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DLFREEBIRD
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:56 am

Is Boeing or Airbus, working on a plane landing itself in a emergency situation? I saw a episode of fringe where a plane landed itself after the flight crew had passed out.

seems to me, that there is a real need for this, not only with the mysterious disappearance of MH370 but also with Germanwings co-pilot purposely crashing his plane.

This is a serious question, NOT looking for joke replies.
 
B757Forever
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:04 am

This seems inevitable to me, but could be many years away. The big question is will the traveling public ride on an aircraft without a pilot? I could see this beginning with freighters and after the technology is proven, move into the passenger realm.
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Viscount724
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:12 am

Related item from 2 months ago. The unfortunate Germanwings crash and the "2 persons in the cockpit" policies being introduced by various carriers (as already in effect in the US) made me think of the old joke at the beginning.
http://flipboard.com/topic/flightdec...A3167480-7ebb1ac099%2Fjalopnik.com
 
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777Jet
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:12 am

Quoting B757forever (Reply 1):
The big question is will the traveling public ride on an aircraft without a pilot?

I wouldn't.

If there is not a least one human pilot on the plane to take over if the computer pilot screws up then you won't find me on that plane.
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BlatantEcho
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:26 am

Of course we will.

If we have mostly autonomous cars at the end of the decade, then transport aircraft are probably 10-15 years beyond that?

--
Anyone who thinks otherwise is living under a rock.

Just like people who claimed they would never cross the Atlantic on less than 4 engines.
Then they said they would never ever see a twin cross the pacific....

Technology keeps moving, no matter what anyone thinks.


Will there be catastrophic accidents with fully automated planes that might not have happened with pilots?
Yup
But total safety will increase ten fold.
And we'll all move forward as we always have.
 
Airvan00
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:31 am

I am old enough to remember elevator ( lift ) " drivers" and I regularly travel on trains with no drivers.
 
MVAair
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:35 am

We can have them now, but I think there would be a passenger acceptance problem. Perhaps we will see them on cargo first.
 
Mir
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:39 am

In the future, yes. But not in the immediate future. I'd say it's a good 30 years at least before they start becoming commonplace.

-Mir
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C010T3
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:40 am

I think the greatest impediment is not the development of technology to make it viable, but the issue of safety from attacks at the control centers that will become necessary for these flights. Imagine what could happen if there were a security breach at an airline as big as, for example, American. What if it becomes possible to down the entire fleet at the push of a button?
 
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DeltaMD90
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:51 am

Eventually. After cargo aircraft, the inevitable crashes of them afterwards*, and public trust after pilotless aircraft's problems are fixed (or at least have a better safety record than piloted ones.)

Also, people need to remember that almost (or even all, I'm not 100% sure) of UAVs today have pilots, just not in the aircraft.

I think before pilotless aircraft, we'll see single piloted aircraft that can safely maneuver and land itself in an emergency

*Just my prediction, there probably will be some foreseen and unforeseen problems that need to be addressed before moving to passenger aircraft
 
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rotating14
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:01 am

Welcome aboard the A.net train green horn    A bunch of my friends were having a similar conversation about this in regards to autonomous driving and drones. My opinion is that autonomous machines cannot make accurate decisions in stressful situations. How does a drone dodge a thunder storm? How does it counter a day where it's gusty beyond the norm? I believe that the cockpit will be slightly contoured to accommodate (1) pilot and for long haul flights there will be another pilot to relieve him or her when the first pilot needs to be relieved. What's going to happen when there is a foreign oder that the pilot-less plane cannot detect? I just don't see it.
 
sharktail
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:09 am

I wouldn't call it pilotless aircraft. At least not at first. I would call it Aircraft piloted by pilots through remote control.

As long as there is global redundant high speed network coverage, why not? Rermote controlled planes are safer today than military planes. The time will come when they are safer than civilian airliners.

And to those who argue that pilots are still required in case of an issue, I agree. But why does the pilot need to be on the plane? Why not have a team of 50 pilots tracking 300 planes. 99% of the time, they don't need to do a thing. But in the 1% of the time when they do, you can have 4 experts that have gone through similar situations make the correct call. And they can use a flight simulator that transmits information near real time.

The main issue is that you need global redundant high speed networks. There are a couple plans to provide that, with google, SpaceX and others having plans in the next 5 years to have a network operational. Once multiple networks exists, it is a matter of convincing the regulators and the industry to go that route. And designing tamper proof systems to be able to take over in case of emergency.

But honestly, if computers do 99% of the flying, in the one case where you need a pilot because something goes wrong, do you want one that has seen this situation once in the last 10 years in a flight sim? Or 10 times in the last month in real life as he is specialized in exactly that scenario?

So I don't have a problem with the concept...
 
undertheradar
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:24 am

given that 'the future' is an indeterminable measure of time..who knows!!

pilotless a/c are an accident waiting to happen....so those in favour of this are comfortable with 'remote controled' flights?? who do the cabin crew tell if the cabin isnt prepared for takeoff/landing?? or if there is an inflight 'situation'?? or how will cabin crew be informed if issues with the aircraft?? and who will ATC be 'talking' to during the critical phases of takeoff/landings...and ground personel/catering/refuelers/baggage handlers etc... and other 'non normal' scenarios...there are just so many scenarios that the 'pro pilotless' havent even considered. and one of the obvious ones (to me), is that pilotless a/c just shifts the responsibility/'threat' from the flightdeck, to someone who is physically removed from the a/c....and the same 'event' which recently occured, could be achieved by the person who is 'remotely controlling' from the ground....without the 'hassle' of getting another coleague out of the flightdeck and with the added 'benefit' that they wont be killed as well...computers still need to be operated/programmed by HUMANS....because there will always be the ability for a human to override a computer programme, and humans are fundamentaly flawed..sorry to sound so blunt...pilotless a/c just shifts the balance of power elsewhere
 
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lightsaber
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:36 am

Eventually this will happen. Complex UAV missions occur with the Captain on the ground never flying. Most of the true autonomous UAVs have policies where the pilot is not allowed to touch the controls without declaring an emergency. Waypoint changes and altitude changes are done by ATC.

There is still a requirement to have human eyes in civilian airspace. This is why globalhawks in civilian airspace always have a chase plane. Their real role is PR photos today.

Best to have all the risk in simulators.

But we have this discussion every few months here on a.net. The number for the concept grows, but those against ate adament and will not listen to any discussion. But I think this is the future. First starting with copilot replacement at heavier and heavier aircraft.

I'm looking forward to driverless cars. I love the idea of reading or napping during my commute. I also like the anticipated insurance savings and option to send the car home. Or.. Call it when needed. I've had enough taxi experiences for a lifetime.

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planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:38 am

This subject has been discussed at length many times over the years on this site, in its own thread or as part of a thread where it was brought up. There has been a lot of detailed discussion of all the issues.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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northwestEWR
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:18 am

As a current pilot and dispatcher who has also spent a lot of time (and a former life) in IT.... I can tell you right now there's no way in hell I'll be getting on an airplane without a person at the controls. No no and NO. There are just too many variables and too many scenarios that require human intervention. Even doing something simple, computers fail all the time.

[Edited 2015-03-29 20:20:28]
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RetiredWeasel
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:37 am

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 11):
As long as there is global redundant high speed network coverage, why not? Rermote controlled planes are safer today than military planes.

You'd better research that. Last I heard the accident rate of large military type drones (like the Predator) was five times higher than the F-16 rate which is much higher than airline operations. And those were not combat losses. It's too late for me to find a source but I will tomorrow if someone doesn't beat me to it.
 
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neutrino
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:05 am

And in the early days of commercial flight there were many who vehemently stated that there is no way in Hell, in Heaven or on Earth that they would get on a tube and be hurled at insane speeds through the air.
Time and progress had and will continue to change steadfast mindsets.
I wouldn't fly on unmanned planes now, but the murky the future is.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:40 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
But we have this discussion every few months here on a.net. The number for the concept grows, but those against are adamant and will not listen to any discussion.

Through all the threads that we have participated in, I have come to realize that a surprisingly high number of people don't know where we are at technologically (but think they do) or simply have closed minds.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
I'm looking forward to driverless cars.

I like this Elon quote: humans are simply ‘too dangerous’ behind the wheel.  
'

Quoting neutrino (Reply 17):
And in the early days of commercial flight there were many who vehemently stated that there is no way in Hell, in Heaven or on Earth that they would get on a tube and be hurled at insane speeds through the air.

People were afraid to go on the first trains, because they thought they wouldn't be able to breathe at such speeds over 25 mph.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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Boeing778X
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:06 am

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 3):
If there is not a least one human pilot on the plane to take over if the computer pilot screws up then you won't find me on that plane.

I agree. There are some elements you shouldn't remove from aircraft, and probably the most imperative of them all is a human at the helm.

A computer will always be at risk of failing and malfunctioning.
United Airlines: $#!ttin' On Everyone Since 1931
 
harim
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:46 am

it will happen..........when is hard to determine.

Likely the cargo fleets will be the first to implement, then a LCC, and then a legacy etc.

Where airlines have less of a pilot union, for better or worse, the wages of pilots are low - if the wages stay on the low side, perhaps full automation of passenger fleets may be more costly, than human pilots - it all comes down to dollars and cents.
 
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:51 am

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 11):
I wouldn't call it pilotless aircraft. At least not at first. I would call it Aircraft piloted by pilots through remote control.

If a Pilot is not on board it's a Pilotless Aircraft, lets call it what it is.


And if you remove the two individuals physically present in preventing an accident (and with the most to lose) quite apart from the ridiculously unsafe idea of depending on computers and a data link to preserve human life you remove the greatest incentive to ensure that.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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lightsaber
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:06 am

Quoting neutrino (Reply 17):
And in the early days of commercial flight there were many who vehemently stated that there is no way in Hell, in Heaven or on Earth that they would get on a tube and be hurled at insane speeds through the air.
Time and progress had and will continue to change steadfast mindsets.
I wouldn't fly on unmanned planes now, but the murky the future is.

I'd fly on one. I've seen UAVs fly much more dependably with autonomous computers and a human pilot. Independent flight control manipulation is trivial for a computer. e.g., split elevators for more precise control of lift, pitch, and angle of attack.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 18):
I like this Elon quote: humans are simply ‘too dangerous’ behind the wheel.

90% of drivers know they are an above average driver.   The results confirmed expectations that a substantial majority of drivers, up to 80%, would rate themselves above average on a number of important characteristics, but also showed that they rated themselves below "a very good driver."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3730094

I was nearly in three accidents tonight because human drivers feel a need to drive in ways counter to our driver training. (I loved the guy who raced ahead of me, pulled in front, and then braked hard so that he could turn into a Burger King instead of braking a little and falling behind me and turning gently into that same spot...) Humans *need* to act when it is often best to just let things happen. Driving is something past due to be automated.

There is concern (which I consider valid) that autonomous cars would curtain the insurance industry due to the reduction in accidents:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamu...ision-with-driverless-cars-part-6/

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 19):
A computer will always be at risk of failing and malfunctioning.

It is called redundancy. You do know a 777, 787, A320, A330, A350, or A380 cannot fly without a computer, right? We're past the era of mechanical redundancy except for 'old school' designs such as the A300, 737, 757, and 767.

Humans are at a risk of depression, heart attacks, or boredom. I've watched computers fly flights with far more awareness than a human. Are there issues? Sure. That is what a systems center lab is for. If *every* human could be put through the same level of training and validation, I would be happy.

Where humans excel is the unknown. Unknown as there isn't yet flight simulator training for the event. But the knowledge base is growing. I'm amazed at how much has been done in the last 5 years alone.

But you may vote with your dollars.

I know people who:
1. Wouldn't fly jets for a long time as propellers were the proven technology. (Propeller planes were far less safe, but OK...)
2. Wouldn't fly fly by wire. That didn't stop the accent of Airbus...
3. Wouldn't fly on a plane with a 2-man cockpit. Heck, I knew one who considered anything below a 4 man cockpit wrong (pilot, co-pilot, engineer, navigator). Yet somehow we do it.
4. Wouldn't fly with carbon brakes. (Yes, seriously... It is amazing how many people don't know they're the standard and have been for a long time.)

Heck, read history and you'll find times when people wouldn't buy machine made socks, pants with two seams (done to conserve fabric), any artificial fabric (now I live in dry fit), or plastic.

I know a few who won't fly the NEO or MAX until they're proven.   

But what I do know is most (as in 98% plus of the traveling public) will log onto their favorite travel site and just pick a flight based on schedule, comfort, and cost. If autonomous flying cuts costs, mostly via the insurance savings, you'll find the choice being made for you.

The software being developed for robots is amazing. Now there hasn't been much progress in the hardware as the last high performance, low power CPU was the PowerPC 7410 way back in 2001. I talked about how the smartphone processors would change the landscape. Well, I shouldn't have ruled out intel. They now have a low Power i7 CPU in the Chromebook Pixel LS.    Aerospace is such low volume that it is dependent on others to develop the lower power CPU for aircraft. The progress on the software side has been happening steadily. We are now just seeing the spike on the hardware side (which enables running much more complex software). Though for the record, the ARM CPUs, IMHO, pushed Intel to develop the technology for their latest i3, i5, and i7.    Any which way, aerospace is excited for the possibilities.   

Seriously, we've been waiting for a better mass produced low power CPU. Aerospace CPUs must work at maximum load after a cabin depressurization, so the 140W CPUs of the last decade were a 'no go.' Now after years of me typing that we would soon have a better CPU to use, we have it!    Actually, we have several to choose from.    Not that the 7410 isn't going to remain the mainstay of the industry a la the 68040 until the 7410 displaced it... slowly.

We're ready. The technology thresholds I've been waiting for happened when I wasn't looking (even though I was looking... just at Intel rather than the ARM CPUs I expected). Good thing I always posted there is technological progress we often don't know about.

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neutrino
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:38 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 22):

  
As I stated up-post, I wouldn't go on one right now at this moment but I am inching closer. In-fact, as I'll fly on one immediately after your maiden trip and a subsequent report.  
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
sharles
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:23 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 18):
I like this Elon quote: humans are simply ‘too dangerous’ behind the wheel.

Yup. I am so going to hate not being allowed to drive. I dread the day safe autonomous cars arrive.
While at the same time... I am so hoping that the day comes as soon as possible. We need to get human drivers off common roads ASAP  
 
B8887
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:03 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
In the future, yes. But not in the immediate future. I'd say it's a good 30 years at least before they start becoming commonplace.

I'd put that figure at 100 years at least for commercial aircraft.

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 15):
As a current pilot and dispatcher who has also spent a lot of time (and a former life) in IT.... I can tell you right now there's no way in hell I'll be getting on an airplane without a person at the controls. No no and NO. There are just too many variables and too many scenarios that require human intervention. Even doing something simple, computers fail all the time.

Agreed.

Regards.

B8887
 
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flyingturtle
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:20 am

UAVs are not safety-critical. They can crash and most probably nobody will get hurt (at least in not densely populated areas). That we can guide these UAVs safely - I know that.

The problem are failure modes, e.g. what happens when a tiny piece of the engine is not properly manufactured, and destroys engine disks leading to man-sized holes in the wings, loss of control in the other engines... of course I'm referring to the Qantas A380 incident.

The pilots had to disregard a feature that warns against landing against too short runways. So there was an automatism that had to be disabled by a reasoned judgement call.

I see two solutions for the next 20 to 30 years:
- Wide-band communication with a ground station that allows all parameters (and even tactile information, like vibrations) to be transmitted. This communication must of course be securely transmitted (tamper-proof) and the ground facility must be guarded like the Cheyenne Mountain Complex of the USAF. The wet dreams of that Saudi-Arabian demolition company to control 100 planes simultaneously...
- Artificial intelligence that can be taught to fly the plane, taught to understand principles of flight, that can imagine what *could* happen without referring to hard-wired computer programs.

My main objection to both solutions is that there is nobody on board the plane who has both the training and an inherent and powerful will to preserve the own life.

I rather want to fly with somebody up front who can fail, than something that I absolutely have to trust.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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scbriml
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:10 pm

Quoting C010T3 (Reply 8):
What if it becomes possible to down the entire fleet at the push of a button?

Yes, imagine it - in 2250 at AA Flight Control Centre. Hundreds of pilots monitoring all the Airbus A520s and Boeing 929s and there, right in the middle of the main console, is a big red button labelled "Crash all plane now". Wow.

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 19):
A computer will always be at risk of failing and malfunctioning.

And of course, human pilots never fail or malfunction? Oh no, never happened before.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 21):
And if you remove the two individuals physically present in preventing an accident

The same two individuals who manage to crash time and time again?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
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flyingturtle
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:54 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 27):
Yes, imagine it - in 2250 at AA Flight Control Centre. Hundreds of pilots monitoring all the Airbus A520s and Boeing 929s and there, right in the middle of the main console, is a big red button labelled "Crash all plane now". Wow.

Easy. Has to be prepared with a script that runs all the comms with these hundreds of planes in a tight, quick sequence. Of course there can be procedures against that (e.g. only two planes are allowed to be controlled from ground on a given day).

But as the Germanwings door issue shows... the door is perfect in keeping terrorists out, but also captains. The same is with the ground station: If two planes are already safely guided to the ground by the ground-based station, a third one will be doomed.

And even a single plane being driven into the ground by a ground station would be worse enough. Then you need all these psychological background checks on people who can remotely control an airliner. The problem is still there - only moved a bit down the road.

There is no catch-all for every kind of mishaps.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 27):
And of course, human pilots never fail or malfunction? Oh no, never happened before.

The whole issue is not human versus computer, but how to employ humans AND computers in a sensible way. Both fail inevitably. The computer is already marvelous - it gives problems it cannot solve to the human pilot, and vice versa the human pilot delegates boring jobs to the computer.

Engineering has to tackle the problems that occur quite often, not the ones that are so extremely remote.

I'm also really into trains, and have accompanied cargo train drivers on several days. The Westinghouse brake isn't fail-proof - it can happen that the line is blocked by condensed water vapour that freezes in the midst of winter. One could engineer heated pressure pipes. But still more accidents have happened not because of blocked pipes, but because engine drivers have failed to do the mandatory brake check.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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scbriml
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:10 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 25):
I'd put that figure at 100 years at least for commercial aircraft.

It will happen and it will happen much sooner than 100 years. Look at where aviation was 100 years ago, then 50 years ago.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 28):
The whole issue is not human versus computer, but how to employ humans AND computers in a sensible way.

Yes, I understand and appreciate that, it was the obvious response to the "computers will fail" remark.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
B8887
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:45 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 29):
It will happen and it will happen much sooner than 100 years. Look at where aviation was 100 years ago, then 50 years ago.

I would respectfully disagree. I am 32 and I am pretty sure I will not see a pilotless plane in the planning stages during my lifetime, even less a certified one, and the chances of seeing one in service at virtually zero.

I would put the chances of seeing a supersonic bizjet or Elon Musk' s tube between LA and Frisco a lot higher.

Regards.

B8887
 
frmrCapCadet
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:25 pm

Railroads increasingly have centralized control. One person per train is becoming the goal. BNSF just got authority to use aviation drones for track surveillance.
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planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:27 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 22):
There is concern (which I consider valid) that autonomous cars would curtain the insurance industry due to the reduction in accidents:

Yes, including, obviously, body shops. Furthermore, as we transition away from ICE cars, repair shops will also be taking a hit as will stores like Pep Boys, etc.

You may be interested in this article: Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration

It is really interesting that almost all "deniers" on here are posting through a rearview mirror and are not aware of what the state of the art is, let alone comprehending what will be coming down the pike in 10 to 15 years.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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neutrino
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:28 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 25):
I'd put that figure at 100 years at least for commercial aircraft.

I'll wager you on any amount that it will happen way before that but I'm afraid it could be impossible for me to collect my winnings unless I can meet up with you in the netherworld.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
sharktail
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:47 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 30):
I would respectfully disagree. I am 32 and I am pretty sure I will not see a pilotless plane in the planning stages during my lifetime, even less a certified one, and the chances of seeing one in service at virtually zero.

Looks like single pilot flying may be coming soon: http://aviationweek.com/technology/n...s-single-pilot-operations-concepts

And I don't think pilotless will be far behind. With 1 pilot, they will have redundancy built out through computers and the ground. The pilot would really be there in case of emergency for now...
 
B8887
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:22 pm

Quoting neutrino (Reply 33):

I'll wager you on any amount that it will happen way before that but I'm afraid it could be impossible for me to collect my winnings unless I can meet up with you in the netherworld.

A380s are flying today with 4 pilots on long haul flights.

Even drone delivery is not allowed today in the US.

Do you really think EK will fly 500 people in an A380 without pilots in the middle of the Indian Ocean in about 50 years?

Come on...

Regards.

B8887

[Edited 2015-03-30 08:25:03]
 
planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 35):
Do you really think EK will fly 500 people in an A380 without pilots in the middle of the Indian Ocean in about 50 years?

Why not?  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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scbriml
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:15 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 35):
Do you really think EK will fly 500 people in an A380 without pilots in the middle of the Indian Ocean in about 50 years?


Well, if you'd suggested 50 years ago that a plane that is certified to carry 850 people could be flown by just two pilots, nobody would have believed it. They also wouldn't believe that a pilot could sit in a control room and be flying a military plane conducting tactical strikes on the on other side of the World.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
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par13del
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:48 pm

Until we start prosecuting folks who sit at their computers at home and send worms, viruses, hacks etc. having computers which require external links to operate devices will be a huge safety issue, closed loop is a no bariner.
How many billions would have to be spent for secure communications - yes US drones have had their video feed hacked - guess we can look at Direct TV, they finally put good encryption in place but it still ain't 100%.
The issue is some twisted mind is always out there looking to play with things...........
 
bond007
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:58 pm

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 10):
My opinion is that autonomous machines cannot make accurate decisions in stressful situations.

They can certainly make more accurate decisions and do not suffer from stress.

Quoting rotating14 (Reply 10):
How does a drone dodge a thunder storm? How does it counter a day where it's gusty beyond the norm?

Same way a pilot does. Thunderstorm - vision and radar. Gusty days? We already have fully automated landings. A computer system can react far faster to conditions than a pilot can.

But ....as already said. The points that come up have already been discussed in previous threads on this subject.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:49 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 39):
Jimbo

Good to see you chime in. Interesting, isn't it, that after so many years (during which you have contributed great content to these threads) so many people still don't get it.  
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
fastmover
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:10 pm

I have to ask in a respectful way how many of you guys really fly airliners?
I feel that those of us who fly aircraft in the airline world know that there is a long long way to go before this happens.
I know its fun to say we don't really need pilots or computers are better at flying planes but until you sit in that seat and really understand what goes on I think many would change their tune.
 
czek6
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Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:20 pm

I've heard many people say that flying will be automated and that the pilot will be there in case of emergency. But where and how will said pilot get his or her emergency flying experience?

The problem now is that flying is too automated and the pilot has less feel for the plane.

And as for remote controleld flights, well, count me out. Call me old fashioned but I'd rather have someone is charge of the plane that has as much at stake in a crash as I do.
 
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flyingturtle
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:26 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 39):
Same way a pilot does. Thunderstorm - vision and radar. Gusty days? We already have fully automated landings. A computer system can react far faster to conditions than a pilot can.

But a computer is still unable to do a very important thing: Judgement call.

A human pilot can always bend the rules if he thinks it's justified, and save lives. A computer always works by the rules. What does it help if a computer can react faster, but it limited to carry out decisions? What we need in that regard is artificial intelligence with a built-in interest for self-preservation. A computer must be interested in saving its own life before we let it fly a passenger plane.

If the goal is to fly a plane or avoid thunderstorms "same way a pilot does", then we have gained nothing - except we're saving some pilot's wages.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
bond007
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Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:48 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):
A human pilot can always bend the rules if he thinks it's justified, and save lives. A computer always works by the rules

...and those rules might be that the aircraft can be flown outside of the envelope protection parameters etc. etc. under certain conditions - just like the pilot decided to! But we've been through this many, many times.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):
If the goal is to fly a plane or avoid thunderstorms "same way a pilot does", then we have gained nothing - except we're saving some pilot's wages.

I was simply answering the question on how a system can fly around thunderstorms....very easily. I don't think we expected to gain anything from that fairly simple task.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 40):
Good to see you chime in.

Yes, but that's about it  

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
JoeCanuck
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Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:24 pm

The big problem is making pilotless airliners hack proof. If you can hack one, you can probably hack them all...and that's a lot of people dropping out of the sky.

At least with a crazy pilot, he is limited to the number of people he can kill.

In a lot of ways, I think flight protection doesn't go far enough on current aircraft. AF447, Germanwings, Asiana 215, AF358, Mh370...all may have been preventable with some form of programming take over, which would have unstalled aircraft, excepted overshoots, pulled up before hitting mountains, kept the aircraft from travelling hither and yon.

Aircraft already have the capability to recognize all of the events which led up to these accidents. It probably wouldn't be that hard to make an aircraft smart enough to unstall before hitting the water, or go around before crashing short or climbing before hitting a mountain.

It has TCAS and GPWS...why have a plane smart enough to do all of those things but lets pilots fly them into the ground?

To me, that's what envelope protection really should be; taking over long enough to prevent an accident. That can happen right now.

The problem isn't the technology to have pilotless aircraft, take off, fly, land, keep spacing...that tech has been around for a very long time. What good is a plane that isn't supposed to be able to stall, (and pilots who think the computers will save them if they screw up), if a pilot can drive the aircraft into the ground if he or she feels like it?

Stall protection isn't very useful if you can override it by holding the stick back in a panic.

An override, to the override.

It's obviously not as simple as that, but it is tech right now that's not being used...and it could save lives. Most accidents are cause by the pilots, not the aircraft. That being said, their are countless times when pilots have to take over from malfunctioning aircraft and land safely...but we don't hear about those, because....they land safely.

It's not news if nobody dies.

That doesn't mean we want the aircraft running the show all of the time, but I think that level of flight protection is worth talking about.

As long as there is a network, and some form of two way communication, anything can be jammed or hacked. Communications are getting more secure, but breaching those security firewalls is marching along with it.

I think the combination of people and machine will be safer than one or the other.
What the...?
 
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lightsaber
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:26 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 26):

The premise of your post is UAV flying isn't taken seriously. I assure you for the high value ones, every crash is investigated as if the autopilot was a lost life.

UAVs are being tested to operate in conditions that would never allow a human on board. So while a crash in a high risk test will be forgiven after a lengthy investigation, the scrutiny is high.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):

UAV logic already allows bending the rules. The difference is that less than 2% of human pilots could control within the exclusion zone as UAVs can.

Also, UAVs have very sophisticated failure mode flying built in. Your talking as if the tech was stuck in year 2000. It has moved forward tremendously since 2010. Look at UCAS. It regularly does what was considered impossible.

UAVs are routinely tested at near stall maneuvering in ways one would never subject a manned aircraft. We're well past where you think we are.

Do not mistake toy drones for UAVs. But then again, many of the have advanced failure recovery. E.g., loss of a propeller in toys under $300.

Lightsaber
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NYPECO
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:39 pm

There's no way it can happen. Trains and cars are different, but in the air, there are far too many computer mistakes to be made. Remember United flight 232 ? How would a computer ever be able to fix a problem like that by itself? We need real pilots with real decision making. What about having an aircraft that can fly itself and only has pilots in case something goes wrong? Well in that case, you might as well just have the pilots flying the aircraft anyway.
 
bond007
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:59 pm

Quoting NYPECO (Reply 47):
Remember United flight 232 ? How would a computer ever be able to fix a problem like that by itself?
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstron...eets/FS-041-DFRC.html#.VRmq4vnF9e0

Been discussed already....

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
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SEPilot
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:20 pm

There is a difference between what can be done, what should be done, and what will be done. I have no question that pilotless aircraft can be done, but I do not believe it should be done or will be accepted. When I get on an airplane I want there to be someone who is just as invested in a successful outcome of the flight as I am to be in charge of it, and to be there to intervene in case something goes wrong. Let's face it, with today's aircraft on most flights the pilot does little if any actual flying; he is mostly just monitoring the autopilot. But if something goes wrong he is there to take charge, and that is how it should be.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler

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