Unmanned aerial vehicle

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A group photo of aerial demonstrators at the 2005 Naval Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Air Demo

An unmanned aerial vehicle (often called a drone) is an aircraft that is not operated by a pilot on board.

Drones may have an onboard computer to take care of adjustments to wind and changes in air pressure. Sometimes they are programmed to a particular target. Important decisions are usually supervised by people on the ground.

Large UAVs are mostly used by military forces, for example for reconnaissance or unmanned combat. Some of them are programmed to be a target, or to be shot at. In addition, drones also have civilian uses, such as firefighting or taking photographs.

Drones come in different sizes. Wingspans range from a few centimetres to about 60 metres (200 ft), the size of regular, manned aircraft.

Civilian uses[change | change source]

Photographers mount cameras on drones to make pictures from above. Google has built and tested drones, to be used for goods deliveries.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Stewart, Jack 2014. Google tests drone deliveries in Project Wing trials. BBC News Technology. [1]