Drones are not a new idea – Intermission Story (28)

Pacific Paratrooper

The Reaper Global Hawk RQ-4

Unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, are most often associated with airstrikes in modern warfare, but their history goes much further back than that. While drones came into the spotlight during the early years of the 21st century the idea of a remotely-operated flying machine was developed much earlier. A forerunner of what we consider today to be an unmanned aerial vehicle was an Austrian balloon used during the siege of Venice in 1849.

During WWI many eccentric weapons were developed on all sides of the conflict. One was the pilotless aircraft that operated with the help of Archibald Low’s revolutionary radio controlled techniques.  The Ruston Proctor Aerial Target represented the cutting edge of drone technology in 1916. Low, nicknamed “the father of radio guidance systems,” was happy for the project to be developed further and used in kamikaze-style ramming strikes against Zeppelins.

The Kettering…

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Learn About Proposed Beacon Line Rail Trail


By Sam Barron

Metro-North and the Hudson River Valley Greenway are looking for the public’s input on the Beacon Line Rail Trail.

Two public information meetings are being held, one on Monday, Nov. 13 in Pawling and one on Tuesday, Nov. 14 in Carmel to discuss the creation of the trail, which will be part of the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile bike and walking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo that hopes to be completed in 2020.

The Pawling meeting takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pawling High School Auditorium, 30 Wagner Drive, while the Carmel meeting takes place at the Putnam County TOPS Building Auditorium at 112 Route 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The trail will use a rail line that runs east-west across Dutchess and Putnam Counties. The line, known as the Beacon Line or the Maybrook Branch, connects with Metro-North’s Hudson Line at Beacon, and runs parallel with the Harlem Line north of Southeast.

Although owned by Metro-North Railroad, the line is not currently used for passenger train service.

The Beacon Line Rail Trail will be a shared-use bicycling and pedestrian path running along a 23-mile portion of the Metro-North Railroad Beacon Line Corridor from Brewster to Hopewell Junction connecting with the Dutchess Rail Trail.

One existing track along this portion of the rail line will remain intact for possible future use, and the line segment from Hopewell Junction to Beacon is not included in the proposed trail.

The proposed trail will typically be 12 feet wide and surfaced with asphalt. Appropriate treatments will be installed at all road crossings to provide safe trail use. Metro-North Railroad will oversee design and construction of the project, which is slated to start in the spring of 2019.

Construction of the Beacon Line Rail Trail will be funded by New York State, through funds administered by the Hudson River Valley Greenway as part of the larger Empire State Trail initiative.