There will be pilotless single passenger drone air taxis, then four passenger air taxis ...
Back to single pilot
There are single pilot 9 seat aircraft The logical progression would be single pilot 19-seat, 42-seat, 72-seat, 90 seat...before 200 seat aircraft.
Jumping directly to 200+ seat aircraft is the only issue I have.
A single pilot B1900D/ATR-42/ATR-72 size aircraft would be a game changer for airline economics.
Let's say a regional pilot costs $100k (fully loaded) per year and works about a thousand hours. That's $100 per hour, regardless of the number of pilots as pilots are paid per hour and not salaried, right?
Your plane flies 12 hours per day and makes 8 flights and has 50 seats with 75% load factor.
That's $1,200 for the pilot spread over 300 passengers. $4 per passenger is "game changing" - surely you cannot be serious.
That becomes even cheaper at higher utilization and capacity factor and way cheaper at 76-seaters (which is the new 50-seater).
Thats not how it works or how it will be seen. If you spin this up, you have 365 days a year makes already 438'000$. If you operate 50 aircraft, you are already up to 21'900'000$. So if you do not change the ticket price and cut half the costs for the pilots the airline can increase profit by almost 22 million dollars. Now check the profitability of airlines. An additional 22mio would be welcomed everywhere.
It's still $4 per passenger on a 50 seater, and yes that adds up to a lot of money. It's $2.63 on a 76 seater. It's $1 per passenger on a 737-8-200.
- Good Airlines should be able to squeeze a dollar elsewhere much more easily. Bad airlines shouldn't be flying with 1 pilot.
If your fleet's "average" airplane has 125 seats, then it's $1.60 per passenger to remove 1 pilot.
It's risk versus reward.
First your airline have to convince the manufacturer to design the cockpit, communications, and safety procedures.
Then you have to pass this by the FAA (easy peasy, as Boeing demonstrated), but now CAAC and the Europeans will be scrutinizing everything closely...
Then you have to have other airlines order this plane or it becomes prohibitively expensive as: (Cost to Develop)/(# of Frames Ordered) is the incremental cost of this technology, plus profit.
So if you assume that the Europeans and Chinese won't order this plane (they won't), your cost per frame just skyrocketed.
I'm sorry, but I don't see this hapenning on anything bigger than a 50-seater (where it makes sense), but who is going to pay to develop all of the necessary stuff to make this work? Surely not the manufacturer.
Last edited by WorldFlier
on Wed May 22, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.