Decades-Old Drone Plane Washes Up on Cape Cod Beach

A piece of military history recently surfaced on a beach, offering a glimpse into the past. Last week, Cape Cod National Seashore staff discovered the fuselage of an old drone plane that had washed up on Marconi Beach. The object, which appeared to have been in the ocean for an extended period, was removed from the beach to prevent it from being swept away by a storm, reports CBS News.

READ MORE: HISTORY OF DRONES: ‘IS THE SKY THE LIMIT?' INTREPID EXPOSITION WITH DJI

Drone Planes Used for Target Practice

The drone plane, formally known as a Remote Control Aerial Target (RCAT), was used in the 1940s and 50s at Camp Wellfleet, a former anti-aircraft training base. The base had an artillery firing line on the beach cliff, where the RCATs were utilized for target practice. As the National Park Service explained, “Aircraft equipped with an RCAT would take off from a now defunct runway located in the woods of Wellfleet. The RCAT would then be rocket-launched off the aircraft at 0 to 60 mph within the first 30 feet, and then controlled remotely from the bluff.”

Military Object Found at Old Camp Wellfleet

Camp Wellfleet, which closed in 1961, is now a popular destination for outdoor activities such as surfing, sunbathing, fishing, and hiking. However, the military warns that “munitions and explosives of concern may remain within the project area.” This is not the first time a military object has been found in the area. In 2014, the bomb squad detonated a World War II-era round of ammunition that had washed up on a remote part of Marconi Beach.

The discovery of the drone plane fuselage serves as a reminder of the area's military history and the potential hazards that may still linger. Despite the passage of time, the Cape Cod National Seashore, one of the country's most popular with over 3.8 million visitors in 2023, continues to uncover relics from its past. As visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the area, it is essential to remain aware of the historical context and exercise caution when encountering unfamiliar objects on the beach.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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