a device that is used, or is intended to be used, for flight in the air with no onboard pilot. These devices may be as simple as a light, hand launched aircraft flown within line of sight of the operator or as complex as a high altitude surveillance aircraft patrolling our nation's borders. They may be flown using a data link to transmit commands to the aircraft. They may perform a variety of public services, including: surveillance, collection of air samples to determine levels of pollution, or rescue and recovery missions in crisis situations. They currently range in size from wingspans of six inches to over 240 feet; and can weigh from approximately four ounces to over 32,000 pounds. The one thing they have in common is that their numbers and uses are growing dramatically.
"This device excludes missiles, weapons, or exploding warheads, but includes all classes of airplanes, helicopters, airships, and powered-lift aircraft without an onboard pilot. Unmanned aircraft do not include traditional balloons (see 14 CFR Part 101), rockets, tethered aircraft and un-powered gliders."