Photo Credit: A1C Nancy Smelser, Tyndall Air Force Base
A view of a pilot control joystick. (archive)

This is the pilot control joystick, positioned on the drone aircraft control panel inside the drone radar approach control van. The van is handling take-off, flight, and landing for the QF-100 Super Sabre drone aircraft.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle, or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.

U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer Melinda Chambers, right, with Commander, Fleet Activity Okinawa, Targets Detachment, handles communications as Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Jason Blissard flies a BQM-74E Chukar target drone, from USNS Amelia Earhart. Photo by Specialist 1st Class Kim McLendon.
From left to right, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl.’s Joseph Bellevue, Robert M. Smith and Jeremy Perez, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Squadron 3, load an RQ-7B UAV onto a launching ramp, in Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Lance Cpl. Robert R. Carrasco.
A BQM-74E Chukar aerial drone launches from the flight deck of the guided missile frigate USS Thach. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stuart Phillips, U.S. Navy.
Predator drone firing a missile.

It costs a few thousand dollars (more than a few, actually, a drone could cost a few million dollars, too) – but the only ones being killed are folks on the other side. See? There’s a bottom line to everything.