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United787
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:21 pm

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 45):

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.

That is my biggest concern! Major corporations, government entities, no one seems to be immune to hacking...so until someone solves that problem, I don't see this happening...
 
KarlB737
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:38 pm

Quoting Sharktail (Reply 11):
I would call it Aircraft piloted by pilots through remote control.

Sharktail is refering to how military drones are "piloted" at the present time. However when an aircraft is full of passengers now you are reactivating an old industry which is the industry of Flight Insurance. I believe the risks are enormus to take passenger airline command to this level. Imagine an A-380 where communication to the aircraft is lost due to sunspot activity.

My take - A bad Idea !!
 
s5daw
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:57 pm

Yes.

Until we find other ways to travel. And it might not be necessary to move the body from A to B, maybe computer-brain interface will allow us to swap bodies. Or Scotty will beam us up. Or something. But we are only scratching the surface of things to come.

Unless we die out due to stupidity of actually using the nuclear weapons or sth...
 
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DeltaMD90
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:09 pm

Quoting fastmover (Reply 41):

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 find that any person in a particular field who's job is being threatened by technology will normally try and downplay that technology due to bias... I try not to be like that, but fast mover has a point. One really needs to be behind the controls of an airliner to truly appreciate the complexity involved. Every single flight there are tiny little oddities we can quickly and easily solve, but how will a computer react?

Don't get me wrong, we will be replaced, to some degree, probably completely. It will take an astronomical amount of programming to achieve this though. Designing a 737 to take off, fly somewhere, and land is easy. Having it deal with complex situations is another matter, and there are so many unique factors in every emergency, I don't see UAV airliners for a very long time
 
bueb0g
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:34 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 48):
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstron...eets/FS-041-DFRC.html#.VRmq4vnF9e0

Been discussed already....

I think the point is rather that before UA 232, it was thought that the chance of a total hydraulic failure was so vanishingly small that almost no precautions were taken for the eventuality. Who knows how many similarly unforeseen failure modes are lurking, far more likely to occur than is believed by designers and engineers? And how can an un-intelligent computer deal with an unexpected event for which no precautions or procedures have been written? That's not the only argument for a human crew, but it's a major one. Humans can react to novel situations by thinking analytically and intelligently (not that they always do, however, which is clearly a problem that has cost many aircraft and associated lives.) We see this time and time again in events which, with a human crew, are relatively minor but in a computer controlled airliner could be disastrous.

Of course eventually airliners will be fully autonomous, when pilots are no longer worth the investment in the name of safety, but anybody who pretends to know with any significant certainty when that will happen is talking out of their backsides. I think the chances of it occurring in the next 50 years is pretty slim, and the chances of it occurring within the next 100 years is pretty high, but I could well be proven wrong on either count.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 37):
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 absolutely would have believed it. And eradicating the position of the FE is totally different to eradicating the position of the pilots.
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
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NYPECO
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:29 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 37):
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.

I can't see why nobody would've believed that.
 
CWAFlyer
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:38 am

I'm curious how many of you that are advocating pilot-less airplanes are familiar with the UA 737-300 that nearly collided with an Atlas 747 in ORD in 2011. The UA crew saw the whole episode unfolding in-front of them and took evasive action by rotating early and avoiding a collision. Even before the ground controller could tell the Atlas plane to stop. Think a plane controlled by a computer will have the capacity to think ahead and react in that way?
 
fastmover
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:39 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 53):

I can see it and I am a pilot but you will even need to change ATC.
Good luck getting that done. Just fly to JFK and ask for an RNAV......nope they prefer to vector you.
Just this last flight due to wx we had to TELL atc that we had to turn left for wx even though they wanted us to go right.
If ATC had done what they wanted we would have flown right into a T-storm.
I am not blaming ATC but if you guys think they are perfect at all times and pilots don't catch their mistakes you are very wrong. We were flying down to an airport and due to inporper phraseology firm ATC an aircraft was put into "line up and wait" on the runway when they should have held short, while all this was happening those "pilots" immediately slowed to final approach speed which allowed the other aircraft to take off and avoid a go around. These types of situations happen all the time where you need a human to recognize what is going on. Do pilots make mistakes yes but they also prevent problems that happen every day.I am old enough that I will be fine in my career but I just feel that people don't understand exactly what pilots do. I think in the end the system just works better with technology and pilots on the plane.
Sometimes the easiest solution is the best one.

You will need new types of planes
You will need very secure networks
You will need new ATC
You will need new FARs
You will need the trust of the public.


It's going to be a while before we get all of that.
 
mt99
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:25 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.

Have computers been responsible for any crash recently?
Step into my office, baby
 
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NYPECO
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:37 am

Quoting mt99 (Reply 58):
Have computers been responsible for any crash recently?

Indonesia AirAsia 8501.
 
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NYPECO
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:42 am

I think this is another situation where the pilot's decision making is what saved both aircraft and not something that a computer could do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Logan_Airport_runway_incursion
 
s5daw
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:55 am

Quoting CWAFlyer (Reply 56):
Think a plane controlled by a computer will have the capacity to think ahead and react in that way?

Absolutely, that's one of the simplest tasks to automate even as today.

Humans are absolutely terrible with multitasking. How many planes have crashed because pilots were troubleshooting problems and didn't check their altitude (or some other parameter)? Computers are way better in this regard.
 
Max Q
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:25 am

Quoting fastmover (Reply 41):
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

None, or at least I hope not, it just shows how cluelessly blind some people are about aviation that they would put total trust in a computer.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
fastmover
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:46 am

Quoting CWAFlyer (Reply 56):

Exactly right.
I am glad this website exists, but many of the fans of automation simply don't know what goes on in the cockpit

Quoting s5daw (Reply 61):

Good question how many?

I would say the percentage vs how many "safe flights" are completed ever day is very very low.
You guys act like since pilots make mistakes the best way to fix that is get rid of the pilot.
The only way you can really automate flight is to take all humans out of the loop, otherwise you will always have human error.
Once again this is a lack of understanding of what pilots really do vs what people think they do.
 
StuckinCMHland
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:49 am

Quoting frmrcapcadet (Reply 31):

The point you and so many other miss in this whole discussion is the fact that it is not the inherent value of computer control that is pushing things like this, it is the fact that governments are making the cost of human labor so expensive that people are looking to cut costs. We are living in a fantasy world that an AI will someday replace people, or that somehow long distance computing power can replace people.

All it takes is a hacker, or a EMP explosion, the cost of electric power generation going up through the stratosphere, a major war, or one of other several other things to happen, and all these great ideas for replacing humans with computers goes poof.
 
CWAFlyer
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:30 pm

Quoting s5daw (Reply 61):
Absolutely, that's one of the simplest tasks to automate even as today

The humans in the UA plane were the ones that avoided the Atlas plane. Not a computer. Another set of eyes in a cockpit jumpseat helped avoid a more catastrophic result between a TWA MD80 and a C441 in STL in 1994. I could go on citing many more examples of human intervention, many that the public doesn't hear about.
 
bond007
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:09 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 54):
I think the point is rather that before UA 232,

Before UA 232 was over 25 years ago. Let's talk about current and future technology. This is no longer an issue, as NASA has shown.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 54):
with a human crew, are relatively minor but in a computer controlled airliner could be disastrous.



I wish you were correct, but the human interaction is often the cause.

Quoting NYPECO (Reply 60):
I think this is another situation where the pilot's decision making is what saved both aircraft and not something that a computer could do.

You are correct on your first statement, but not on your last.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 62):
it just shows how cluelessly blind some people are about aviation that they would put total trust in a computer.
Quoting fastmover (Reply 63):
Once again this is a lack of understanding of what pilots really do vs what people think they do.

Been in the industry 30 years, a pilot for 20, and worked in ATC....among other positions in the industry, but let's discuss the arguments for/against and not somebody's qualification to do so.

You put total trust in a computer anytime you fly an Airbus, whether a pilot is manipulating the controls or not, and regardless of whether it's in direct law or not. That sidestick movement is being processed by a computer one way or another, it's just applying different levels of processing and protection. (rudder excepted on some models).

Also, tell that to a fighter pilot. He or she puts their life into the hands of a computer on every flight - the aircraft would not fly without being constantly controlled by the flight systems.

ATC puts total trust in computers every time they tell you to turn right 20 degrees to avoid traffic. Same as when TCAS gives you a RA.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
KarlB737
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:11 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 58):
ave computers been responsible for any crash recently?

Maybe not but what happens when power is lost to said computers...........


Courtesy: CNN

Power Outage Hits Turkey, Affects Air Traffic

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/middle...ast/turkey-power-outage/index.html

[Edited 2015-03-31 06:27:03]
 
bueb0g
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:31 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 66):
Before UA 232 was over 25 years ago. Let's talk about current and future technology. This is no longer an issue, as NASA has shown.

Right, and of course a pilotless airliner would be capable of landing with engine thrust alone, thanks to the fact that previously unforeseen events occurred and the industry realised it was a problem. Again, the point was not the specific technicalities of UA 232, but rather the fact that it was completely unanticipated, and likely still would be had UA 232 and the DHL incident not happened. A more recent example, although perhaps less dramatic, would be the BA 747 at Joburg in 2009: reversers registered unlocked, triggering the logic to retract inboard slats. Crew aren't told because the slat sensor is on the outboard slats. Stick shaker goes off at rotation, crew flies down the runway to gain speed before climbing away. A computer may well have decided: speed is correct + attitude is normal + flaps in correct position = stick shaker is spurious. Who knows, but again, the more important point is that nobody had foreseen that those factors could come together to cause that situation. Or what about the Sunwing 737 which had the FD command a dive right after departure? AP would have followed without hesitation, but to a human, it's obviously a nonsensical input to make and it becomes a complete non-event.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 66):
I wish you were correct, but the human interaction is often the cause.

Very true. But arguably, that is because a competent crew acting well can keep an aircraft safe in almost any situation, so, naturally, when accidents occur in crewed aeroplanes, it's because the pilots made a mistake. Take out the crew and suddenly a load of incidents which are managed with minimal fuss by humans become more dangerous.

The goal should therefore be (as I believe it is with most manufacturers): to use computers to reduce the errors that humans are capable of inserting into apparently mundane and routine actions, but to utilise the human's intelligence and understanding of a situation to keep the aircraft safe in a way computers, as we know them, are fundamentally incapable.

So, perhaps the best way to put it is that a computer can be a better pilot than any human, but a human can be a better airman than any computer.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 66):
You put total trust in a computer anytime you fly an Airbus, whether a pilot is manipulating the controls or not, and regardless of whether it's in direct law or not. That sidestick movement is being processed by a computer one way or another, it's just applying different levels of processing and protection. (rudder excepted on some models).

Also, tell that to a fighter pilot. He or she puts their life into the hands of a computer on every flight - the aircraft would not fly without being constantly controlled by the flight systems.

That's different though. Yes, computer failures are very rare when dealing with routine tasks and when carrying out simple (or even complex) instructions. But that still doesn't change the fact that computers are incapable of judgement or understanding (as of yet!), although I agree that it is a fact of life in modern airliners that we must trust computers. It's about balancing what we trust the computers with, and what we trust the human with.
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
planemaker
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:35 pm

Quoting bond007 (Reply 66):
Let's talk about current and future technology.

That is the problem (as we have seen over the years in discussing this topic) that the majority of posters are not knowledgeable about state of the art, let alone being able to comprehend or understand where it will be in 5, 10 ,15, etc. years. As I mentioned earlier, they are invariably looking through a rear-view mirror. A bit more astounding is that there are pilots on here that don't comprehend how increasingly boring flying will become over the next 10 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?

Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:54 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?


Who knows for sure that there will be any A380s flying in about fifty years? I don't and certainly neither do you.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):
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.

By there we will have the Three Laws of Computers:
A computer may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A computer must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A computer must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
....with apologies to Isaac Asimov.
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
B8887
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:10 pm

Quoting neutrino (Reply 70):
Who knows for sure that there will be any A380s flying in about fifty years?

Of course there will.

It does not matter. you can take any US3 or any ME3, any aircraft. Do you think DL will operate even 10pc of their 5400 daily flights with pilotless planes in 50 years? The answer is no.

Even vaccum cleaners and lawn mowers require operators. Most of them...

B8887
 
Alfons
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:58 pm

This time will arrive. But as someone already mentioned here, "time" is undefined without a number.

Computer Aided flying will not be risky by nature due to the word IT, but due to outside influence. You can design software architecture (today) which controls itself, you can build hardware components in multiple redundancies, you can make the delivery of the service "flying" very very secure. Let's not forget that hypothetically in the period of Computer Aided Flying the understanding and existence of algorithms will be much higher than today. Computer Aided Flying will also raise the technology and amount of various sensors around the airplane, which will all work independently but communicate together, and help multiple pieces of software to find the best solution in an uncommon/outside of the flying scope situation of the airplane, using the outside sensors to calculate the whole environment first virtually for best interpretation and solution decision (in milli seconds). This is not miracle rocket science, but just the question of some more years of smart guys and girls learning the newest skills and tools in Universities. It's all doable, and the maturity of such a service will arrive to a degree in the future where you can say it's bullet proof and could even decrease the rate of accidents.

But coming back to my first sentence. Seeing what is possible today if you have a group of scientists working together on a goal, backed up by the almost infinite ressources of humans and money of big countries and governments, I wouldn't feel so safe like today flying in an airplane of the future. Seeing what some governments achieve today, like knocking down a power plant and destroying centrifuges by accelerating their rotation until they burst, using their political power and connections to big companies like Siemens (who build components of nuclear power plants)...

In 100 years the "IT" is here to fly an airplane safely through almost any unexpected conditions. But influence and power games from outside will be at a different level as well.

Alfons
 
Burkhard
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:57 pm

This will require massive changes of the law - currently the responsability is with the Pilot, Who will have the responsability for a pilotless aircraft? Airline mangement - no? OEM - no? ATC - no? The machine itself - not possible with current law.
 
bueb0g
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:25 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 73):
This will require massive changes of the law - currently the responsability is with the Pilot, Who will have the responsability for a pilotless aircraft? Airline mangement - no? OEM - no? ATC - no? The machine itself - not possible with current law.

Indeed. It has been suggested that the head flight attendant would become the commander on a pilotless airliner. Of course, under current laws, this would mean an FA needs to have an ATPL!
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
planemaker
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Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:37 pm

Quoting Alfons (Reply 72):
Computer Aided Flying will also raise the technology and amount of various sensors around the airplane, which will all work independently but communicate together

This technology already exists. It just has to be universally adopted... and it is happening. Just one example, we already have self-powered sensors at the individual bearing level that communicate real-time operating conditions and parameters such as bearing RPM, temperature, velocity, vibration, load, lubrication, and other conditions for analysis. Only a few years ago most people on here were scoffing at the use of additive manufacturing for aircraft parts and yet we already have several parts made that way, including the LEAP fuel nozzle that is 25% lighter but 5 times stronger than the previous design.

Most people don't know or comprehend the technology we already have, don't know (understand) what is around the corner and can't extrapolate where technology is heading.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
prebennorholm
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:23 am

Pilotless airliners will never exist for several reasons:

1. Impossible to earn money on them: Passengers will prefer pilotted planes, reducing airline revenue to unsustainably low figures.

2. Too high costs: UAV's fly nicely today, but they are many times more expensive to operate compared to identical missions performed by similar manned aircrafts. (Or they are very simple, expendable drones with no similarity to air traffic).

3. Lack of airports: NIMBYs will refuse pilotless airliners to come anywhere near their back yard (a hundred miles or so?). Politicians, who want to be re-elected, will back them up.

So, in addition to the technical issues, there are a few practical obstacles:
- no income
- too high costs
- nowhere to go
Which kills the idea. No shareholder will allow any relevant company to invest one dollar in such a project.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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DeltaMD90
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:35 am

Quoting fastmover (Reply 57):
I can see it and I am a pilot but you will even need to change ATC.

Yeah I forgot about that aspect. I see it more feasible making pilotless aircraft under a whole new system, not developing them to fit the current system. I see UAVs and the current system evolving together but eventually, I see there needing to be a huge jump

Quoting fastmover (Reply 57):
You will need new types of planes
You will need very secure networks
You will need new ATC
You will need new FARs
You will need the trust of the public.

Yep. All of those will take a lot of time. We are talking about air carrier safety here... things move much more slowly (conservatively) than technology does. New technology needs to be ironed out and that ironing is unacceptable with so many lives at stake. Human error is a big problem but for the time being, smarter/more capable aircraft flown by pilots is the safer route and will be for a while.

I have about 40 years until I can retire from my future airline job (assuming they keep 65 as the retirement age.) I think I'll make it that long, but then again, 40 years is a very very long time...
 
planemaker
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Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:36 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 76):
Pilotless airliners will never exist for several reasons:

There won't be any need for new pilots in around 30 to 40 years, so there'll be no choice but to fly in pilotless airliners if anyone wants to fly transoceanic (of course, they could take the Hyperloop domestically).
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
prebennorholm
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:27 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 77):
I have about 40 years until I can retire from my future airline job (assuming they keep 65 as the retirement age.) I think I'll make it that long,

Sure you will make it. In 2055 you will make a super smooth landing with your shiny new 737MAX-10LR, park it at the gate and leave the key to a fifty years young PIC, maybe your neighbor's kid with scateboard and bruised knees and elbows.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 77):
...but then again, 40 years is a very very long time...

I retired at 65 after 46 years in business. Believe me, 40 years is an incredibly short period of time.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Max Q
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:11 am

Quoting bond007 (Reply 66):
You put total trust in a computer anytime you fly an Airbus,

I don't fly an Airbus.



If it ain't Boeing I ain't going.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
s5daw
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:42 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 76):
Pilotless airliners will never exist for several reasons:

Well, Neuton, the grand master of physics, argued that human flight was impossible. He was a great in analysis, but he lacked the vision. Using his formulas (action=reaction), he came to conclusion that

"For a human being + wing of weight 1000 Newton (100 kp) traveling on a wing of surface area S=10 square meter at velocity V=100 meter/second (360 km/hour) would be required. Or with V=10, a wing area of S=1000 square meters would be needed. Impossible!"

The speed of 360 km/h was something that was clearly impossible to him. And it was - in his day and age. As I said, he lacked the vision what machines could be built on the grounds of physics he founded.
 
Alfons
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Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:11 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 80):
I don't fly an Airbus.

If it ain't Boeing I ain't going.

A man of principles. Good so. lol.  
 
planemaker
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Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:07 pm

Quoting s5daw (Reply 81):
The speed of 360 km/h was something that was clearly impossible to him. And it was - in his day and age. As I said, he lacked the vision what machines could be built on the grounds of physics he founded.

Big difference is that in the mid 1600's there wasn't any technology to indicate that it was possible. In the current case, we already have the enabling technology but simply deny it will happen.  
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?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:32 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 78):

Like I said good luck getting that past the FAA
We have the technology now to go direct from one airport to another and yet here we are all flying over the same fixes on the same airways. They can't even get next gen up and running.
 
planemaker
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Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:06 pm

Quoting fastmover (Reply 84):
Like I said good luck getting that past the FAA

It simply won't be an issue in 20 years. The FAA is already looking at SP Ops which is a stepping stone. Furthermore, you won't have geezers that don't understand technology at the FAA in 20 years.

Quoting fastmover (Reply 84):
They can't even get next gen up and running.

FYI, NextGen already has most of its infrastructure in place and is gradually being rolled out at major centers: NextGen Update: 2015

Quoting fastmover (Reply 84):
We have the technology now to go direct from one airport to another and yet here we are all flying over the same fixes on the same airways.

That is because NextGen isn't suppose to be fully operational until 2020. It could have been done earlier but for politics and money. A big issue is who is going to pay for legacy aircraft to be upgraded... the airlines don't want to pay. Huge kudos to Southwest for having already done so in 2011... they went to the dance early and there are still no partners.  
'
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Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5467
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 85):
The FAA is already looking at SP Ops which is a stepping stone.

There's a big difference between "looking" and actually doing. And after what happened last week, the appetite for SP Ops in Part 121 is going to be very limited for the forseeable future.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 85):
Furthermore, you won't have geezers that don't understand technology at the FAA in 20 years.

Technology isn't the issue and that's what you don't understand. It's the political, regulatory, operational, psychological, economic and in some cases cultural barriers, that prevent the rapid acceptance of technology.

Remember guys like you in the 1960s and 1970's predicted we'd all have flying cars by now and we'd fly supersonic jets everywhere we went. Reality turned out quite different. And it wasn't because of technology. The technology of flying cars and supersonic jets exists today, but there are many other barriers to overcome which have proven far more difficult.
 
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neutrino
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:26 pm

Quoting B8887 (Reply 71):
Of course there will.

Of course you are right, Mr Infallible Soothsayer/Dr Superduper Oracle!  
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
B8887
Posts: 457
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:40 pm

Ok, I am pulling out of the discussion.

The answer to the thread title is no, not in the lifetime of anyone on this board.

B8887
 
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par13del
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:52 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 43):
A computer must be interested in saving its own life before we let it fly a passenger plane.

Sounds like HAL, do we wanna go there?????

Quoting mt99 (Reply 58):
Have computers been responsible for any crash recently?

Define responsible and define computers, failed instruments are connected to computers, do we call it integrated or is it separate from the computer?

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 73):
his will require massive changes of the law - currently the responsability is with the Pilot, Who will have the responsability for a pilotless aircraft?

So you think pilots are the one's making the decision on how much reserve fuel, fly / no fly with certain MEL's, divert / no divert, etc etc. my point is the release sheet has the pilots signature but in the real world where the decisions are made, the pilot ultimately obey's the orders of his bosses, so changing the law is relevant but not so big a deal.
 
planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:49 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 86):
There's a big difference between "looking" and actually doing. And after what happened last week, the appetite for SP Ops in Part 121 is going to be very limited for the forseeable future.

It is obvious that researching and testing comes before implementation, and they have been at it for several years already. What happened last week is not going to slow down technological development, quite the opposite. Systems like on the F16's will be further developed to commercial ops to stop such occurrences.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 86):
Technology isn't the issue and that's what you don't understand. It's the political, regulatory, operational, psychological, economic and in some cases cultural barriers, that prevent the rapid acceptance of technology.

I understand what the issues are... they are in fact very simple. First fact for people to realize is that no one is talking about tomorrow's implementation. People should realize that the world in 20 years will be a very different.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 86):
Remember guys like you in the 1960s and 1970's predicted we'd all have flying cars by now and we'd fly supersonic jets everywhere we went. Reality turned out quite different. And it wasn't because of technology. The technology of flying cars and supersonic jets exists today, but there are many other barriers to overcome which have proven far more difficult.

There is no relation between the two example you have given and what we are discussing. Supersonic is expensive. The airlines shot down the Sonic Cruiser because they wanted cheap not speed. Information Technology is opposite... it gets cheaper and better every year.

Quoting par13del (Reply 89):

Following further on your post, the thing that escapes people is that flying a commercial aircraft will become incredibly boring long before we have no pilots in the cockpit.
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?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:51 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 89):
So you think pilots are the one's making the decision on how much reserve fuel, fly / no fly with certain MEL's, divert / no divert, etc etc. my point is the release sheet has the pilots signature but in the real world where the decisions are made, the pilot ultimately obey's the orders of his bosses, so changing the law is relevant but not so big a deal.

Again we see that people don't understand what goes on in the airline world.
The Captain and Dispatch have joint responsibility. Yes they give you an alternate and a flight plan but if you don't like it it gets changed. This happens all the time that's why it is a joint system and not just dispatch making the pilot do what they want.

1. FAR 91.3
Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft. (b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

The PIC is exactly what it says The Pilot in Command.
 
FlyPNS1
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:29 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 90):
People should realize that the world in 20 years will be a very different.

People in 1995 said the same thing. So here we are and guess what, things really aren't that dramatically different in aviation (ignoring security issues). Sure, technology has gotten better, but the actual operation isn't substantially different.

I remember reading in 1995 how all planes would be using satellites for navigation and we'd have "free flight" and this would all be done by 2010!!!! Here we are in 2015 and we still aren't there yet. The technology is HERE, but all of the other barriers have caused substantial delays.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 90):
I understand what the issues are... they are in fact very simple.

If the issues were so simple to solve, then they'd be solved already. If SP Ops were so easy as you claim, we'd have it already. However, the reality is that the issue isn't so simple...as last week tragically proved.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 90):
Supersonic is expensive.

Upgrading the avionics on every aircraft and upgrading every FAA facility, plus writing all new regulations is also very expensive. The FAA's ERAM program (a backbone of NextGen) finished billions of dollars over budget and years late. Even worse, much of the ERAM technology is already out of date as it is based on specifications written almost a decade ago.
 
planemaker
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:02 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 92):
People in 1995 said the same thing. So here we are and guess what, things really aren't that dramatically different in aviation (ignoring security issues). Sure, technology has gotten better, but the actual operation isn't substantially different.

I remember reading in 1995 how all planes would be using satellites for navigation and we'd have "free flight" and this would all be done by 2010!!!! Here we are in 2015 and we still aren't there yet. The technology is HERE, but all of the other barriers have caused substantial delays.

No, it is not comparable at all. As I already linked, Southwest's fleet was ready to go in 2011 after spending $millions upgrading. No one else was. So unless the other airlines follow suit there won't be any dance partners until the scheduled hard deadline arrives in 2020.

And you are completely ignoring the fact that all recent aircraft are already equipped with the required gear. For whatever reason you are choosing to ignore facts.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 92):
If the issues were so simple to solve, then they'd be solved already. If SP Ops were so easy as you claim, we'd have it already. However, the reality is that the issue isn't so simple...as last week tragically proved.

No, we wouldn't have it already because there are predetermined steps that have to take place. And last week has no relevance to SP Ops.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 92):
Upgrading the avionics on every aircraft and upgrading every FAA facility, plus writing all new regulations is also very expensive. The FAA's ERAM program (a backbone of NextGen) finished billions of dollars over budget and years late. Even worse, much of the ERAM technology is already out of date as it is based on specifications written almost a decade ago.

Before posting about NextGen you really should inform yourself about the basics: NextGen Update: 2015
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
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par13del
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:12 pm

Quoting fastmover (Reply 91):
Again we see that people don't understand what goes on in the airline world.
The Captain and Dispatch have joint responsibility

As a former dispatcher I can also tell you about management rules / guidelines of things which one would think would be at the discretion of the pilot in charge discretion, but I'll let this one go.
 
FlyPNS1
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:19 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 93):
Before posting about NextGen you really should inform yourself about the basics: NextGen Update: 2015

I know NextGen well. Everything I posted about ERAM is true. The site you posted doesn't contradict what I said, so maybe you need to read the site you linked as well.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 93):
And you are completely ignoring the fact that all recent aircraft are already equipped with the required gear. For whatever reason you are choosing to ignore facts.

I'm not ignoring that fact. I'm well aware. However, it doesn't change the fact that (as you admitted), it costs a lot of money to upgrade planes either by 1) upgrading existing planes or 2) buying brand new planes. Either way, it costs a lot of money and that has slowed the modernization process.

WN got a jump on the game (because they had a lot of money!), but it didn't pay off for them.

Quoting planemaker (Reply 93):
And last week has no relevance to SP Ops.

If you truly believe that the mental health and well-being of the sole pilot in the cockpit has no impact, you are welcome to that opinion, but you will be proven wrong.
 
Pihero
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:59 pm

This subject and the way it is discussed is as comical as ever.
The same arrogance from engineers ( ?????????????) who claim to have ALL the solutions but have not the first clue on air transport environment and have the audacity to call every opposing interlocutor as dinosaurs.
Four years ago, I just posed a very simple problem of flight management and only pilots and one brilliant engineer from Germany solved it. The proponents of the pilotless airliner didn't even begin to grasp the question.
Two years later, I did ask the very same question... and guess what ? we have to wait until our world would be unrecognizable to the progress they are bringing to us.
The arrogant engineers still do not have the first clue on how to solve the riddle, something an airline pilot does every day of flying.

Safe drones ?
The US have lost more than half of the drones produced in the last twenty years, most though accidents...
How many F-16s crashed in the same period and how many tankers did, as the drones are now the third highest utilization of the Air Force ?

Some posters have raised a few concerns about safe data links and invulnerable systems, and they're quite right.
Guess what ?
The Iranians managed to hack into one top of the tech Sentinel - you know ; "the Kandahar Beast" - which had the baaaaad idea of loitering close to a research facility and made it land, probably succeeding in achieving the first electronic hijack in history.
Did they give it back upon Obama's request ?
Don'know. Here is the story seen by CNN
...And if after that, you'd want to know my opinion of pilotless aircraft, you'll only get a dark blue screen.

Artificial intelligence ? an oxymoron minus the O2.
I'll lend it some attention when one composes a symphony that will move me ( after all there are only seven notes and two alterations ).... or one which writes a sequel to the "Lord of the rings" ( after all there are only 26 letters...)

Anyone who is looking to such a future will die a very disappointed man.

That's it. I'm out of the mad house !
Contrail designer
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 95):
I know NextGen well.

Actually, you don't... and you highlighted that fact in the prior thread about SP Ops. You didn't even know the status of something as basic as ADS-B coverage.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 95):
I'm not ignoring that fact. I'm well aware. However, it doesn't change the fact that (as you admitted), it costs a lot of money to upgrade planes either by 1) upgrading existing planes or 2) buying brand new planes. Either way, it costs a lot of money and that has slowed the modernization process.

You are indeed ignoring facts. The vast majority of aircraft are already equipped. The airlines can easily afford upgrading the remaining aircraft but want to avoid it for obvious reasons. However, the basic fact is that by 2020 all aircraft will be equipped. So what you are posting is pointless in terms of this thread.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 95):
If you truly believe that the mental health and well-being of the sole pilot in the cockpit has no impact, you are welcome to that opinion, but you will be proven wrong.

I never said that. I said what happened has no relevance to SP Ops.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
fastmover
Posts: 419
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:37 pm

Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:16 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 94):

Oh I am not saying dispatch does not have rules and guidelines.
I understand planning for best Econ and so on but in the end if the Captain says no there are two choices, go with the PIC or get a new PIC.
Correct?

I think the point we are all trying to make is there is so much that goes into just one flight from you in dispatch to the pilots to ATC to ground ops and so on that just going to a pilot less airliner is many many years down the road.

Did not mean to offend you if you were.
 
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lightsaber
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Will We Have Pilot-less Aircraft In The Future?

Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:14 am

Wow...

Most of the anti-automation posts just do not understand where the technology is today. I understand the passion for piloting, but this is the Luddite argument.

Remember the Luddites were skilled craftsmen displaced by technology.

Multi-spectral cameras alone give the autonomous software a huge advantage.

But this will take time. Think about how long it took to replace railroad brakemen. A dangerous and replaceable profession. It took about 40 years.

But I know of prototypes where the must have a pilot due to regulations, but every flying issue they've had was the pilot, not the autonomous system. They finally had to tell they pilot if they touched the controls, he had to file an incident report and defend it to a committee. The committee is 100% test pilots or ex-test pilots. So far, every pilot gets told 'let the computer fly.'

We're so beyond drones. Today a drone is a $300 toy. Let's compare with the UAVs that have access to ATC feed, multi spectral cameras, and the logic to do something about it. E.g., multi-spectral wingtip cameras are cheap.

Oh, as to airports not allowing autonomous flights, there are many trying to be bases.
But these threads are all the same. Those who think we're no where close quote old examples. The software has moved far forward in the last five years. Thanks to the competition in mobile computing we now have the CPUs and low power RAM to do this.

Oh, every new plane above 100k lbs is being designed so that some of the computers must be operating.

Seriously, the arguments sound like why my dad will not buy a Tesla. I'd love one, price is the only issue. The price of this automation has collapsed.

Again, I am in awe of the new low power i7 CPU from Intel. It is an enabling technology.

Maybe my perception is skewed as so many aerospace programmers are doing robots today. The logic being perfected is amazing.

And software can be simulated to debug. That is usually skipped for costs when possible, but not in the high end UAV or man rated world. We're there. It will just take time.

These threads remind me of the eBook threads I used to participate in on a book blog. Now I don't bother. Paper books for kids. Ebooks for others. Heck, flight planning without a touchscreen is a thing of the past...


Lightsaber
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