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Remotely Piloted Vehicles

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 1996 | ED BOND
Four planes, revving like high-pitched weed-trimmers, took off one by one into the wind over Sylmar. They circled around awaiting starter Brian Soper's countdown when someone shouted, "We've had a midair." All eyes turned to watch an aircraft make a sickening spiral and a hard crash in the distance. The wounded plane, the tip of its wing ripped away, made a safe landing. The other contestants were ordered down.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1996
A prototype of the Darkstar, a remote-controlled battlefield surveillance aircraft, was destroyed Monday by a crash during takeoff for a test flight. The aircraft crashed and burned alongside a runway. Investigators were trying to determine the cause, said J. Campbell Martin, a spokesman at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. The aircraft first flew at the end of March.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1995 | JEFF SCHNAUFER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The premiere of the Department of Defense's latest prize looked like a scene from a science fiction B movie. As an anxious crowd waited on Thursday, the lights dimmed, the fog machine started up and a black curtain drew back to reveal DarkStar, a saucer-shaped aircraft illuminated by eerie, orange lights. But Maj. Gen. Kenneth R. Israel is grateful that DarkStar, a pilotless spy plane, is not fiction.
NEWS
December 4, 1994 | JACK CHEEVERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Soaring almost seven miles above the Mojave Desert recently, a pilotless NASA research plane resembling a glider struggled against hurricane-force winds. As it headed home through the heaving sky, the $1.5-million craft began to twist and turn violently. Ground handlers tried to regain control by radio, but the plane broke up in midair, its pieces drifting to Earth by parachute.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 1994 | NICHOLAS RICCARDI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A $1.5-million experimental pilotless plane, one of only two of its kind, started to break apart during a test flight 33,000 feet over the Antelope Valley on Tuesday afternoon and dropped to the ground by parachute--perhaps damaged beyond repair, a NASA spokesman said.
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
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.
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
May 25, 1992 | JUDY PASTERNAK, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The sun still hung low in the east Sunday when the Marsokhod stood ready to climb on its own. This spot in the Mojave Desert seemed right for a test run. It bears an uncanny resemblance to photographs taken by the pair of Viking lander craft that visited the Red Planet in 1975. The 150-foot rise was strewn with lava boulders and stones.
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