The primary difference between RC airplanes and UAVs is pilot control. A UAV has the ability to be automatically stabilized and flown without human input, although there is generally the capability for manual control if required.
To answer your last question, an RC airplane with a camera, piloted by a human, is not a UAV.
Aww dang... i guess i dont belong to this web place... ahh well
just my 2 cents, i like your guy's place, i like the home page stuff n' all.
Ahh if the stuff wasnt so expensive(im 15) i would go for it, ahh but for now simple RC planes that fly at 1000ft are just fine with me. it is still cool with the autopilot and stuff though, for me my next step is FPV but i still gotta make enough for that.
Autopilots, the electronic brain that does the flying, can be a bit expensive. One of the goals of this community is to develop low-cost autopilots. Take a look at this post on the ArduPilot in development and keep checking back for updates. If you already have the airplane and RC equipment, you might be able to complete a UAV system for less than $200.
Actually, your's is the perfect genesis to grow into this exciting new part of the hobby.
To come from a background of scratch-built R/C modelling, you will have a good skill-set for the world of the UAV.
It's a natural progression for those with a keen sense of experimentation and imagination.
Give yourself time to be able to finance the expensive stuff and don't assume you don't belong.
You belong here alot more than those kids who accidentally come upon DIYDRONES.com whilst looking on the web for new titles for their Wii, and then say "I want one", when they see something here that many have worked hard and long on.
well to be a U.A.V. it has to be 3 things
#1 unmanned . this means it don't Carry humans
#2 aerial . this means it flys
#3 vehicle yes it has to be some kind of vehicle
if it does these three thing its a uav
so that includes:
3in rotor span $25 toy from radio shack
According to the FAA a UAS or UAV is defined, for all intents and purposes, by commercial use.
A Slow Stick flown by RC with eyeballs on the plane and fingers on the sticks is a UAS if it is used commercially in any way and subject to the full force of applicable UAS policy and regulation.
On the flip side a 40lb jet powered war bird ripping along at 200mph is a toy if used for hobby purposes and may be flow liberally under the auspices of (AC) 91-57. (for now)
As a side note, the confabulated beast with the back up pilot perched on top shown in Wayne's post was lost in a crash when a wing suffered structural failure. The final determination of cause was shoddy design and workmanship.
Thankfully there was no back up pilot on board at that time.