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Driverless Cars? Pah! Pilotless Aircraft!

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Interesting discussion on CNBC just now about Pilotless Aircraft being the big thing to come out of this years Paris Air Show.

In fact we have had pilotless aircraft trials in the UK, full size aircraft without passengers and not just "drones." (Mind some of those drones look big).

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-22511395

Not only are we going to have a taxi driver less recovery, looks like a pilotless one too.

What job will be safe?! :ph34r:

Edited to add. The above plane was remote controlled by a pilot on the ground, but its only a matter of time before a computer does the job, in fact its probably easier to automate than a car.

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Interesting discussion on CNBC just now about Pilotless Aircraft being the big thing to come out of this years Paris Air Show.

In fact we have had pilotless aircraft trials in the UK, full size aircraft without passengers and not just "drones." (Mind some of those drones look big).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22511395

Not only are we going to have a taxi driver less recovery, looks like a pilotless one too.

What job will be safe?! :ph34r:

Well, they've been flying around explosive payloads to pinpoint accuracy for decades. About time they did it with planes.

Pilots ain't piloting much any more in the modern aircraft.

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What job will be safe?! :ph34r:

For a start, only those which require a physical presence (ie not outsourced to Chindia) and cannot be automated.

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Interesting discussion on CNBC just now about Pilotless Aircraft being the big thing to come out of this years Paris Air Show.

In fact we have had pilotless aircraft trials in the UK, full size aircraft without passengers and not just "drones." (Mind some of those drones look big).

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-22511395

Not only are we going to have a taxi driver less recovery, looks like a pilotless one too.

What job will be safe?! :ph34r:

Edited to add. The above plane was remote controlled by a pilot on the ground, but its only a matter of time before a computer does the job, in fact its probably easier to automate than a car.

It's certainly easier to automate than a car. Planes operate in a far less complex and more predictable environment than cars and are already largely flown by computer.

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For a start, only those which require a physical presence (ie not outsourced to Chindia) and cannot be automated.

hooker?

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I'm waiting for Ryan Air to place an order for pilotless aircraft.

Surf Air in US has moved to a subscription model. Small business jets on a monthly subscription of $2000 a month I think. Limited routes as yet but more being added. Not pilotless (as yet) :lol:

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I'm waiting for Ryan Air to place an order for pilotless aircraft.

Knowing them having a pilot on board will eventually become an additional charge right at the end of the ticket buying process.

Do you want a pilot on board? Y/N

Do you want a qualified pilot on board? Y/N

Do you want landing gear? Y/N

:unsure:

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Cabin crew next to be replaced?

I hadn't realised till recently they had already got rid of the "engineer" or whatever he was called. The guy who sat behind the pilots.

So next step will be to get rid of the "co-pilot."

Then it will be the pilot with just the auto pilot + some guy on the ground who can guide planes in like remote controlled models.

Then it will just be a computer, probably running Windows 8, which needs to do a security update, mid flight. :lol::blink:

Food and drink from vending machines on board.

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I'm waiting for the terrorists to get hold of the technology.

That's what happens with these things, you can't put them back in the box.

And I'm still waiitng for the first dirty bomb to go off in London.

The interesting thing is, you can't hijack a pilot-less aircraft. Unless you break into the ground control station.. who might well have a panic button which basically stops new take-offs and has all aircraft in the sky land autonomously.

You'd be able to get more passengers in with no cabin. Be fun to get a front seat.

The cabin crew will probably be replaced last..

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I hadn't realised till recently they had already got rid of the "engineer" or whatever he was called. The guy who sat behind the pilots.

So next step will be to get rid of the "co-pilot."

Then it will be the pilot with just the auto pilot + some guy on the ground who can guide planes in like remote controlled models.

Then it will just be a computer, probably running Windows 8, which needs to do a security update, mid flight. :lol::blink:

Food and drink from vending machines on board.

Ive got a PPL so I have looked at this a little.

I believe under FAA rules there are certain aircraft certified for single pilot commercial operations - I think there is a limit of something like 19 seats. Things like King Airs and Bandierantes. I think Jet ops are out though, certainly under EASA. UK allows single pilot ops on piston engined stuff - Islanders and Trislanders in the channel islands/scottish islands.

Richard Noble was pushing his point to point model (Farnborough F1/Kestrel) for single pilot ops in Europe - only 6 seats but it had a turbine engine (turboprop) so was outside the rules.

Sorry going off topic.

djmgw

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The interesting thing is, you can't hijack a pilot-less aircraft. Unless you break into the ground control station.. who might well have a panic button which basically stops new take-offs and has all aircraft in the sky land autonomously.

You'd be able to get more passengers in with no cabin. Be fun to get a front seat.

The cabin crew will probably be replaced last..

You may not be able to hijack it, but it wouldn't take much effort to jam it which could be done remotely.

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Suppose some country armed itself with 1000 autonomous planes. How would a country defend itself against such an onslaught?

How is the ground laser project developing?

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But if no-one can earn any money because no-one is driving cars or piloting aircraft who will the passengers be? They will all be robots going on holiday for a break from working in the automated factories and what remains of the human race will have to serve them their gear oil as they relax by the pool.

wonderpup

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As far as I understood, commercial flights have been flying autopilot for years and the pilot just does the landing bit for practice. The planes can land by themselves just fine but we need pilots fully capable of landing.

Obviously landing a plane is easier and safer if done by a computer usually but software has a tendency to crash.

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There's a massive problem caused by increased automation. Some pilots on long haul now can actually fly the aircraft for as little as 5 hours per year.

However, automation itself has a major flaw. It's great when everything is working fine, but it does not cope well when it encounters problems. Couple that to pilots who are too reliant on the automation and you end up with disaster. Air France 447 is a case in point. The pitot tube froze, the autopilot gave up the ghost, and then inexperienced co-pilots stalled the aircraft into the ocean. All they had to do is to maintain pitch and power and the aircraft would have been safe until the pitot tube unfroze (true, its easy to say from the comfort of an armchair, but it's fairly basic line training).

What we really need is an improvement in pilot / automation management and keeping pilots current in basic airmanship in the event of automation failure.

Passenger - carrying pilotless aircraft themselves won't happen for at least 10-20 years.

BTW its true that a lot of modern aircraft could land themselves, but it does very much depend on the capability of the airport ILS they're using. To implement full automation (which would include taxi control in zero visibility) a CAT IIIc system is required. And I don't think there is any airport in the world that currently has this installed.

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Certainly the current generation or upcoming passenger jets will not be flown completely automatically. Yes there are drones, but drones have a pilot; just not sat in the aircraft.

There are automatics, but generally to reduce fatigue not to keep you out of trouble (apart from low viz landings). When things go bad eg. severe turbulence / large speed gain or loss (and many many other tech issues) the automatics often give up, click off and hand you control. Having got airborne in an Airbus 320 a month ago which thought it was still on the ground I can tell you piloting skill and knowledge is still very much needed.

Finally there are all the judgement calls made on a daily basis that would be hard to program, such like fuel uplift, diversions, sick pax, technical issues, weather avoidance e.g fighting your way through a load of cumulonimbus when the weather radar is showing nothing of much use and you end up having to use the mark 1 eyeball to do the job. Personally as pilot, I have zero concern about automatic aircraft ruining my career. I do think the career will be ruined by the race to the bottom of terms and conditions. That is until we have our own European 'Colgan air' and the EASA (hopefully) decide that tired pay to fly 250 hour pilots shouldn't be sat in control of passenger aircraft.

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However, automation itself has a major flaw. It's great when everything is working fine, but it does not cope well when it encounters problems. Couple that to pilots who are too reliant on the automation and you end up with disaster. Air France 447 is a case in point. The pitot tube froze, the autopilot gave up the ghost, and then inexperienced co-pilots stalled the aircraft into the ocean. All they had to do is to maintain pitch and power and the aircraft would have been safe until the pitot tube unfroze (true, its easy to say from the comfort of an armchair, but it's fairly basic line training).

My sister is an A319/20/21 pilot and has talked to me about this a bit. The problem, essentially, was that Air France didn't bother training their pilots thoroughly in the 'alternate law' feature of the Airbus software. As I understand it, the plane usually operates under 'normal law', in which it is almost fully controlled by computer on the basis of data gathered from a variety of sensors and outputs from the control surfaces and engines. However, if certain sensors, or combinations of them, either stop working properly or are suspected by the computer of not working properly, it automatically puts the plane into alternate law, meaning that it is not controlling or monitoring certain functions (because it doesn't have the data needed to do so), and is expecting the pilot to do so manually. The pilots of AF447 had not been properly instructed and examined in which, specifically, of these functions the system relinquishes control of when it goes into alternate law. One of them is that it is no longer monitoring the pitch and attitude of the plane, and thus no longer preventing a stall automatically. The pilots didn't know this, and thought that it would be impossible for them to put the plane into a stall accidentally. Air France took the line that this was so unlikely to happen, that it wasn't worth the cost of the extra training.

Ive got a PPL so I have looked at this a little.

I believe under FAA rules there are certain aircraft certified for single pilot commercial operations - I think there is a limit of something like 19 seats. Things like King Airs and Bandierantes. I think Jet ops are out though, certainly under EASA. UK allows single pilot ops on piston engined stuff - Islanders and Trislanders in the channel islands/scottish islands.

I've flown from Barra to Benbecula in a single-piloted Twin Otter, and remember wondering at the time what would happen if he was to have a heart attack in mid-air. Another one got on at Benbecula and we had two for the longer leg back to Glasgow, though.

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As far as I understood, planes have been able to fly and land themselves for years. The technology exists, but auto-pilot is only used for the flying rather than landing bit at present.

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could not find the driverless car thread, as hpc search is sh!te , so posted here

UK to allow driverless cars on public roads in January

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28551069

For your information, it was recently merged with others and moved to Off Topic (not sure why - this development will have huge economic benefits), where RK posted the same link you just did.

And it's currently near the top of the first page of OT, so go on over and enjoy!

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Ah-so, on 30 Jul 2014 - 1:45 PM, said:

As far as I understood, planes have been able to fly and land themselves for years. The technology exists, but auto-pilot is only used for the flying rather than landing bit at present.

Planes land automatically all the time in poor visibility using instrument landing systems.

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  • 241 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


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