The Bristol International Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) Conference was inaugurated through the initiative of Mr Reg Austin as well as Professor Lew Crabtree and Dr John Flower of the University of Bristol, with the first Conference being held at the University in September 1979, under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering of the University and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
It was the intention of the Conferences to provide an open forum for the international exchange of views, information and experience on the topic of unmanned air vehicles systems, their elements and their operation. In 1999 the title of the Conferences was changed to the Bristol Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems.
The Bristol UAV Systems Conferences have become established as the international forum for discussion of all aspects of research, development, manufacture and operation of unmanned airborne vehicle systems, both civilian and military. The Conferences are sponsored by the University of Bristol and supported by Cranfield University and the Royal Aeronautical Society, together with civil and military authorities and industry.
The Conferences are not-for-profit, thereby keeping fees to a minimum and ensuring accessibility to as large a part of the UAVS community as possible.