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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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
WORLD
May 22, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Police in the English county of Merseyside tested a tiny airborne drone fitted with a closed-circuit TV camera they said would be used to spy on criminals. The battery-operated drone, which resembles a miniature helicopter, is operated by remote control and can record images from a height of 1,500 feet. Made by the German company Microdrones, the drone is 3 feet wide and weighs less than 2 1/2 pounds. Its design was based in part on pilotless military aircraft used for reconnaissance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 2006 | From the Associated Press
They've become a fixture in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, a new breed of unmanned aircraft operated with remote controls by "pilots" sitting in virtual cockpits many miles away. But the Air Force's Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft has never flown a mission over the United States. That is set to change today, when the first Global Hawk lands at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, a city about 40 miles north of Sacramento.
BUSINESS
October 12, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Boeing Co. said it would stop research and development on its Little Bird unmanned aircraft in favor of a newer program. Little Bird, an update of a utility helicopter used in Vietnam, is an older technology that had largely been funded by Boeing. The company instead will focus on its new unmanned aircraft, the A160 Hummingbird, which has received more government funds, Boeing said this week.
SCIENCE
October 9, 2005 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Four driverless vehicles outfitted with lasers, radar and GPS conquered a grueling 131-mile course in the Nevada desert Saturday, achieving a milestone in robotics that will win one of the teams a $2-million prize from the Defense Department. "You really have seen history made," said Anthony Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which sponsored the race. "We have a winner." It was unclear, however, who that was.
SCIENCE
October 5, 2005 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
The riderless motorcycle tore out of the chute and promptly plowed into a tin barricade. Then, to the amazement of hundreds of spectators at Fontana's California Speedway, the 90cc Yamaha named Ghostrider picked itself up and sped away. A year ago, 15 robot competitors participated in the Defense Department's first million-dollar challenge to design a vehicle that could drive and navigate without a human controller.
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.
NEWS
March 8, 1993 | PAUL HOUSTON
GO FLY A KITE? Model airplane operators are bombarding bureaucrats and lawmakers with protests that the government wants to shoot down their radio-controlled aircraft. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has received dozens of letters; the Federal Communications Commission, more than 10,000. . . . At issue: an FCC plan to allow more intense use of frequencies reserved mostly for two-way business radios and remote control of construction cranes.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday that it would use an unmanned plane to spot human and drug smugglers along the Mexican border. The agency will pay $14.1 million for a Predator B plane, including one year of service and maintenance, said agency spokesman Mario Villarreal. The Predator B will begin patrolling the border next month. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., the manufacturer, says it has delivered seven Predator Bs to the U.S. Air Force.
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