unmanned aerial vehicle

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UAV

(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