Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have no human pilot onboard, and instead are either controlled by a person on the ground or autonomously via a computer program. These stealth craft are becoming increasingly popular, not just for war and military purposes, but also for everything from wildlife and atmospheric research to disaster relief and sports photography. Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video. Our news and features will cover developments in drone technologies, innovative uses for drones and how drone use will impact society.
The VA001, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone made by Vanilla Aircraft, stayed in the air for more than two days and two nights, setting the record for the craft's weight and power class. After taking off Nov. 30 from New Mexico State University’s Unmanned Air Systems Flight Test Center, the drone flew at an altitude of between 6,500 and 7,500 feet (1,980 to 2,286 meters) and averaged 65.6 mph (105 km/h) before landing on Dec. 2."