Photos: Keeping watch with unmanned aircraft

Photos: Keeping watch with unmanned aircraft

Summary: UAVs prowl the skies over Iraq and along the border of Mexico--and they might soon fly more widely in U.S. airspace.

TOPICS: Travel Tech

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  • Raven UAV

    Spc. Michael Rodenberg, left, and Sgt. Joshua Harris, perform preflight checks of the Raven UAV. This tiny UAV, with a wingspan of 4.5 feet, flies its missions at about 100 to 300 feet above ground level. It can be flown by remote control or programmed to go to preset GPS waypoints, and is being used in the occupation of Iraq.

  • Predator UAV

    The Air Force describes the Predator UAV as a "medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft." It can carry two laser-guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles. It's been used on air strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cruising speed is 84 mph with an endurance of 16 to 40 hours.

  • Reconnaissance simulation

    This Predator UAV is shown above the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) on a simulated Navy aerial reconnaissance flight off the coast of southern California. This was the Predator's first maritime mission with a carrier battle group, and it was launched from San Nicholas Island off the coast of southern California.

Topic: Travel Tech

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