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The future of flight is unmanned. These 'predator'-type UAVs (or RPVs - remotely piloted vehicles) are both awesome and sinister at the same time and eerily fascinating. I only recently realised that US drones over Iraq and Afghanistan are being flown from 'home' ie the 'pilots' are back in the US ! At any one time there can be up to three dozen in the skies over these countries. Amazingly they don't fly into each other and if the 'signal' is lost they can either return to base apparently or orbit untill such time as the 'signal' is regained. Apparently more drone pilots are being trained currently than 'real' pilots and the USAF is now training the first group of 'non-pilots' to fly these things.
A note on sources and credits
As far as possible photographs that are not mine are posted here with permission; thank you to all contributors to 'Jet & Prop', especially photographers Tad Dippel, Neil Cotten and Nico Charpentier, the editor of the magnificent 'Avions' magazine Michel Ledet and Jean-Yves Lorant, author, researcher and archivist at the Service Historique de la Défense, Paris. Images from the IWM and Roger Freeman collections are published here under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence. Occasionally some images on this site have been 'reposted' from facebook or ebay. They are used non-commercially in an educational context to depict historical events. If such is deemed necessary they can be removed on simple request. Contact me at falkeeins at aol.com. All rights reserved.