This paper describes some recent hands-on teaching and learning experiences at the Pennsylvania State University in the area of unmanned air vehicles. A two semester course at the senior-level in the Aerospace Engineering Department has been developed to introduce students to unmanned aircraft. The first semester is designed to teach the students about aircraft construction, electric power systems, servos, transmitters and receivers, and aircraft performance. During this semester, each student built and learned to fly a small aircraft with low wing loading. In the second semester, teams of students worked together to build a larger aircraft from an almost-ready-to-fly kit and add onboard sensors such as flight data recorders and wireless cameras to the aircraft. The teams carried out flight tests using these onboard sensors. These hands-on experiences were designed to help students better appreciate their other courses (such as aerodynamics, dynamics and control, structures, and propulsion) and understand aircraft as complex systems. The past, current, and future of unmanned air vehicles and the importance of computer, information, and communication systems in aerospace engineering were also discussed.