LOUDONVILLE -- Loudonville native Charles Kettering invented the world's first guided missile -- then called a flying bomb -- in 1918, nearly 26 years before the Germans debuted the V-1 flying bomb.
Formally titled the Liberty Eagle, but affectionately known as the Kettering Bug, the aerial torpedo was capable of traveling 75 miles while carrying a 180-pound payload. The bi-plane design was constructed mostly out of cardboard, wood laminates, and papier-mâché.
Kettering was aided by the Wright Brothers, and after rigorous testing the Liberty Eagle was finally approved by the military for combat.
However, by the time a shipment of the secret weapons arrived in France, the armistice was signed and the war had drawn to an end.
The Liberty Eagle, an engineering marvel, was kept highly-classified for over three decades until jet propulsion and the German V-1 and V-2 missiles made it obsolete.
No known Liberty Eagles exist, however a full-scale reproduction is displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.