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, gremlin drone and electronic warfare.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
"Washington is still working with Pakistan to decide what pilotless drone system its army needs," Reuters reported, citing a US military official in Islamabad.
Consider the pilotless drone attacks and a myriad of other modern innovations devised to obliterate the enemy and conserve our professional soldiers.
The US has widened pilotless drone aircraft missile strikes against al Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan's northwest.
The United States regularly uses pilotless drone aircraft for missile strikes in Pakistan's borderlands, known to be a haven for groups including the Afghan Taliban who launch cross-border attacks from Pakistan's northwest.
The United States has stepped up pilotless drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions since a Dec.
At the same time, the United States has stepped up missile strikes by pilotless drone aircraft on militants in northwestern Pakistan.
Possibilities include sending more combat troops and trainers for the Afghan army and stepping up strikes by pilotless drone aircraft on militants on the Pakistani side of the border.
The "War on Terror" declared by President George Bush spurred on the de-velopmenof pilotless drone aircraft deployed against insurgents.
The missiles, fired from a pilotless drone, hit a residential compound at Ladah, about 35 kilometers north of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan known as a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaida leaders taking shelter in Pakistan, they said.
The design comprises a frail-looking grey-painted craft somewhat similar to a military pilotless drone. Its lanky wings measure some 80 metres (260 feet) across, equal in wingspan to that of the giant A380 Airbus that made its maiden public display at the Le Bourget air show earlier.
This also coupled with Israeli pilotless drone non-stop flights over Merje'youn and its neighborhood.
Last year, militants in Lebanon managed to send a pilotless drone deep into neighbouring Israel, sparking fears the group were testing the system for future attacks.