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Remotely Piloted Vehicles

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.
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WORLD
July 11, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
PAKISTAN * An unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed in Pakistan. The U.S. Central Command, which runs American military operations in and around Afghanistan, said the pilotless Global Hawk crashed while on a mission in support of the war against terrorism. It did not specify the location, but Pentagon officials said it was Pakistan. Pentagon officials said the engine apparently failed. It was the second Global Hawk aircraft to crash since the war in Afghanistan began in October.
NEWS
February 3, 2002 | WILLIAM M. ARKIN, TIMES SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
In Afghanistan, unmanned aircraft have come as close to being war heroes as machines can get. They are providing invaluable reconnaissance, damage assessment and other intelligence information. Some have even hit enemy targets. All at zero risk to American pilots. Despite their increasing acceptance by a once-skeptical military, however, unmanned aircraft will be hard to find when the Pentagon unveils its new budget Monday.
NEWS
January 19, 2002 | PETER PAE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When the Central Intelligence Agency jury-rigged a remote-controlled spy plane with missiles and then used them to take out a Taliban target in Afghanistan, it was a first step in revolutionizing air-to-ground combat. Instead of a pilot in a cockpit, a computer operator in an air-conditioned trailer hundreds of miles away used a keyboard and a joystick to fire the missile.
NEWS
October 20, 2001 | PETER PAE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pilotless aircraft that so far have been used mostly to identify targets in Afghanistan are likely to play an even greater role as the United States expands its military campaign there. Although the drones continue to be a key reconnaissance tool, they are increasingly being used to provide immediate damage assessments, allowing fighter jets to quickly return to targets that may have been missed by earlier airstrikes.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2001 | PETER PAE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Powered by 14 electric motors not much stronger than hair dryers, a massive flying wing made mostly of plastic wrap will attempt next month to go where no airplane has gone before. Although it will take about eight hours to get there, lumbering at a maximum speed of 25 mph, the Helios solar plane is expected to shatter altitude records and help scientists understand how to fly on Mars. It could ultimately usher in a new era in satellite telecommunications. Developed by AeroVironment Inc.
NEWS
May 9, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
In the search for a heavenly cup of coffee, NASA will send an unmanned solar-powered aircraft soaring above a Hawaiian plantation so growers know exactly when to pick the beans for the most flavorful brew. The craft will take color images of the crops and give precise information, down to the day, on when to harvest, which could be a key to producing excellent coffee, NASA said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 2001 | MATTHEW EBNET and MARTHA L. WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
When Mike Reedy looks back over the years, he says his professional and personal life truly began in 1972, when he was 30 years old, in an old parking lot in Garden Grove. He stood there, fascinated, as his friends raced radio-controlled cars as if nothing else mattered in the world. That day, and the hobby, drew him in like nothing he'd ever experienced, he says. He's lived in a toy-car world ever since.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2001 | MARTHA L. WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The engines will roar again this week from a back lot in a dusty corner of Saugus. No, it's not a revival of the Saugus Speedway, but the roar of tiny engines of radio-controlled cars. The "drivers" of so-called R/C vehicles will be competing in one of the most prestigious events of their class in the nation--the 16th annual Reedy Invitational--honoring R/C pioneer Mike Reedy of Costa Mesa.
NEWS
May 14, 2000 | PAUL RICHTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From the moment they climbed into the first cockpits nearly a century ago, military pilots have been the daring heroes of air warfare. But inside a St. Louis aerospace plant called the Phantom Works, engineers are assembling the prototype of an aircraft that could revolutionize air-to-ground combat--and eventually displace the pilots who conduct it. The new Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle is a 26-foot-long, blunt-nosed plane that looks something like a horseshoe crab with wings.
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