1945 RCA CRV-59AAE Iconoscope Camera

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

CRV-59AAE is 20` long by 9` wide by 10`high. It weighs a mere 33 pounds. It is at least 60 years old and in excellent condition. It represents some of the finest in miniaturized technology for its time. It uses an iconoscope tube as the imager. It contains 17 vacuum tubes, including the iconoscope tube. All tubes are present and accounted for.It was originally intended

1945 RCA CRV-59AAE Iconoscope Camera
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to be used in a remote piloted glide bomb. Internal markings and quality control stamps indicate this is a US Navy surplus item. Here is some more detailed history about that: This camera was part of the ATJ/ATK (transmitter) ARK (receiver) system for the first generation of "smart bombs. " The development project was called PROJECT BLOCK. the ATJ camera is part of "Block 3", an incremental improvement over the Block 1 systems. (Block 2 is not mentioned in my resources. ) They were used in glide-bombs, as well as aboard war-weary B-17s and B-24s that were packed with explosives and used as unmanned "kamikaze" type weapons against targets in Europe, notably German submarine pens. The planes had to be flown by a crew at takeoff but after that the crews bailed out and a "mother ship" took over with radio control. It was one of these aircraft that killed Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. when it exploded after takeoff from a base in England, in 1944. (There is even more information found on the page links at the end of this article, bottom of the page. ) All of that is too dreary, though heroic, for these times and only the beginning of these camera`s fascinating story. Let`s examine their role following the end of the war. Labguy`s World got this one in 2006. Many were made, but hardly any (relatively speaking) where used, and so became electronic surplus after the war. Some television stations went on air with these as their first...

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