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Remotely Piloted Vehicles

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2005 | Cecilia Rasmussen, Times Staff Writer
In the midst of the Cold War, when Nike missile sites dotted the Southland, a bright red runaway Navy drone airplane veered off course and headed for Los Angeles, triggering a dangerous sequence of events known as the "Battle of Palmdale." It's not a battle that the military could say it won back on Aug. 16, 1956.
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BUSINESS
November 9, 2011 | W.J. Hennigan
In 100 years of naval aviation, only the most experienced combat pilots have performed the difficult task of launching an attack on a nearby target and returning the aircraft to a ship as it bobs in the ocean. Now that tricky task is being turned over to unmanned drones. With a $17-million contract, the U.S. Navy has taken the first step in arming its fleet of drone helicopters with laser-guided missiles to blast enemy targets. The Northrop Grumman Corp.-made MQ-8B Fire Scout would be Navy's first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons when it's delivered within 15 months.
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NEWS
August 25, 1989 | From Associated Press
Flush with success, researchers returned Thursday to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald hoping for more startlingly clear views of the famed vessel 556 feet beneath the surface of Lake Superior. "The tension is off," said Carol Swinehart of Michigan Sea Grant, one of the sponsors of an expedition to explore shipwrecks with a small, deep-water robot that takes three-dimensional video pictures.
WORLD
March 29, 2010 | By Julian E. Barnes
As part of an effort to extend the military's "warrior culture" to unmanned planes, the Air Force is overhauling how it trains the crews that operate its rapidly growing fleet of Predators, Reapers and other remotely piloted aircraft. The changes in training will affect hundreds of personnel who fly the unmanned aircraft remotely over war zones from distant bases and control their powerful cameras and targeting systems. The effort is part of a move by the Air Force to put as much emphasis on drones as it does on traditional fighters and bombers, officials said.
NEWS
June 28, 1991 | NANCY JO HILL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A camouflage-colored C-130 sat on the runway. Its four engines were silent, but an armored tank had just rolled out of its cargo bay. Down the runway sat a Pitts S2-A, a vintage biplane known for its acrobatic maneuvers. Its distinctive red and white paint gleamed in the sun. Even though these planes are just as airworthy as their full-size counterparts, they are only a fraction of the size. The C-130 has a wing span of 135 inches. The Pitts has a 68-inch wing span.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 1993 | GEOFF BOUCHER
Marge Simpson's grin never waned. Throughout takeoff, during the barrel rolls and even in the throes of a nose dive that would leave the toy plane splintered on the dusty canyon floor, her smile and stacked blue hair remained firmly in place. When the model plane was finally at rest, a beaming 9-year-old named Ryan Arp ran to pick up the pieces. It was not the first time he had pulled a plastic member of the cartoon family from wreckage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2008 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
To the world it might be called a robot boat, but its proper name is the Unmanned Surface Vehicle, and the U.S. Navy expects it to be a major tool in countering what officials believe is a growing threat posed by quiet diesel-powered submarines owned by rogue nations. In advance of the official roll-out today, reporters were allowed to see the boat on Thursday at Naval Base Point Loma before it took a trial run on San Diego Bay.
WORLD
October 25, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.S. Air Force has begun using armed drones to strike targets in southern Iraq, the military's top officer said. The pilotless Predators fly in conjunction with Air Force fighter jets that have been patrolling a "no-fly" zone over southern Iraq for more than a decade, said Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Predators have detected Iraqi gunners firing surface-to-air missiles or artillery, Myers said.
SCIENCE
June 28, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An unmanned plane that set an altitude record two years ago broke apart during a test flight and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The flight was testing an advanced experimental fuel system in preparation for an endurance mission of almost two days that had been planned for next month. The $15-million, solar-electric, propeller-driven Helios had a wingspan of 247 feet. It reached an altitude of 96,500 feet during a 2001 flight from Barking Sands missile range in Hawaii.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 1994 | GREG HERNANDEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Troy Turley learned an important lesson Saturday afternoon: It is a lot easier to fly his radio-controlled helicopter in his own back yard than in front of a panel of poker-faced judges. With shaky hands maneuvering the controls, Turley tried to hover the small aircraft steadily before lowering it onto a small landing pad at Mile Square Regional Park, the site of the 1994 West Coast International Radio Control Helicopter Championships.
WORLD
January 15, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez and Zulfiqar Ali
Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Peshawar, Pakistan -- A U.S. drone missile attack that may have been aimed at Pakistan's most-wanted militant killed 16 people in the country's troubled tribal areas Thursday, the latest in a dramatic step-up of such strikes since a Dec. 30 bombing killed seven CIA employees and contractors. In the last two weeks, U.S. drones have carried out at least eight strikes in the country's largely ungoverned tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.
NATIONAL
December 18, 2009 | By David Zucchino and Julian E. Barnes
Iraqi insurgents have intercepted live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, tapping a key component of the Pentagon's vaunted surveillance and weapons system with a $26 program available on the Internet. Militants did not hack into any military communications systems, officials said, but instead were able to view raw satellite feeds of live video shot by cameras on the unmanned 27-foot planes. The drones, flown by pilots based in the U.S., use satellite feeds to transmit video. Officials said they have evidence that video feeds were intercepted in Iraq and do not believe any feeds were intercepted in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
WORLD
September 27, 2009 | Associated Press
A U.S. military drone crashed Saturday in northern Iraq, hitting a regional office of Iraq's largest Sunni political party in an area that remains an insurgent stronghold, an American military official said. The unmanned aerial vehicle crashed into the local office of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Mosul. The U.S. military identified the crashed drone as a Shadow model, which does not carry weapons and is routinely used in areas like Mosul to track insurgents planting explosives.
WORLD
May 14, 2009 | Julian E. Barnes
The U.S. military has flown drones into Pakistan at least a dozen times in recent weeks in cooperation with the Pakistanis as part of a new program, U.S. officials acknowledged Wednesday. The military conducted test flights in March to demonstrate intelligence gathering capabilities to the Pakistanis. Those were followed by Pakistani requests for additional Predator flights to collect intelligence on suspected militants, said an official from U.S.
WORLD
May 13, 2009 | Julian E. Barnes and Greg Miller
The U.S. military has launched a program of armed Predator drone missions against militants in Pakistan that for the first time gives Pakistani officers significant control over routes, targets and decisions to fire weapons, U.S. officials said. The joint effort is aimed at getting the government in Islamabad, which has bitterly protested Predator strikes, more directly engaged in one of the most successful elements of the battle against Islamist insurgents.
WORLD
May 5, 2009 | Mark Magnier
Many Pakistanis welcomed the election of President Obama as an opportunity for some fresh thinking about their troubled region. But the honeymoon hasn't lasted long. As Obama prepares to meet with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week in Washington, Pakistanis from different walks of life say they'd give the U.S. leader an earful if they, rather than their president, had a seat at the White House table.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 1992 | PAUL JACOBS and JANE FRITSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The Assembly on Monday joined a wave of protest against the decision by Los Angeles County transportation officials to construct a high-tech, driverless rail system and to award the contract to the Japanese-owned Sumitomo Corp. of America. Pointing to rising unemployment in California, the Assembly voted 70 to 0 to urge that the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission withdraw its approval of the $121.
BUSINESS
September 8, 1992
In reading the article "Private Sector Aids Condors' Release" (Aug. 23), I was very disappointed to find the name of my own company, Seneca Resources (a division of Natural Fuel Gas), had been overlooked. In 1987 Seneca learned that the overhead power lines that fueled our operations threatened the soaring paths of the California condors and therefore threatened the release project as a whole.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2008 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
To the world it might be called a robot boat, but its proper name is the Unmanned Surface Vehicle, and the U.S. Navy expects it to be a major tool in countering what officials believe is a growing threat posed by quiet diesel-powered submarines owned by rogue nations. In advance of the official roll-out today, reporters were allowed to see the boat on Thursday at Naval Base Point Loma before it took a trial run on San Diego Bay.
BUSINESS
November 27, 2007 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
It was considered a stunning turn in warfare when a remotely controlled aircraft on a reconnaissance flight over Afghanistan spotted a Taliban convoy and fired a jury-rigged Hellfire missile, striking and destroying the target. The headline-grabbing flight in late 2001 -- though rudimentary and under remote human control -- marked the first search-and-destroy mission by a flying drone, and it propelled robotic warfare from the pages of science fiction to the battlefield.
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