Mid sized UAVs may look like radio control hobby aircraft painted to look military but they are heavier, faster and more powerful than any RC hobby aircraft likely to be seen. This UAV made by AAI, the RQ-7A Shadow 200, served the U.S. Army during the second war in Iraq. “Screamin Demon” flew 500 hours over 124 combat missions in support of infantry and armored units — a war veteran, not a hobby craft.
The Shadow weighs 375 pounds (170.5kg), usually launched from a trailer mounted catapult and could fly for five to six hours. During its time aloft either the daytime camera or infrared camera would stream real time video to the ground controllers (which could also make use of the on-board laser designator). The Wankel-made engine developed 38 hp (28kW), turning a pusher propeller, which allowed the 11′-2″ (3.41m) long aircraft made of composites over tubing to fly.