The U.S. military began experimenting with unmanned aircraft as early as World War I. By World War II, unmanned craft could be controlled by radio signals, usually from another aircraft. Vehicles that could return from a mission and be recovered appeared in the late 1950s. Today, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) perform a wide range of missions and are used by all four branches of the military.

This exhibit showcased six modern military UAVs that represented a variety of missions and technologies. They ranged from large vehicles that can carry offensive weapons to a miniature system whose components are light and compact enough to be carried in a Marine’s backpack.

This exhibit is made possible through the generosity of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

This exhibit is now closed.

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Related Topics: Aviation Military aviation Drones Afghanistan War Gulf War Iraq War Modern military aviation Post-Cold War
In This Exhibit Lockheed Martin / Boeing RQ-3A Dark Star Object AeroVironment RQ-14A Dragon Eye Object Pioneer RQ-2A UAV Object UAV, General Atomics MQ-1L Predator A Object RQ-7A Shadow 200 Object Boeing X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) Object You may also like The Predator, a Drone That Transformed Military Combat March 09, 2018 Nation of Speed National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC On View Exhibition Remembering the Death of Lt. Joe Kennedy Jr. and America’s First Combat Drones August 19, 2014 Speed May 13, 2022