A Historical Perspective on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • K. P. Valavanis
  • M. Kontitsis
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 33)


This ‘pictorial’ Chapter presents a historical perspective on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) starting from Ancient Greece to the beginning of the 21st Century. The UAV history, from a very early dream to today’s reality is illustrated through a series of figures with detailed legends that are arranged mostly chronologically; they reveal the unmanned vehicle evolution and designs over a period of almost 2,500 years. The Chapter, even though it is non-technical, offers an accurate glimpse of history and helps the reader understand the tremendous level of growth in the unmanned systems area. Almost all figures have been taken from archives and web sites available on-line. The list is by no means complete, but it is very informative. The Chapter layout and contents are similar to Chapter 1 of reference [10].


Historical Perspective Unman Aerial Vehicle Unmanned Vehicle Micro Aerial Vehicle Fixed Wing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Helicopter History Site, History of Helicopters, June 2004; Available at
  2. 2.
    Hiller Aviation Museum; Available at
  3. 3.
    National Museum of the United States Air Force; Available at
  4. 4.
    Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; Available at,9746,CLI 1_DIV69_ETI541,00.html.
  5. 5.
    Defense Update. International Online Defense Magazine; Available at
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    Aerosonde Robotic Aircraft, March 2007; Available at
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    Stone H., Configuration design of a canard configured tail-sitter unmanned vehicle using multidisciplinary optimization, PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 1999.Google Scholar
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    Dragonfly Innovations, March 2007; Available at
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    Unmanned Aircraft Systems Roadmap 2005–2030, Office of the Secretary of Defense, August 2005.Google Scholar
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    Rosheim, M. E., Leonardo’s Lost Robots, Springer 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer. Printed in the Netherlands 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. P. Valavanis
    • 1
  • M. Kontitsis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Engineering University of South FloridaUnmanned Systems LaboratoryTampaUSA

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