1. Military – UAVs are most commonly used in national militaries, operating typically as remotely piloted drone aircraft that can relay real-time battlefield footage back to a command station.
2. Civilian – Increasingly, UAVs are being used in the civilian sphere too. A good example is firefighting, where remotely piloted drones are flown into burning buildings to assess stability.
3. Rotorcraft – While the majority of UAVs are fixed-wing aircraft – either with or without engines – rotorcraft designs, such as the MQ-8B Fire Scout, are gaining popularity in the battlefield.
4. Reaper – The most deadly UAV is the MQ-9 Reaper. Designated as a ‘hunter-killer’, this is capable of scanning, identifying and then taking out targets with powerful Hellfire missiles.
5. Toy – Interestingly, UAVs are beginning to be made as toys, with small hobby units such as the Parrot AR.Drone enabling users to pilot them remotely via their smartphones.