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For All The 'Pilotless Airliner' Fans Out There  
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 13211 times:

http://news.yahoo.com/american-drone...cted-computer-virus-180019767.html

Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

HAL


One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
82 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3089 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13065 times:

I have been very interested in pilotless airlines.

But, since my recent decision to become a pilot, this is probably the better outcome  

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13042 times:

This may seem peculiar, but I find it re assuring thast the pilot has a personal stake in me getting there in one piece.

I do not like the idea of pilotless airliners.


User currently offlinepoLOT From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12813 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):
Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

While I don't support pilotless airliners, what is stopping a virus from being in the flight computers of one of today's airliners?


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21854 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12752 times:

Quoting poLOT (Reply 3):
While I don't support pilotless airliners, what is stopping a virus from being in the flight computers of one of today's airliners?

If it happens, you've got two pilots to deal with the problem. The impetus behind single-pilot airliners is that the computers will be able to do the work of the pilot who is replaced. If those computers are compromised, then things could easily spiral out of control.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12670 times:

Interesting that the OP's name is HAL...

Mir, what happens if the virus is in the FADEC and takes over control from he crew?

I think the discussion about pilotless aircraft is actually two discussions - remote-controlled vs autonomous.

Remote controlled: works when you assume you are the single occupier of airspace. At some point we will probably have remote controlled freighters.

Autonomous: Our computers are Turing-Complete machines, which means they are not capable of certain types of problem-solving that humans are much better at. The real rise of the machines happens when we are able to create machines that think like us. That journey hasn't even begun.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12633 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):
Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

This was a keylogger on the *ground* computer, nothing to do with the drone itself. This is analogous to having a virus on the dispatcher's computer, rather than on the airplane. It's a complete red herring relative to aircraft onboard automation.

Quoting poLOT (Reply 3):
While I don't support pilotless airliners, what is stopping a virus from being in the flight computers of one of today's airliners?

There's no fundamental technical barrier, it's just almost impossible from a practical standpoint. Even if you could get physical access, the amount of technical knowledge to actually write a successful virus for a custom OS running custom software with custom security...the only people who could do it are the people who made the flight computers themselves.

Tom.


User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12597 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):
Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

Not sure what this has to with anything related to pilotless aircraft in the future??
So far, pilots have caused more fatal crashes that this 'virus'!

Quoting comorin (Reply 5):
Remote controlled: works when you assume you are the single occupier of airspace.

ummm, why?

Quoting comorin (Reply 5):
which means they are not capable of certain types of problem-solving that humans are much better at.

Which of these are humans better at, that a computer couldn't be ... and much faster?

Quoting comorin (Reply 5):
The real rise of the machines happens when we are able to create machines that think like us.

...oh, and make the wrong decisions I guess? You are right! Computers will only be able to mimic the flying of humans when they make mistakes  


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12415 times:

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 1):

I have been very interested in pilotless airlines.

Me too.. I'll be down here on terra firma watching.   There's either 2 up front, or I'm walking.



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlinepoLOT From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12380 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
There's no fundamental technical barrier, it's just almost impossible from a practical standpoint. Even if you could get physical access, the amount of technical knowledge to actually write a successful virus for a custom OS running custom software with custom security...the only people who could do it are the people who made the flight computers themselves.

Yes, and I would expect that pilotless aircraft would have many of the same practical barriers.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26128 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12313 times:

Well with humans you get things like CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) - one of the most common causes for accidents.

Yes computers and technology might not be perfects, however I strongly suspect industry will be able to make automated flight as safe if not safer than with humans.

Human error sadly is an ever present and quite significant danger in aviation, and frankly if it reduced or replaced might be quite beneficial.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineXJetflyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 327 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 12285 times:

I'm just thinking in the age we live in with the terrorist and such this is not a bright idea. I don't think I could fly on such an aircraft. I know humans make errors, but humans can also think for themselves. Computers can only do what they are programed to do.

User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 12197 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):
http://news.yahoo.com/american-drone...cted-computer-virus-180019767.html

Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2.../14/buffalo-crash-probe051409.html

During his testimony Thursday, Robert Key Dismukes told board members that flight data and transcripts of cockpit recordings show Capt. Marvin Renslow failed to realize the plane was about to stall as it approached Buffalo Niagara International Airport in wintry weather.

"I don't see any evidence he knew the situation he was in," said Dismukes, a pilot and scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center who has spent decades studying fields such as pilot attention and cockpit distractions.


One of the many reasons we should remove pilots.   

No I do not think we should. Just saying there is a lot more to it.


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 11978 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 12):
One of the many reasons we should remove pilots.

I'm not trying to say that automated aircraft are useless. Nor am I saying that human pilots are inherently better than automated ones. But there have been several threads here recently where a few people have been very vocal about going single-pilot now, and pilotless in the future, all in the name of 'removing the unsafe link' in the safety chain.

My point in posting this story is to show that there will always be problems with automated (and remote - in the case of pilotless aircraft) flight systems. What is best, and what will be safest, (which has been my point all along), is a mix of the two. Improve pilot training so that areas that are becoming lax in the advent of more automated aircraft, such as the stall recognition & avoidance problems from the Colgan and Air France disasters, and design better human/machine interfaces so that both sides of the instrument panel can monitor the other and make suggestions/corrections to keep the flight safe.

Does it cost more than an old-school analog cockpit with two pilots? Does it cost more than a purely automated aircraft? Is is safer than either one of those? Yes, on all counts.

HAL

BTW, for comorin, my screen name comes from the airline I work for, not for the legendary malfunctioning computer.



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11875 times:

Hal,

We probably agree for the most part but to expand.

Automated systems will always be safer and more consistent WHEN we have the knowledge to provide them with information to handle all (virtually) situations they will experience. As it stands in aviation we have the knowledge to do that for the vast majority of situations but not enough to entrust them with human lives.

Problem is we are in a catch 22 situation. Automated systems make less errors under normal conditions but are essentially unable to handle exceptional situations. Humans are becoming less able to handle the exceptional situations because the are not getting the experience from flying under normal situations.

Probably we should let pilots train under normal conditions without passengers but that is economically unrealistic.

We need to pick a poison but no matter which is picked there will be people with good arguments for why it is wrong. Lose - lose  


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 11485 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):

Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

As much as I agree with your posts HAL I find this thread quite irrelevant to the matter of pilot-less aircraft.

As has been pointed out, it was the ground computer that has the virus. From the sounds of it, I'm guessing it's just a program that's meant to be there that nobody realized was actually there before. Quite silly IMO. And at worse it's just a keylogger. There's no indication of any information being sent anywhere. This does not surprise me one bit, as the ground computers are running commercially available operating systems. Something airplanes do not have.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 6):
It's a complete red herring relative to aircraft onboard automation.

Indeed. As always a fine piece of aviation journalism.   

I remember a thread in tech/ops about a similar subject. Basically the conclusion was is that its pretty much impossible to put a virus on say, the FMS system. These all run on embedded, real-time, extremely proprietary operating systems which only a couple of hundred people have access to the code to begin with. Not to mention it's not like you can just plug in a USB port and voila, cause an infection (though some newer FMSs may have a USB port)


EDIT: found the thread. It's very informative: Aircraft Virus Vulnerability (by Ferroviarius Sep 25 2010 in Tech Ops)

[Edited 2011-10-08 14:44:24]

User currently offlineMacsog6 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 9694 times:
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Quoting HAL (Reply 13):
BTW, for comorin, my screen name comes from the airline I work for, not for the legendary malfunctioning computer.

Mr. Clarke once said that he came up with the name HAL because he wanted the computer in 2001, A Space Odyssey to be one better than IBM. Hence, one letter to the left.



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineABQopsHP From United States of America, joined May 2006, 860 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9592 times:

HAL, Im with you on this one. I happened to have read the article this morning. Even tho I have been around airliners all my life, and computers do wonderful things. The old adage applies : Garbage in, garbage out. We are a long, long way from pilot-less a/c. Even then, I believe there will always be a need for people to have some input.



Quoting cmf (Reply 14):
Problem is we are in a catch 22 situation. Automated systems make less errors under normal conditions but are essentially unable to handle exceptional situations. Humans are becoming less able to handle the exceptional situations because the are not getting the experience from flying under normal situations.

I agree. Allow the computer to operate under normal situations. In the event of a situation developing, the pilots can take over.

JD CRPXE



A line is evidence that other people exist.
User currently offlinerailker From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 9147 times:

There is a quote from the 'Dreamland' book series, I haven't been able to find it again word-for-word, but it essentially said that for aircraft, the accuracy and precision of computers will never be able to overshadow and/or replace human ingenuity and creativity. Might try to come close, but "try" will ultimately be the restraint on any such attempts until we achieve true AI.

User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4903 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 9082 times:

HAL also was a short form for Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer. Hopefully HAL the poster is not a computer masquerading as a person!  

My more serious and nerdy point was trying to point out the limitations of today's automata. It has bearing on both UAVs and Automation in the cockpit. Computers today are theoretically only capable of doing what is programmed into them - whereas the dumbest chimp is capable of solving spatial problems. Sure, you have fuzzy logic, pattern recognition, neural networks and inference, but AI has stopped there for very good reason. Computer scientists are realizing the fallacy of equating human intelligence with computing power, when they are actually different things.

So computers make great machines - autopilots, FADECs and so on, and their reflexes are better than any pilots. They are great at taking over workloads - same since Archimedes time. But computers are only as good as their instructions, and humans bring in skills that are not replicable in today's machines. Computers have also become very good mimics of humans, as anyone who has played a computer game or been in a simulator knows.

We don't have a clue yet as to what constitutes sentience, intelligence, consciousness and the mind. When we find out, and we can build organisms that can think, then the future is truly upon us.

In passing, I leave those interested with a link for background on the limits of Turing-complete machines:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/0...limits-of-turing-complete-machines


User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8591 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 7):
Which of these are humans better at, that a computer couldn't be ... and much faster?

Actually this is the problem with pilotless or one-pilot A/C: Computers do not have judgement skills; they can only problem-solve based on a finite amount of data or variables. Flying can potentially present an infinate number of variables, so until computers start to think the way we do, the way they function cannot compare to the way the brain functions. No, humans are not infamible, but our brains are still incredibaly more complex than a computer's. I suspect the time will come, but I don't think we are anywhere near there yet.



I come in peace
User currently offlineflybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8514 times:

Quoting HAL (Thread starter):
Just one of the many reasons (all involving safety) that pilotless - or even single-pilot - airliners are many, many decades away.

I think computers are more reliable pilots than their human operators. I doubt many commercial airline flights are even hand flown anymore. Indeed the amount of automation you fear coming to fruition is already a reality. Human error nowadays seems to be the primary cause of fatal commercial airliner crashes. It was for AA 587, Colgan 3407 and AF 447. And that's just an excerpt. I have yet to hear of a properly programmed FMC flying a planeload of people into the side of a mountain or straight into the ocean, but I can give you a laundry list of pilots who have done just that.

I certainly think that this thread, raises valid concerns, but is laden with ignorance.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8080 times:

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 21):
Human error nowadays seems to be the primary cause of fatal commercial airliner crashes. It was for AA 587, Colgan 3407 and AF 447. And that's just an excerpt. I have yet to hear of a properly programmed FMC flying a planeload of people into the side of a mountain or straight into the ocean, but I can give you a laundry list of pilots who have done just that.

Just food for thought, but this is the logical fallacy that so many supporters of completely automated aircraft believe. They say 'Human errors caused these crashes, so humans must be eliminated from the loop'. The logical problem you've created is that yes, there are a few human caused crashes. But how many other accidents, incidents, and disasters have humans avoided with a simple glance, thought, and flick of a switch or pull of a control? How many of those unknown accidents would not have been avoided if it were only a machine piloting the plane? And no, a properly programmed FMC has not flown a plane into a mountain or crashed into the ocean. But if you automate the plane, who is going to program the FMC? Some human has to enter the planned route, whether a human or machine is flying the plane! That person can make a mistake whether he is in the cockpit, or in a remote control facility. The difference is that if a mistake is entered, the pilot in the cockpit has a better chance of detecting and correcting the mistake than the guy separated from the aircraft by thousands of miles of distance and is connected to it only by radio waves. And if it's only a machine operating the plane, how is it going to be programmed to detect a mistake when it is only doing what it's told to do by the FMC? Yes, I'm being sarcastic with that last one, but you get my point.

Today we have an immensely safer aviation system than in the past. Look at the accident record from past decades, and you'll see that we're doing an amazing job today. That's why the few crashes that do occur, create such a frenzy - because they really are so rare. The easy causes have been discovered, and now we are left to root out the subtle and difficult-to-find reasons that were ignored for so long.

The argument that human pilots cause crashes and should be eliminated, ignores the fact that human pilots are extraordinarily good at detecting and avoiding situations that can lead to crashes in the first place. Look at the accident rate and causes from the last 50 years, and you'll see a lockstep increase in safety, not only from improved technology & systems, but from improved training based on real-world accident investigation, human factors studies, and advanced learning techniques. Both better trained pilots, and better technology are what's needed to improve safety. Eliminating one or the other would only lessen the high level of safety we enjoy today.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineSRMD11 From Switzerland, joined Jan 2007, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 7343 times:

As long as "certain" countries develope destructive software like stuxnet, even planes with cockpitcrews on bord are unsafe because there is an permanent, potential threat. Newer planes are much more addicted of computertechnology - so there might be an additional, higher risk. But also other essential systems for aviation are in danger. To give some points: Fueling, Airport infrastructure illumination, ground navigation systems, communication systems etc. etc. etc. . Concerning all these vulnerable points, pilotless planes would be a piece of cake in such virus szenarions. However, two things are facts. 1st: pilotless airliners would be more safe than todays airliners - for the pilots... 2nd: Due to psychological reasons, pilotless airliners won't be accepted by an majority of passangers. So don't get nervous. Even in 50 years, airliners will have pilots on bord.

User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6998 times:

Quoting HAL (Reply 22):
And if it's only a machine operating the plane, how is it going to be programmed to detect a mistake when it is only doing what it's told to do by the FMC?

Who said pilotless aircraft would simply be flown by the FMC? Yet another 'logical fallacy'! Pilotless aircraft would have completely different systems from current designs. Today's FMCs etc. are designed around the fact that there is a pilot or two, in the cockpit.

Quoting HAL (Reply 22):
ignores the fact that human pilots are extraordinarily good at detecting and avoiding situations that can lead to crashes in the first place

So, let's have an example where a pilot made a decision that a computer could not have done. We've had this discussion a few times on this forum, and nobdoy has come up with a good example.

'Seat of the pants' flying simply does not exist, and those that have tried it sometimes have bad consequences.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
25 okie73 : Pilotless airliners would not really be pilotless. Just like the military drones, they would have pilots flying them by remote control from the ground
26 ZANL188 : That's fairly easy... A pilot can look out the window and say "given my aircraft performance and payload, I don't like the condition of that runway a
27 golfradio : US1549. I doubt any computer could have made the decision of not attempting to return to an airport (LGA or TEB) but looking out the window for other
28 bond007 : Of course it can, and they do all the time. OK, but why not ... the decision was made based upon a number of factors - something computers are very g
29 ZANL188 : Please explain. I have yet to see a computer judge runway conditions, report them yes, make a judgement no.
30 cmf : The not so uncommon occurrence of AP giving up and telling pilots to take over because it can't make sense of the inputs it is receiving.
31 HAL : Show me ONE case of a computer telling the pilot to land on a different runway than the one programmed, and the reason it made that decision, and I'l
32 flybyguy : US 1549 is one of the instances in aviation history that I seriously doubt a computerized pilot would not be able to execute. However, I do think the
33 cmf : Computers are used to calculate runway length needed and in that way may tell the pilot to land on a different runway. Reason is, of course, that ent
34 comair25 : I've never thought very positive of the idea of a pilotless cockpit. It is just dumb to not have a thinking human being behind the controls.
35 futureualpilot : I've yet to see an FMS or any other computer on an aircraft that tells me the runway is contaminated. Thus far I've always been the one to let the ai
36 bond007 : First of all, and this happens in all pilotless aircraft discussions, folks think that pilotless aircraft means an A320 with a flight computer, flying
37 NathanH : I'm not a pilot, so I don't have a ton of insight into that side of the equation. But I am a computer programmer, and I'm guessing most pilots don't k
38 futureualpilot : After getting them approved by the FAA and figuring out how to install them, then the maintenance cost associated with ensuring they operate properly
39 NathanH : I agree with you. The difference is that thinking like that makes me incredibly sad. It makes me think that as a society we have decided to stop prog
40 ZANL188 : Ah, I see you're in the realm of sci fi. Unlimited budgets too no doubt. Since you're dealing in sci fi why not skip airports and runways altogether?
41 cmf : Being used to automating processes in manufacturing I do not think sensors will be much of an issue. Many of the critical sensors are already there,
42 DeltaMD90 : As long as we have subway drivers, I don't think we'll have UAV airliners.......
43 cmf : There are places who do not have them. Decades already. People ride happily without concern. Very different set of requirements to do it "human safe"
44 lowrider : The number 1 reason we will never have pilotless airliners? Liability. No manufacturer or airline is going to want to bear all the responsibility for
45 Post contains images Mir : Depends on the aircraft. In mine, you'd attempt a reset of the system, and if that doesn't work you'd have to figure out some other course of action.
46 tdscanuck : But they can be programmed to do an awful lot more than most people realize. Make no mistake, there are certain tasks that humans are better at, and
47 Post contains images BMI727 : Why use cameras? Have sensors (moisture or optical?) embedded in the runway, real time weather stations, and telemetry from the aircraft themselves.
48 lowrider : No they don't, right now they can claim that their product was fine, it was the actions of the pilots or someone else that caused the accident or inc
49 tdscanuck : But that never actually works. If it was flight crew error, the airline still bears liability (the flight crew were their agents), and the prosecutio
50 bond007 : Getting ground based sensors FAA approved would be the least of our concerns ... certifying a pilotless aircraft would be! Actually we aren't. The an
51 cmf : Not what I had in mind for exceptional but fair point.
52 Tangowhisky : HAL has it occurred to you that we have reached a saturation point in aircraft design that the only thing we are left to improve is the man-machine in
53 Fly2HMO : For what it's worth, these are my predictions for the near, medium, and distant future: 0)There will never be a truly, 100% independent or automated a
54 ghifty : Why the hell does someone feel the need to plant a virus into our drone fleet? Or any virus into any facet of social life? Jeez.
55 Post contains images bond007 : Oh, it'll happen We have no idea how automation technology will progress over the next few decades. Almost every automated task that a computer does
56 tdscanuck : Again, this virus wasn't on the drone fleet itself, it was on a ground computer. And, based on that, it probably wasn't "planted" at all...the ground
57 ghifty : I'm skeptical about that. After all, where did that virus come from? Some low-life probably. There's a line when jokes become too much, and the peopl
58 Post contains images cmf : Period. Such firm predictions have a tendency to come back and haunt. Completely agree with "They would merely upload a flightplan and the plane will
59 golfradio : From a technological stand point? Really? Where are we with BWB? Or for that matter, even supersonic flight. We have been unable to make even that co
60 Mir : Not true - absolute worst case scenario, you get within gliding range of an airport and shut the engines down. That'll put the FADEC out of the pictu
61 Post contains images lightsaber : I do not see the issue. I see really bad IT management. Why wouldn't they be able to rid the virus? Pull the drives, put them in quaranteen, and put
62 Post contains links YTZ : I'm a PPL holder. I'm also an Aerospace Engineer and a Canadian Air Force officer. I remember when not too long ago, a lot of fighter pilots would str
63 bond007 : But we are not talking supersonic flights, or necessarily whether autonomous flight is 'commercially viable'. As far as pilotless aircraft technology
64 Fly2HMO : To me independent includes no supervision whatsoever. Not even automated people movers go unsupervised, there's always somebody watching over. And so
65 malioil : What you state is true, but one forgets the many, many instances that probably happens every single days when a pilot makes a good decision and saves
66 YTZ : Perhaps and perhaps not. My point was that not too long ago people used the same argument; that nobody would get on a train without a human operator.
67 cmf : I think this is beyond splitting hairs but OK That was part of the point, ATC will not disappear. Great post. Some 20 years ago I had an engineer tel
68 bond007 : Correct, but aircraft are designed for 2 pilots, and pilots are trained to do exactly what you say when problems arise. That is why they are there. I
69 YTZ : People are approaching this as all or nothing. It's not that kind of an issue. In reality, what you'll have is a gradual increase in automation of all
70 tdscanuck : Both the BWB and supersonic flight have been over their technical barriers for 40+ years. Let's not pretend those are technology problems. Tom.
71 Post contains images fxramper : Another almost pure opinion thread to secure your chosen career?
72 golfradio : I am neither an aerospace engineer nor a scientist but from whatever sources I can find on BWB, the impression I get is that there are still gaps in
73 YTZ : And all can be overcome with a solid development effort. And mostly have been...or we wouldn't have BWB aircraft flying today. The problem with BWBs
74 rwessel : Another, perhaps larger, problem for a passenger BWB is that a BWB doesn't lend itself to small aircraft (humans will want to sit upright, which sets
75 Dreadnought : This is very simple, guys. No passenger is going to get onto a 600 mph, paper-thin aluminum tube unless the person/thing in control is on board and pr
76 dragon6172 : From what I read, it was on a ground station hard drive and was a password logger malware, similiar to one found on the game Mafia Wars. To me that s
77 bond007 : 50 years ago people would never have set foot into a driver-less passenger train ... tens of thousands do now every day. Yes, it's simple ... you sim
78 Dreadnought : Airport shuttles on enclosed loops, sure, but in actual, dynamic traffic? Never heard of it.
79 Post contains links rwessel : The Copenhagen Metro and Vancouver's SkyTrain, are examples of fully automated systems. Both have manual controls on board for emergency use, but in
80 Dreadnought : Still not convinced. They are on rails, which can be fitted with all sorts of detection and safety devices. In case of emergency, the system simply c
81 cmf : Which is one of the reasons we still have pilots despite that all technology has been available for decades already. Even doing the majority of flyin
82 bond007 : ..and of course we can put all these devices on aircraft, enroute, and at airports ... just like we do today in a limited fashion, and will do and mo
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