The Central intelligence Agency of the USA has published the documents for the project Aquiline, which was planned to create bird-like drones-scouts. They were intended for prolonged flights over the territory of the USSR, Cuba and China, which drones were offered to equip a nuclear source of energy. The project was not implemented due to the high price and complexity, but, according to the CIA, influenced the development of the UAV at the end of the twentieth century.
During the Cold war and the Soviet Union, and the United States was interested in obtaining intelligence about each other. In the late 50-ies of the United States began to apply the U-2 planes that violate the airspace of other countries, however, were flying at an altitude of over 20 kilometers, beyond the reach of the fighters of that time. After some time, the USSR had high-altitude anti-aircraft missile systems s-75, which is in a good location could bring down a U-2 that was demonstrated on may 1, 1960 in the skies of the Sverdlovsk region. The next American strategic reconnaissance SR-71 was flown at altitudes up to 30 kilometers and speeds up to Mach three, making him almost invulnerable. Despite hundreds of launches of anti-aircraft missiles, aircraft of this type was never shot down, but America did not allow the pilots to fly too deep into Soviet territory, after all, at successful coincidence of circumstances the plane could still intercept. Partial alternative to reconnaissance flights were satellites, but to launch KH-11 satellite images was significantly inferior to the air quality and transmitted to the Ground with a large delay.
To continue aerial reconnaissance no significant risks in the early 70-ies in the United States proposed to use the aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles. At that time there were drones target drones and experimental aircraft, missiles, and tactical battlefield intelligence, but the CIA project Aquiline (eagle) offered quite different. In the framework of this project were asked to develop a drone that will carry cameras and radio equipment. While in appearance the drone was supposed to resemble a soaring bird, it was assumed that a single vulture will not cause suspicion, and the unit will be able for a long period of time to explore strategic objects. In addition, before the USA launched the system NAVSTAR (GPS), drones have not had easy navigation, one of the variants of the project proposed to the operator lead the machine along the roads and Telegraph lines.