“Reducing the intervention of human pilots on aircraft could bring material economic benefits and improve safety,” a UBS note said.
The U.S. Air Force goes to great lengths to train their fighter pilots. But even the best simulations lack the visceral experience of a real live fire dogfight. To give their pilots the most realist experience possible, the USAF is working with Boeing to convert some of its old F-16s into pilotless drones that can actually engage in a real dogfight with their pilots.
The unmanned aircraft are the next big transformation in the aviation industry.
The phrase “this is your captain speaking” may soon become a thing of the past, thanks to a new generation of robotic, passenger aircraft that will take to the skies by themselves.
The Jetstream mission is part of a project to develop the technologies and procedures that will allow large commercial aircraft to operate routinely and safely without pilots.
A twin-engined Jetstream will take off from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire, England, and head north towards Scotland within the next few weeks. Like any other flight, the small commuter airliner will respond to instructions from air-traffic controllers, navigate a path and take care to avoid other aircraft. But the pilot flying the aircraft will not be in the cockpit: he will have his feet firmly on the ground in a control room back at Warton.