Pigeon-Guided Missiles: And 49 Other Ideas that Never Took Off

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9780752459905: Pigeon-Guided Missiles: And 49 Other Ideas that Never Took Off
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During the Second World War, an American behavioural psychologist working with pigeons discovered that the birds could be trained to recognise an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target. Pigeon-Guided Missiles reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history destined to change the world we live in, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers £49 million, why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank, and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, over a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end.

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The pioneering behaviourist BF Skinner was able to demonstrate in the 1940s that conditioning pigeons, housed in the nose of a missile, to peck repeatedly at an image of a target, could be an effective weapons guidance system. As with all the apparently hare-brained schemes in this book, including Thomas Edison's concrete furniture, Wilhelm Reich's cloud-busting machine and British Rail's flying saucer, the system was never adopted.

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In 1940 Henry Ford of Model T fame said: 'Mark my word. A combination airplane and motor car is coming. You may smile. But it will come.' We're still waiting, although Moore and Nero suggest that it is unease among manufacturers and the authorities rather than technical issues that have prevented flying cars from becoming reality. Oddly, the ill-fated Darien expedition, originated by Bank of England founder William Paterson and which nearly bankrupted Scotland in the late 17th century, appears among the 50 subjects here. --The Shetland Times

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Book Description History Press, 2011. Condition: New. The pioneering behaviourist BF Skinner was able to demonstrate in the 1940s that conditioning pigeons, housed in the nose of a missile, to peck repeatedly at an image of a target, could be an effective weapons guidance system. As with all the apparently hare-brained schemes in this book, including Thomas Edison's concrete furniture, Wilhelm Reich's cloud-busting machine and British Rail's flying saucer, the system was never adopted. Seller Inventory # 222749

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Book Description The History Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the Second World War, an American behavioural psychologist working with pigeons discovered that the birds could be trained to recognise an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target. Pigeon-Guided Missiles reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history destined to change the world we live in, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers GBP49 million, why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank, and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, over a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end. Seller Inventory # AA79780752459905

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Book Description The History Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the Second World War, an American behavioural psychologist working with pigeons discovered that the birds could be trained to recognise an object and to peck at an image of it; when loaded into the nose-cone of a missile, these pecks could be translated into adjustments to the guidance fins, steering the projectile to its target. Pigeon-Guided Missiles reveals this and other fascinating tales of daring plans from history destined to change the world we live in, yet which ended in failure, or even disaster. Some became the victims of the eccentric figures behind them, others succumbed to financial and political misfortune, and a few were just too far ahead of their time. Discover why the great groundnut scheme cost British taxpayers GBP49 million, why the bid to build Minerva, a whole new country in the Pacific Ocean, sank, and why the first Channel Tunnel (started in 1881, over a century before the one we know today) hit a dead end. Seller Inventory # AA79780752459905

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