unmanned aerial vehicle

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(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) A remotely controlled airplane without a human pilot. Mostly known as a "drone," they are also called an "unmanned aircraft system" (UAS) and "remotely piloted vehicle" (RPV). Used for surveillance and transport in both military and non-military applications, they date back to the early 1900s. UAVs provided meaningful assistance on the battlefield in World War II.

In the 21st century, small "quadcopter" drones have become widely used for aerial photography and just plain fun. They have become so popular that government regulations and licensing are expected in order to prevent collisions. See quadcopter, personal drone, insect drone, selfie drone and gremlin drone.

Military and Industrial UAVs
In the summer of 2005, there was a day long demonstration of military and industrial UAVs at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Inigoes, Maryland. The picture was taken by Photographers Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain.
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unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
Predator tactical UAV.
A powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles. Also called remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) and uninhabited combat aerial vehicles (UCAV).
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of modern unmanned aerial vehicles in the Russian army has increased to 1,720 in 2015 from just 180 drone aircraft in 2011
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In Syria, attack, fighter, bomber, and drone aircraft launched 20 airstrikes: near Al Hasakah, where "three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device)," near Dayr az Zawr, where one airstrike "struck a crude oil collection point," and near Ain Al-Arab/Kobane, where "13 airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, eight ISIL tactical units, three ISIL fighting positions and destroyed 21 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL staging areas, two ISIL tanks and three ISIL vehicles," CJTF-OIR affirmed.
Fighter jets and drone aircraft destroyed an armed truck that was firing on Kurdish forces near Irbil, and then followed up with four more attacks on other armed trucks and a mortar position, the Pentagon reported.
ISAF drone aircraft fired missile at a car which resulted in the killing of six militants onboard, he added.
A few years ago, when drone aircraft first began to make their mark, the first uses for the technology were naturally in the military.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expecting thousands of drone aircraft to be introduced to the skies over the next several years, and they want universities to help them develop the roadmap.
Summary: The news late last week that a drone aircraft was hovering over the residence of a prominent Lebanese politician has seemingly come and gone with little in the way of official action or even rhetoric.
The very thought of drone aircraft makes many people uneasy.