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Boeing-designed X-45 Is Unmanned (new Article)  
User currently offlineBoomBoom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

Boeing displayed its vision of the future of air warfare Tuesday, a batlike model of a small fighter craft that exudes silent menace.

...it has no windows. And its profile is flat, four feet from top to bottom. At the front, where the cockpit should be, there's a gaping hole for engine air intake.

The airplane is "piloted" by someone watching a computer screen in a fortified trailer that can be deployed near a war zone. "This is fly by mouse,"

Flying at Mach 0.8 at an altitude of 40,000 feet, the X-45 will have a range of up to 1,500 miles, compared with about 600 miles for a Boeing-built F-18 manned fighter jet.

The Pentagon wants unmanned aircraft in all shapes and sizes to cut down casualties — and to cut costs.

no pricing data are available, but "historically, we price it by the pound." The X-45 has an empty weight of 18,000 pounds, 10 percent lighter than the small single-seater manned fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-16.

At that weight, said Teal's Aboulafia, a manned fighter would cost about $40 million and an unmanned one that could do without pilot-centered systems might cost $25 million to $28 million, depending on production rates.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...668900_unmannedaircraft07.html



8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3513 times:

Looks familiar. I think I've seen it on a movie poster last year.


I wish I were flying
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

Why is this news? The design has been known about for quite some time. Unfortunately, UAVs are taking a back seat right now as they figure out FAA approval for operations and how to pay for the F/A-22 and F-35.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3393 times:

Looks like a cross between Boeing's Bird of Prey revealed 3 years ago and a MDD concept drone from 1992 with M-shaped wings.

For now I'll say fine engineering, let's see it do its mission...I still wonder about the reaction time between an adrenaline filled pilot and one drinking coffee with gaurds placed around him/her.  Wink

What happens if the fortified trailer gets bombed, is there an emergency pilot or does this thing come home under A.I.? Or does it take revenge? Big grin



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3380 times:

In theory the fortified trailer could be halfway around the world.

Most missions would be flown almost completely autonymous, the pilot in his bombed out trailer  Wink only serving as a backup in case the automatics screw up or the mission parameters change more rapidly than the programming can be updated.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6483 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 3):
Looks like a cross between Boeing's Bird of Prey revealed 3 years ago and a MDD concept drone from 1992 with M-shaped wings.

Indeed, when Boeing released info about the Bird of Prey to the public, they said it was used primarily for research resulting in the X-45.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineBsergonomics From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 462 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 3298 times:

The problem with UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles) is not the fact that they do not have a pilot on board; it is the fact that they are carrying live weapons. During the actions in Kosovo, the unarmed USAF Predators (at that point, only the CIA had the armed variants) flew through civil airspace without any problems.

Boeing are way ahead of the rest of the world when is comes to UCAVs - formation flights, dropping JDAMs etc - but these vehicles (in an armed configuration) are only going to be used in combat zones in the near future.

That said, the 'Man in the Loop' already has 'his' days numbered. We are already in the position whereby several countries could launch UCAV missions without the need for human intervention. At present, it is only the political will that dictates that it must be a human who gives the order to fire. The next step will be human-led swarms, leading to independent UCAV operations and 'Free Fire Zones' , followed by completely integrated manned/unmanned operations.

The 'Terminator' scenario is not the far away, my friends...



The definition of a 'Pessimist': an Optimist with experience...
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3289 times:

I truly do not believe that the "Man in the Loop" days are numbered. While UAVs and UCAVs have their benefits, they also have their detractors. The F-35 is set to enter production and the timetable for manufacturing is almost 30+ years and 4000 airframes. That definitely doesn't seem to be the end. The end has always been near since 1945 when the everyone thought that cruise missles would take over.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

I just noticed it, is there any reason that plane is parked in a car parking lot? Did they not have room or is it just display?


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
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