Following on from the "Would you fly without windows?" topic, http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1018772/
I have a question regarding future technology.
We are performing research into Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs) that have a significant payload capability. The next step will be to get them certified so that they can fly in the civilian airways system/general airspace. After that, the logical next step is to use them as civialian cargo aircraft (timescales - 20 to 30 years). Techologically speaking, the jump to passenger-carrying aircraft without a pilot is a small one.
But the major hurdle is passenger confidence.
We have discussed this before, and the major problem for most people seems to be the software running the Flight Management System. Therefore, if we assume that, within the next 40-50 years (approximate timescales for these programmes), the software can be made far more reliable than a human pilot, would you consider flying without a pilot?