Airplanes that don't have to carry a pilot are sleeker, and yet more sinister-looking, than regular planes. The U.S. has started deploying drones to scout for Somali pirates, as the drone flotilla comes into its own. More cool images below.

Today's drone aircraft can stay in the air for 18 hours and be controlled from a base miles away.

Top image: Israeli-made drone plane that Israel has started supplying to Germany for surveillance missions in Afghanistan.

Advertisement

All photos by AP.

NASA's version of the Air Force's drone aircraft, for use in scientific studies — it'll sample greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Sponsored

NASA's version of the Air Force's drone aircraft, for use in scientific studies — it'll sample greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

A target drone made by Abu Dhabi company ATS, on display at a Paris air show.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone plane, of the type most likely being used to scout for Somali pirates in the Seychelles right now.

The ominously named Predator B, which the U.S. is using to scout along the U.S./Canadian border, looking for drug and cigarette smuggling. So don't try and sneak any ciggies in from Vancouver, or you'll meet... Predator B!

Another picture of Predator B. It should really be a hip-hop star.