Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft with no on-board crew or passengers. They can be automated ‘drones’ or remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs). UAV’s can fly for long periods of time at a controlled level of speed and height and have a role in many aspects of aviation.
The first pilotless vehicles were built during the First World War. These early models were launched by catapult or flown using radio control. In January 1918, the US Army started production of aerial torpedoes. The model that was developed, the Kettering Bug, was flown successfully in some tests, but the war ended before it could be further developed.
Drones now have many functions, ranging from monitoring climate change to carrying out search operations after natural disasters, photography, filming, and delivering goods.
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