Fleets of unmanned drones have become a common weapon in the U.S. military's arsenal, but clunky controls and interfaces that distract human operators can lead to costly mistakes and crashes. Such problems prompted a former U.S. Navy pilot to develop an iPhone app that allows any smartphone user to learn how to fly an unmanned aerial system in just three minutes.
The age of remote-control warfare isn't coming--it's here, and not even the Air Force, which made it happen, is entirely prepared. Here, a firsthand look at the struggle to train thousands of drone pilots virtually overnight
Armed with precision-guided bombs and missiles, the Reaper MQ-9 is the deadliest war drone yet. Here, it sits on the flight line at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.
Lance Cheung/U.S. Air Force Photo
Without traffic, it takes Captain Adam Brockshus about 45 minutes to drive from his four-bedroom suburban home outside Las Vegas to Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. His commute follows Highway 95 northwest through a stretch of the Mojave freckled with Joshua trees and flanked by arid mountain ranges. He trains pilots for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet this desolate drive may be the most harrowing part of his job.
By Gregory MonePosted 11.06.2007 at 12:28 pm 2 Comments
It might not sound like much, this 78 mile flight, but the recent journey by the Pterosaur Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was actually a record-breaker.
Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, the Pterosaur flew 28 miles farther than the previous record for micro-UAVs, which weigh in at around 11 pounds or less, and its developers say it only used a fraction of the fuel in its tank. Eventually they claim it should be able to go 310 miles. Singapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies developed the propulsion system in conjunction with scientists at several U.S. universities.—Gregory Mone
Tactical UAV or serious toy spy plane? Keep up withâ€”and keep tabs onâ€”the Joneses
By Eric AdamsPosted 03.09.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
It takes two sets of wings to Tango-this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Draganfly Innovations uses tandem front and rear wings pitched in opposite directions (front set up, rear set down) to significantly increase its stability in the air, which makes it easier to control. Available as either a remote-controlled UAV or a fully autonomous drone, the fiberglass Tango uses a camera [A] in its underbelly and a 2.4-gigahertz radio antenna to send TV-quality live video to your computer.
Imagine an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that could fly for days rather than hours, aiding soldiers on reconnaissance missions or supplying emergency communications to disaster-affected regions. AeroVironment, which built the first human- and solar-powered airplanes, has successfully flown a prototype of a UAV that will be able to remain at high altitudes for longer than a week at a time. Unlike earlier solar-powered systems, which had to power the vehicle and store enough electricity for nighttime flying, Global Observer uses fuel-cell-powered electric motors to drive eight propellers.