A photo of the Global Hawk UAV that returned from the war zone under its own power, Iraq to Edwards AFB, not transported by C-5 or C-17. Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage. It is over 250 missions. That is a long way for a remotely piloted aircraft. Think of the technology and the required quality of the data link to fly it remotely. Not only that but the pilot controlled it from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB.
Commentary From Global Hawk Crew Member
I worked on Global Hawk several years ago during its OT&E out of Edwards. It has really long legs- can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k. They flew it via satellite control to Australia, and we flew missions during OT&E that went from Edwards to upper Alaska and back non-stop.