UAVs on Display

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum opened the military unmanned aerial vehicles exhibition April 24. The new display features six UAVs, three of which were developed for the Air Force: a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1L Predator, Boeing X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Air System, Lockheed Martin/Boeing RQ-3A DarkStar, AeroVironment RQ-14A Dragon Eye (Marine Corps), AAI Corporation RQ-7A Shadow 200 (Army), and Pioneer UAV RQ-2A Pioneer (Navy). “We want to educate our visitors even more on what UAVs have done and what they currently do for us today,” said Dik Daso, the museum’s curator for modern military aircraft. “The UAVs in our display have significant combat histories and important stories to tell.” For example, the Predator in the display was one of the first three MQ-1s over Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is sponsoring the exhibit. (Includes Air Force report by SSgt. J.G. Buzanowski)