March 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As federal authorities accelerate plans to license thousands of surveillance drones over U.S. soil by late 2015, some legal experts and lawmakers are warning that unmanned aircraft could threaten privacy on an unparalleled scale. An opening shot in an expected battle to limit use of domestic drones came Wednesday when 24 civil liberties and privacy organizations submitted a formal petition to U.S. Customs and Border Protection demanding that the agency stop flying 10 unarmed Predator drones along the Mexican and Canadian borders until clear guidelines are established.
November 28, 2012 |
The U.S. Navy's new bat-winged experimental drone has been delivered to an aircraft carrier to undergo handling tests aboard the ship. The Navy said that sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman took delivery of the drone Monday from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, where it had been undergoing tests. Truman is the first aircraft carrier to conduct test operations for an unmanned aircraft. The drone, named the X-47B, is designed to perform one of aviation's most difficult maneuvers: landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
August 13, 2012 |
Since test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947, engineers and scientists have dreamed of ever-faster aircraft. Now, they face one of their toughest challenges yet: sustaining hypersonic flight - going five times the speed of sound or more - for more than a few minutes. In a nondescript hangar at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, a team of aerospace engineers has been putting the finishing touches on a lightning-quick experimental aircraft designed to fly above the Pacific Ocean at 3,600 mph. A passenger aircraft traveling at that speed could fly from Los Angeles to New York in 46 minutes.
August 8, 2012 |
LAS VEGAS - With the prospect of thousands of unmanned aircraft flying around U.S. airspace beginning in 2015, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration pledged that new regulations are in the works to keep skies safe and protect people's privacy. Speaking before hundreds of drone makers, potential buyers and government officials at a drone expo Tuesday, acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the integration of unmanned aircraft in U.S. skies is a daunting challenge. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done to move [drone]
August 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - On a chaparral-covered hillside 40 miles north of Los Angeles in June 2010, researchers from the Department of Homeland Security hid a device the size of a pack of cigarettes that emitted a safe pulse of low-grade radiation. It was a stand-in for a dirty bomb, or fallout from a nuclear meltdown. Nearby, a pilot toggled a joystick, and a gray drone with the wingspan of a California condor banked through the sky. As the plane's sensor sniffed for radioactive isotopes, law enforcement officers and firefighters watched a portable controller that looked like an oversized Game Boy. In minutes, a warning signal glowed on the screen.
July 29, 2012 |
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Strapped into the cockpit of an F-16 jet fighter, Air Force Col. Scott Brenton has dropped bombs over Bosnia, screamed over the desert in Iraq and strafed Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. But on a recent morning, Brenton flew his combat mission from a leather easy chair in a low-slung cinder block building on the edge of Syracuse. Brenton's unit, the 174th Fighter Wing of the New York Air National Guard, traded in its fleet of F-16s for unmanned Reaper drones two years ago. Since then, the reserve pilots have been flying nearly around-the-clock combat operations over Afghanistan from a base about five miles from this city's nearest Wal-Mart.