“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Scientist and writer Arthur C. Clarke
Airplanes have been flown by remote-control since 1917. As Wikipedia notes:
In 1917, Archibald Low as head of the RFC [Britain's Royal Flying Corps] Experimental Works, was the first person to use radio control successfully on an aircraft.
There were also [during the 1930s] remotely controlled cutters and experimental remotely controlled planes in the Red Army. In the 1930s Britain developed the radio controlled Queen Bee, a remotely controlled unmanned Tiger Moth aircraft for a fleet’s gunnery firing practice. The Queen Bee was superseded by the similarly named Queen Wasp, a later, purpose built, target aircraft of higher performance.
As the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum notes, President John F. Kennedy’s older brother flew a secret mission involving the remote-control flying of a bomb-laden airplane to attack Nazi targets inside France: