battle of Verdun in April 1916.