The application of a new class of actuators is considered. The actuators under development combine a high energy density smart material, specifically a piezoelectric material, with internal servohydraulic components. Large displacement outputs are produced, while the high force capacity of the stiff smart material is retained, for a net high-energy output. The actuator is considered “power-by-wire” because only electrical power is provided from the vehicle or system controller. A primary motivating application is in unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs). The particular actuation needs of these vehicles, in flight control and other utility functions, are described and distilled to a set of relevant device requirements. Other potential applications, such as flight motion simulation, are also highlighted. The new actuation architecture offers specific advantages over centralized hydraulic systems and has capabilities not present in electromechanical actuators (EMAs). The main advantage over centralized hydraulic systems is the elimination of the need for hydraulic lines. Compared to motor-driven ball screw type EMAs, the new actuators offer higher frequency response, and a larger peak-to-average output. A laboratory test facility designed to represent the loading experienced by a UCAV control surface is described. Key steps necessary to flight qualify the actuator are introduced.