The rise of the drone

Unmanned aerial vehicles – drones – have been a key technology in America’s wars. But now they are set to invade civilian life. Simon Wilson reports.

What are drones?

In the defence and aeronautical industries drones are known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or remotely piloted air systems (RPASs). But all of these names refer to the same thing: unmanned planes and helicopters that are controlled remotely by pilots on the ground, or by computers.

In one sense, drones are not new. Aeronautical engineers were experimenting with early versions of remote-controlled planes as early [...]

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
A new dawn for energy

Our experts pick the stocks to buy

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues
Shale gas 'fracking' promises to transform Britain's energy market. Find out what it is, what it means, and how to invest.

More from MoneyWeek

FREE REPORT:
What you should really do with your money (2014 Edition)


How to buy and sell penny shares

A beginner's guide to investing in gold

How to invest in British fracking