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Old 30th Nov 2017, 15:44
  #10 (permalink)  
Ian W
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,307
Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
There are several threads here on PPRuNe discussing the relative merits, or otherwise, of a pilotless commercial passenger jet, the subject has been done to death.

1. Until terrorism is totally under control, if not wiped out, remotely controlled pax aircraft won't happen. A ground based remotely controlled system will need to be 100% immune from any form of electronic 'hacking' and any form of suicidal terrorist attack.

2. Without 1., (above), the international insurance market won't touch it, no insurance = no fly.

3. The cost of overcoming 1 and 2 (above) - probably insurmountable and therefore not commercially viable within our lifetimes.

4. No one has presented verifiable figures on the cost benefit of a totally remotely controlled system versus what we have today. Simply getting rid of airborne pilots, in the great big scheme of things, may not be commercially viable at all. Fifteen hour sectors, one pilot? I don't think so.

5. Repeat 1. (above).
The word used by both Airbus and Boeing was autonomous. This is not a 'remotely piloted aircraft system' RPAS. It is a fully automated autonomous aircraft. That of course does not mean that there will be no issues with insurance but the savings of an autonomous system could allow insurance rates to go a lot higher and still make the autonomous aircraft significantly cheaper.

The human on the loop systems in most of the modern aircraft are effectively autonomous aircraft with a pilot on standby watching in theory ready to pick up the bag of bolts if something goes wrong. The autonomous systems planned would be more capable than the current systems and will not have the easy escape for the system designer of "if this happens give it to the pilot".
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