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Remotely Piloted Vehicles

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 1997 | TOM GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Just as machines, not man, will carry out the new wave of Martian exploration, scientists are designing and testing new and smarter robots to explore another mysterious and hostile environment--the depths of our own oceans. With only seven manned submersibles worldwide able to dive more than 12,000 feet into the ocean--but just one capable of reaching 21,000 feet--a fleet of unmanned vessels is being developed to extend human beings' reach into the unchartered abyss.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1996 | DAVID COLKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A pilotless, $4.9-million airplane funded by NASA was blown apart at 19,000 feet on a test flight at Edwards Air Force Base on Tuesday when it went out of control, officials said, causing at least the third such loss in two years. Fearing that the aircraft, dubbed Theseus, would veer out of the test area, ground-based operators destroyed it by remote control, said John Langford, president of Aurora Flight Systems, which built the lightweight plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1996 | DAVID COLKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A pilotless, $4.9-million airplane funded by NASA was blown apart at 19,000 feet on a test flight Tuesday when it suddenly went out of control, officials said, at least the third such loss in two years. Fearing that the aircraft, dubbed Theseus, would veer out of the test area, ground-based operators destroyed it by remote control, according to John Langford, president of Aurora Flight Systems, which built the lightweight plane.
NEWS
August 5, 1996 | RALPH VARTABEDIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Space pilots, long the masters of powerful machines that fly into Earth orbit, are nervously facing a future in which they may go the way of elevator operators. In a controversial departure from tradition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is planning a new generation of launch vehicles that are likely to be controlled in large part by computers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 1996 | MICHAEL GRANBERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lance Cpl. Sloane Briles stood near a gate here Thursday, not far from the wind-swept runway where a chartered jet was waiting to fly him to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Unlike the scores of other Marines who were cleaning their M-16A2s or their 9-millimeter Berettas, Briles was hugging his grandmother and talking wistfully of Christmas already. "But I'm really excited.
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.
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.
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