Gallery: The Complete UAV Field Guide


Scanning the gallery, I'm both impressed, and very scared.

With some companies planning UAVs that can circle for 6 years, I have to wonder who we need to intimidate for that long.

If we cannot sustain a state of war indefinitely, these things will find new markets and purposes, in non-military roles. Either option is terrifying.

Northrop Grumman (MQ-5 Hunter) is spelled with an "o."

Northrup is a seed company.

This page needs links to go directly to any of the 30 images. If I navigate elsewhere and then back, it returns me to image 1 instead of where I was, and makes me laboriously click one by one to get back to the image I want.

'Enemy UAV spotted!!!' <-- Snowboard the Streets!

Can you really? Do you use a beanie prop?

I love this, definitely my favorite article in a long time. One of my only fears is of the Reaper, who knows why, but it just creeps me out. Any one ever see that horrible movie "Eagle Eye," well, I was scared of 'em long before that. I love all planes, but the Reaper is one of my long standing faves, though it makes me jump out of my skin.

Most model plane enthusiasts will read this article and marvel at all the cool toys. Most military members will read this and wish they had the capability when they were deployed. Sadly most that read this will not get freaked out by "big brother" watching over the skies with something new.

They do have systems in place that watch the skies. Those systems are called aerostats. They are essentially blimps with surveillance systems installed. The problem is they are too close to the ground and are vulnerable to attack. Oh wait in 2009 they looked into that problem by investing 400 million into a blimp that flew so high that it would not be visible to the eye. Where did that research end... "MDA plans to deploy approximately 10 blimps to provide overlapping coverage of U.S. coastal regions." Why do we need 10 for the "coastal" regions....

i really dont get the point of dropping a UAV from another UAV. Why not put chemical sensors on the pylons instead?

The interesting thing about war machines, is they can be easily converted to peace machines. And the more I can learn about them doing so, the more at peace I'm going to be with them.
15 years ago, I did not enter the military contest for the smallest RC aerial vehicle. To busy forced to deal with several cars shot up, 3 restraining orders against a guy, what I can only call what is now called 'terrorism'.
But I did employ the idea, built my own RC plane with camera, got the pictures (in the act), ended the violence.
It was nice, while my car almost a mile away (left as bait) was shot up, to shoot the guy, over and over and over, with a camera (what? Me go down there when he had a gun???) and did it all without having to even leave my desk!
These same (this article) aircraft can be used for peace also. Like instead of dropping bombs, dropping supplies to earth quake victims, and the smaller craft doing the same for someone in a situation to dangerous to send another human into, to help get the one who is in the situation, get out of it without risking yet another life.

These same people can be employed, and the 'war machine' kept alive and active and well, but, we don't need yet another war, to do that.
I await the day, more missions of peace and rescue are flown than missions of war. Same technology, but, an even greater demand and need, than that which war provides.

PS before someone shouts "dang hippie" at me....
I know all to well sometimes you have to fight, but not being a cop or military, I had no right, using violence against violence would have ended up with me in jail and I had a son (single father).
And if more lives are saved by destroying the enemy, then this is the best application.
But I fought, to not destroy my enemy, nor die in the process, of stopping him, and I won.
Not against war when it is necessary, but whenever I have to physically defend myself, I cringe, for not being smart enough to able to find a better way, before that is required.

Sometimes, I do understand, we have no other choice.
That does not mean, I dont await the day, that we do.


Remember, this is what's presently known in the "open" or unclassified literature--the Government is usually one or two orders of magnitude better in the classified arena than what is currently known in the unclassified world.

Mantis looks like someone found a use for surplus F-104s.

Habitat: With U.S. Army infantry in Iraq. Behavior: Looking like a mini Webber grill with four coat hangers for landing skids, the VTOL T-Hawk can zip up to 10,000 feet for up to 45 minutes. At 16.5 pounds its backpackable. Notable Feature: Did we mention the Webber grill?

Webber grill? Do you mean Weber grill, Maker of Weber grills, parts and accessories? Now that you've answered that one, I have another: Its backpackable WHAT? If you meant to use the contraction for "It is," that word is spelled "It's." The contraction uses an apostrophe; the possessive does not.

Please, you guys are supposed to be professionals. Act like it!

Hmmm.... these UAV's tend to look like ufo"s at times... does this mean anything to anyone??

Phantom Ray, Demon, Mantis, Excalibur, Avenger, and Vulture are ones I like.

The Avenger looks a lot like the NG Predator without the weapons mounted under the wings(Refer to cover of Popular Science September 2009 issue).

The Vulture reminds me of the Odysseus from the July 2009 issue.

Phantom Ray looks like a minature B-2 Spirit.

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