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BAE Systems To Test Pilotless Jetstream 31  
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8104 times:

It is being reported that BAE Systems will start tests soon flying Jetstream 31 G-BWWW:

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without a pilot in a series of test flights over the Irish Sea:

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/plane-witho...pilot-trial-over-uk-114122038.html

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineaviatorcraig From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2010, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7789 times:

My first reaction to this was "so what!" - drones and UAVs have been around for years...

On further consideration, it would appear their goal is not about roaming over the worlds battlefields or some uninhabited test range, but to "certify" a pilotless aircraft to fly within controlled airspace amongst the rest of commercial aviation's activities in the more populated parts of the World. Scary stuff!

I don't think passengers will be ready for this any time soon but the box haulers would love it.

How would you feel about a pilotless cargo flight crossing your flightpath with 1000' vertical separation?



707 727 Caravelle Comet Concorde Dash-7 DC-9 DC-10 One-Eleven Trident Tristar Tu-134 VC-10 Viscount plus boring stuff!
User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 544 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7675 times:

Quoting VV701 (Thread starter):
without a pilot in a series of test flights over the Irish Sea


Perhaps they've chosen the Irish Sea to attract the attention of MOL in Ryanair's HQ at DUB 


User currently offlineRubberJungle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7533 times:

Been done before by a Jetstream, four years ago:

http://www.cranfieldaerospace.com/index.php?mod=show_news&id_nws=19


User currently offlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1471 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7474 times:

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 1):
How would you feel about a pilotless cargo flight crossing your flightpath with 1000' vertical separation?

In a transition phase I could see 1 pilot per plane on ground "supervising" the pilotless aircraft. Besides pilots aren't allowed to handfly the aircraft in RVSM airspace today so it already is the computer flying.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4,
User currently offlinerjm777ual From UK - England, joined Nov 2011, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 6014 times:

Airbus tried this a while back, but as you can see, it wasn't very successful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzD4tIvPHwE



Greetings from Dulles!
User currently offlineasteriskceo From United States of America, joined May 2004, 467 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5806 times:

Quoting rjm777ual (Reply 5):
Airbus tried this a while back, but as you can see, it wasn't very successful.

That wasn't pilotless.


User currently offlinePvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 1260 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 5206 times:

Quoting rjm777ual (Reply 5):

Yeah like asteriskceo said that aircraft wasn't pilotless and also not trying to land, it was doing airshow flight with two crew onboard. Was meant to do overfly but crew descended too low and pilots tried to add power and pull it up from slow speed too late and it hit the forest. Official cause was found to be human error although captain kept debating about some kind of problem in plane preventing him from throttling up on time when trying to climb, but official investigation found no evidence of that.

All this video shows is lack of research by makers of these "worlds most amazing videos" style tv programs.

[Edited 2012-06-17 23:05:26]


"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4200 times:

Quoting rjm777ual (Reply 5):
Airbus tried this a while back, but as you can see, it wasn't very successful.

Airbus never tried that. That was Air France flight 296, an A320 flown on a sightseeing/pleasure flight in 1988, full of pax and crew, very soon after delivery. Was meant to do a low flypast of a grass airfield with a forest at the end; the crew breifed not to descend below 100ft but went down to 30ft, lost too much speed and couldn't climb out in time. The A320's alpha floor protection kept the nose down (as it was near stall) and it flew into the forest. 3 people died. However, had the protection *not* existed, it's likely that the aircraft would have stalled and gone into the forest anyway, possibly with more fatalities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_296

[Edited 2012-06-18 02:46:43]


Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinecombatshadow From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

It will be a long time before we ever have commercial aircraft without a flight-crew, if ever. When it comes to flying people and passengers, there is peace of mind knowing that there is a live person in the cockpit who can make decisions based on life and death; a computer will never weigh its decisions this way.

Even with ground controlled RPA's, a pilot controlling on the ground will never feel the sense of urgency or the weight of any situation as he or she would while actually on board the plane. The pilot needs to be in the same situation the passengers are IMO.

And we have actually lost several UAV/RPA's to crashes and accidents, with a rate I can't give you in numbers, but is far higher than would ever be accepted for commercial aviation.

I can see a flight crew being reduced to one pilot. But it will be a long while before it becomes solely RPA.



Bob
User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2851 times:

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 1):
How would you feel about a pilotless cargo flight crossing your flightpath with 1000' vertical separation?

Once the technology matures, and after a thorough and systematic evaluation and appropriate rules are established, I would probably feel pretty much the same way as I would feel with a piloted aircraft at the same seperation...that is, generally very confident with that nagging thoughts about the maintenance and quality of the autopilot, the pilot, the altimeter setting, hoping ATC has correctly assigned altitudes (Brasil and Swiss events), that the pilot didn't just wake up and see a star (AC incident). Eventually it's going to happen, and the RPV's being used every day now for military purposes are going to contribute a lot of technology to civil aviation, following the very well established pattern in aviation dating to 1914 at least.

Quoting larshjort (Reply 4):
In a transition phase I could see 1 pilot per plane on ground "supervising" the pilotless aircraft. Besides pilots aren't allowed to handfly the aircraft in RVSM airspace today so it already is the computer flying.
Quoting combatshadow (Reply 9):
I can see a flight crew being reduced to one pilot. But it will be a long while before it becomes solely RPA.

I completely agree - it seems reasonable to foresee a day in the next ten years or so where some flights that currently require two pilots could be replaced by a pilot in the cockpit and another on the ground - the assumption being that pilot incapacitation AND technology failure at the same time would be statistically insignificant.
For efficiency and safety, pretty much all of the 'standard' things a pilot does are already automated, or could be done. The cost/benefit of doing some of the automation isn't really there in some cases, but that's partly due to the pilot's being there already for their real job which is to deal with emergencies. As pilot costs increase relative to the technology, experience in aviation (flight engineers) and every other industry shows that the technology will eventually be implemented.
(Same as for the cabin crew of course - the real reason is not to serve me my drink, but since they are there anyway for emergencies, then providing the extra customer service is efficient use of their presence).

I can't help but think of the "Pilot + Dog" crew team, with the dog biting the pilot if he touches anything.


I find it an Interesting choice for the test aircraft...with the relatively high cost of the crew* on a per pax basis for the smaller planes, the sub 50 or 70 seat market would benefit a lot, and of course the 19 seat market has already become a ciche market. Both could really benefit if they could go o single pilot plus remote.

* I know that in many places co-pilots make next to nothing (or less), but I am considering the economic costs, not the co-pilot's wage, so there is still a cost to having them on the list, keeping up the training and paperwork,and the real cost of training them, regarldess of who paid for it.

Quoting combatshadow (Reply 9):
Even with ground controlled RPA's, a pilot controlling on the ground will never feel the sense of urgency or the weight of any situation as he or she would while actually on board the plane. The pilot needs to be in the same situation the passengers are IMO.

And we have actually lost several UAV/RPA's to crashes and accidents, with a rate I can't give you in numbers, but is far higher than would ever be accepted for commercial aviation.

For the sense of urgency, I agree there is nothing like being there to have focus, but there is a lot of value being able to see the problem is you are not directly involved or distracted by on scene conditions. I'd specuale that US 1549 (Hudson River) worked out well due to the onboard brainpower, but AF447 might have benefited from an outside viewpoint (no way to properly validate this, and there may have been many other ways to prevent it, but it is one scenario where a big picture view might have helped).
For the crashes, etc., that's the learning curve of all new technologies - and especially with aviation where the military is willing to take risks with the new stuff when it makes a difference operationally, but then spend a lot of time learning from their experience. At least now when this first generation of RPV's has a problem, pilots and other people are not as intimately involved like they have been every other time.



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2734 times:
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Quoting BE77 (Reply 10):
I find it an Interesting choice for the test aircraft

They already owned it so it was cheap. It also was probably a very known quantity for them and the principles would apply the same to any conventional aircraft anyway.

Fred


User currently offline727forever From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 793 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

Should there ever be an airliner that is remotely piloted or no pilot at all, count me out. I will not ride on an airplane with no human onboard managing the flight. Computers are only as smart as their programming and there are far too many parameters and experience based decisions to be made to rely solely on a computer. Many of these parameters are not measurable with sensors or gauges. Many passengers would be injured by convective build ups that do not appear on radar but can be seen above, below, and to the side of an airplane. Without the human onboard to see it, the aircraft will fly through this area exposing it to damage or passenger injury. Also, how does a computer plan for the seat of the pants flying of low altitude mechanical turbulence that only experience plans for? This technology is neat gee wiz stuff, but not acceptable for line operations.

727forever



727forever
User currently offlineclydenairways From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 1233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2611 times:

Well seeing that Bae have gotten out of future aircraft production i don't really see why they are doing this?

Regarding future UAV's. I first see further expansion of Military applications before any commercial use. Then maybe some day we might see cargo ops. But passenger flights will probably be in another lifetime, even though the technology will allow it.


User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6186 posts, RR: 34
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

It is interesting to read the backward looking view of the future that is contained in several previous posts. So many detractors are not even aware of what the current state of the art is, let alone being able to recognize what is coming down the pike with the accelerating growth of information technology.

We are going to have "robot" cars within 10 years... and that is far more problematic than pilot-less airliners. As others have said, during the transition to pilot-less we will end up having a "flight manager" on board.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
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