The skies open up for large civilian drones
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Not only in the skies! The Royal Navy sees vast potential for unmanned underwater vehicles. All very well until you imagine lots of ”intelligent’ torpedoes scuttling around in International waters, breaking down and going out of control with the same frequency as aerial drones.
From BBC article on unmanned drones about developments in civilian air space.
Unmanned aircraft, known as drones, are the eyes and ears of the US military, providing troops with an “eye in the sky” in situations where manned flight is considered too dangerous or difficult.
A decade ago less than five per cent of US military aircraft were unmanned, now 40 per cent have no pilot on board – from small surveillance craft light enough to be launched by hand, to medium-sized armed drones and large spy planes.
But the role of the drone is now changing. Millions of pounds are being sunk into civilian projects – everything from border security to police surveillance and even transporting goods.
This year the US Congress passed legislation giving US airspace regulator the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until September 2015 to open up its airspace to drones, and Britain is expected to follow suit.
The US airspace regulator the FAA said it expects 10,000 unmanned commercial aircraft to be flying in American skies by 2017, a plan that has been met with some fierce criticism.