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CEJM
28th Nov 2012, 13:28
Surprised the British press hasn't picked up on this. (or I have missed it)

Link to Dutch newspaper.
BA doet proefvlucht met onbemand verkeersvliegtuig - AD.nl (http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1013/Buitenland/article/detail/3354934/2012/11/28/BA-doet-proefvlucht-met-onbemand-verkeersvliegtuig.dhtml)

Within several weeks shall the first pilotless aircraft take-off from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire. The Jestream will take-off from Warton Aerodrome on Lancashire with destination Northern Scotland. The aircraft will carry two pilots, who can intervene when the test does not go as planned. The intention is that pilots on the ground fly the aircraft to its destination.

According to specialists are unmanned flights 'the future of aviation'. During the testflight they will run several scenario's to see if the onboard computer can deal with these problems without any human intervention. The cost of the project is 76 milion Euro and is funded by the British government and seven European aerospace companies.

'A pilot wil always (behind the scenes) have full control, only this will no longer be in the cockpit but on the ground' according aviation specialist Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal. 'This will enable pilots to control several aircraft at the same time'.

However it is unknown if airlines will take the risk to operate aircraft without pilots. It is expected that airlines will keep a pilot onboard so that the passengers feel comfortable.


Would be interesting to see how the test will go. However I don't think that I will see any large commercial aircraft without pilots. :ok:

Nemrytter
28th Nov 2012, 13:41
Are they confusing BA with BAE Systems?

green granite
28th Nov 2012, 14:11
Probably the first full size pilot-less twin engine Aircraft to take of from Warton, but certainly not the first pilot-less twin. Flight Refuelling Ltd at Tarrant Rushton. converted in excess of 200 Meteors to pilot-less ones for target drones.

ATC Watcher
28th Nov 2012, 14:41
The aircraft will carry two pilots, who can intervene when the test does not go as planned.
Apaprently someone still has brains .:ok:
This will enable pilots to control several aircraft at the same time'
The dream of every airline CEO,,
.
But as someone correctly said in another thread, the cost of certifying all this will be such that paying 2 guys per aircraft is still far, far cheaper.

But with time ? we could have vending machines replacing Cabin crew, and a ballistic parachute? why not. ;)

DaveReidUK
28th Nov 2012, 15:25
Lots of threads on this already.

Personally, I don't believe it - for a start, they don't seem to have made any provision for the dog.

riverrock83
28th Nov 2012, 15:45
BBC News - Unmanned aircraft project leads push to civilian drones (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20327991)

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/501359-pilotless-aircraft.html

cockney steve
28th Nov 2012, 17:22
Shame on those Test Pilots, who will test that aircraft! Those selfish, naiv and egoistic guys will make us and themselves to lose our jobs one day!!!
28th Nov 2012 15:41
you sound like the people who kicked-off when William Caxton invented the printing-press.
"rinse and repeat " for the sewing-machine.the Spinning-Jenny ....shall I continue?

You need to wake up! This is now a mature and well-understood industry,-the days of the "black-art" Elite are GONE......you drive a glorified bus with wings!
The Omnibus used to have both a Driver and a Conductor....now, One-man operation (OMO- not the sort left on the kitchen windowsill;) ) is the accepted norm.
The job of Airline Pilot is just that,- a JOB not a Profession or a Vocation.
get over yourself or you'll sit jobless,playing King Canute.

(plenty of references there to keep you busy :})

Huck
28th Nov 2012, 17:47
-the days of the "black-art" Elite are GONE......you drive a glorified bus with wings!

I love it. Say more things.

"You speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you...."

deefer dog
28th Nov 2012, 18:03
Good for them. Computers have been flying Airbus's for years. When did an Airbus crash without an input from a pilot?

Pilots are the weak link in the system as is evidenced by 30+% of all accidents being attributed to "pilot error."

All the industry needs are ATC and automatics. Plus of course passengers prepared to pay tickets to fly drones.

Frosch
28th Nov 2012, 19:38
Pilots are the weak link in the system as is evidenced by 30+% of all accidents being attributed to "pilot error."

Sure. :hmm:

Meaning: 70% of all accidents not being attributed to "pilot error".

And so on. Useless and endless discussion.

Most important questions:

Which insurance company will take the risk?
Who will be liable and where?

Wonder how UNO will sort this one out.... :confused:

For sure I'm retired by then.

Agaricus bisporus
28th Nov 2012, 19:46
Cockney - you'd better go look up the meaning of "Professional".

Someone once said,"Tis better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt".

Sound advice in your case, sir.

Spitoon
28th Nov 2012, 19:56
All the industry needs are ATC and automatics.Ahh, there's plenty of work going on to make ATC a computer driven thing too. Take a look at SESAR, NextGen and the Master Plans.

Mike-Bracknell
28th Nov 2012, 19:56
The aircraft will carry two pilots, who can intervene when the test does not go as planned.

I love their optimism! :eek:

green granite
28th Nov 2012, 20:12
Ahh, there's plenty of work going on to make ATC a computer driven thing too. Take a look at SESAR, NextGen and the Master Plans.

So why not combine the two, fly the aircraft and sort out ATC at the same time..............................................sounds a great idea........................................................ .........for total confusion

Lyman
28th Nov 2012, 20:41
I hate to buzz kill, but in 1954, a C-54 flew from Gander to Europe with a crew that monitored the auto flight only. Take off to touch down? That is nearly sixty years ago, so, wth?

Meeb
28th Nov 2012, 21:02
I hate to buzz kill, but in 1954, a C-54 flew from Gander to Europe with a crew that monitored the auto flight only. Take off to touch down? That is nearly sixty years ago, so, wth?

eh? :rolleyes:

So how did they remote fly it then? A bunch of pilots sitting in boats all across the Atlantic? :ugh:

People, read the facts, it is ground based crew flying it, not a drone or bloggs with his feet up watching the autopilot... :=

Lyman
28th Nov 2012, 21:36
it was actually 1947. T/O and Landing, and full route autoflight. Preprogrammed? I am going to look further. It was 65 years ago, and whether it was on wire or signal, I don't know. Impressive nonetheless. The idea is that ground will not interfere anyway, so whether it could have been interrupted by ground or not is not relevant, it was autoflight, sans "pilot". Nothing about current technology trumps the accomplishment, it was hands off, and the pilots could have been back in Gander, truly no human aboard, pilot or not.

You assume the flights will be remotely operated, they will not be, they will be remotely monitored. Operationally independent, either way.

Would I have more confidence aboard the Jetstream? well, yeah......


Autopilot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_pilot)

Or are you thinking these flights will be "flown" by crew on the ground instead of in the cockpit? Why pay pilots to sit at a screen in Bumbleflick? No human is going to be present in a position of intercession. Lose the autoflight, lose the flight. We have pilots in cockpits now who cannot fly if the autopilot craps out, being on the ground makes them Sully-rific?

Backoffice
28th Nov 2012, 21:53
Then, as the Jetstream turned finals, Dorris came round with the tea trolley and we all stared at the 3 pin plug on the floor.:sad:

Capn Bloggs
28th Nov 2012, 23:40
Or are you thinking these flights will be "flown" by crew on the ground instead of in the cockpit?
I like that idea. No more security, no more walkarounds in the rain. :}

Meeb
29th Nov 2012, 00:05
You assume the flights will be remotely operated, they will not be, they will be remotely monitored. Operationally independent, either way.

Read the article!

The intention is that pilots on the ground fly the aircraft to its destination.

:ugh:

Lyman
29th Nov 2012, 02:00
I read the article, but I don't believe for a moment 'pilots' will operate the aircraft from the ground....i think you do, and i apologize for not making it clear that the article is pure hype, imho.

A security guard at a midnight shift monitors perhaps a dozen CCTV screens for twelve dollars an hour. When something goes wrong, he calls police.

Why hire the same pilots you evicted from the cockpit to sit at a counter eating Taco Bell to 'fly' the same aircraft?

CATIIIb doesn't need flying, it certainly doesn't need 'monitoring'.

Are you thinking we are returning to hand flying? But from the ground? One step forward, two steps back.

Thanks Meeb.

Nemrytter
29th Nov 2012, 06:14
I think that the important point of this project is not that it's just an autopilot flying a plane from A to B. It's an autopilot that can do that and can also react to its surroundings - such as other aircraft nearby. It's to demonstrate the technology that allows unmanned aircraft to fly around without crashing into each other.

DaveReidUK
29th Nov 2012, 06:50
I read the article, but I don't believe for a moment 'pilots' will operate the aircraft from the ground....i think you do, and i apologize for not making it clear that the article is pure hype, imho.

According to BAE Systems, the dramatis personae are:

Aircrew - 2 plus 3 test personnel
Ground crew - 2 (UAV commander plus flight test observer)

It's not made clear what the "UAV commander" role consists of.

http://www.baesystems.com/magazine/BAES_051920/look-no-hands (http://www.baesystems.com/magazine/BAES_051920/look-no-hands?_afrWindowId=153p88z9mh_1&baeSessionId=5GdBQ3QbLlCJQyJjdBbFVb5nPnqxfbQprdJpmpJLfG62G2x NLR2r%21-853594562&_afrLoop=785737944147000&_afrWindowMode=0&_adf.ctrl-state=153p88z9mh_4)

green granite
29th Nov 2012, 07:36
People, read the facts, it is ground based crew flying it, not a drone or bloggs with his feet up watching the autopilot...

Meeb, a drone is an aircraft flown remotely, it matters not where the pilots are as long as they are not in the drone its self.

The Americans have, of course, already achieved true autonomous flight:

The US Navy's new bat-winged experimental drone has been delivered to an aircraft carrier to undergo handling tests aboard the ship.

The Navy said that sailors aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman took delivery of the drone on Monday from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, where it had been undergoing tests.

Truman is the first aircraft carrier to conduct test operations for an unmanned aircraft.

The drone, named the X-47B, is designed to perform one of aviation's most difficult maneuvers: landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier. What's even more remarkable is that it will do that not only without a pilot in the cockpit, but without a pilot at all.


With the drone's ability to be flown autonomously by an on-board computer, the X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare.

Currently, combat drones are controlled remotely by a human pilot. The X-47B could carry out a combat mission controlled entirely by a computer. A human pilot designs a flight path and sends it on its way, and a computer program guides it from a ship to target and back.


Read more: US Navy Aircraft Carrier Tests New Drone | X-47B | Photos (http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/us-aircraft-carrier-tests-new-drone-20121129-2aik0.html)

astir 8
29th Nov 2012, 08:05
How soon before the CAA revivies the wheeze that all flying objects (including skydivers) must be fitted with transponders? - at the owner's cost, not paid for by the UAV users, naturally.:{

cwatters
29th Nov 2012, 08:19
I can't vouch for the accuracy but..

3. Drone Crash Database Drone Wars UK (http://dronewarsuk.wordpress.com/drone-crash-database/)

smith
29th Nov 2012, 08:23
They could use it on freighters, at least the cargo won't feel nervous having no pilots on board.

CelticRambler
29th Nov 2012, 09:28
Read the article!

Why read a foreign media report when you can read the operator's own description?

The BAe information makes it clear that the systems being tested are those that allow the aircraft to fly itself, being responsible for its own situational awareness and making the necessary adjustments when the situation requires.

They are not testing auto take-off or auto-land - the two pilots on board will handle those phases of the flight, and will also be on hand if (or when :} ) Hal can't figure out whether the bright light dead ahead is a star or an oncoming aircraft.

seat 0A
29th Nov 2012, 09:39
It would be a solution for jetlags I guess.....

DaveReidUK
29th Nov 2012, 10:33
They are not testing auto take-off or auto-land - the two pilots on board will handle those phases of the flight

Let's hope so.

"I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, Dave, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen" :O

mad_jock
29th Nov 2012, 11:21
They are not testing auto take-off or auto-land - the two pilots on board will handle those phases of the flight, and will also be on hand if (or when ) Hal can't figure out whether the bright light dead ahead is a star or an oncoming aircraft.

Never mind that they will need someone to reset the overtemp when it comes on. And make up witty excuses when they rape the runway when it lands.

Massey1Bravo
29th Nov 2012, 13:48
In other news.......The US Navy has begun testing an almost fully autonomous drone that can operate from an aircraft carrier. It is capable of carrying out combat missions and mid-air refuelling without any real-time human interaction.

Source:
X-47B Drone Boards Carrier For First Time (http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/x47b_launch_trap_truman_test_carrier_first_navy_drone_207766-1.html)

The X-47B, designed to fly autonomously as an unmanned strike aircraft and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, was taken aboard the USS Harry S. Truman Monday at Norfolk naval base, Va., for its first shipboard tests. The aircraft will undergo three weeks of testing, both at Norfolk and along the Atlantic coast, to confirm on-deck handling, control and performance. In a news release, Monday, the Navy did not directly state that the aircraft would undergo flight operations, but that it would "demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations." Carrier launches and recoveries of the X-47B are not expected until next year and could mark all new and controversial capabilities for Naval operations.

The X-47B is designed to be capable of carrying out combat missions without real-time human interaction. It can be programmed ahead of time to fly missions autonomously, guided by onboard systems designed to deliver it from a ship to its target and back. Aside from automated shipboard launches and traps, the drone is meant to also be capable of automated refueling. It hosts a weapons bay capable of holding 4,500 pounds. Its 62-foot wingspan is wider than the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet -- a notable difference for shipboard operations. On the Truman, members of the carrier's crew and engineers will use a hand-held controller to maneuver the aircraft on deck.

sevenstrokeroll
3rd Dec 2012, 20:03
will the robot pull the feather lever/prop control if they lose one?

mad_jock
3rd Dec 2012, 20:17
Its not that stuff they are doing sevenstroke.

Its dodge the cessna and the fat bloke in a microlight without having to touch the controls using sensors in only a passive look and see mode.

green granite
3rd Dec 2012, 21:14
Take a look at this
In other news.......The US Navy has begun testing an almost fully autonomous drone that can operate from an aircraft carrier. It is capable of carrying out combat missions and mid-air refuelling without any real-time human interaction.

Source:
X-47B Drone Boards Carrier For First Time


Massey1Bravo, we did, in post#24

root
3rd Dec 2012, 23:36
The most popular passenger jet is an aircraft designed in the sixties.
Yet here we are up in arms about unmanned passenger jet drones?

Guys, this is still aviation. We don't move at quite the same speed as the rest of the world :)

ComJam
4th Dec 2012, 10:25
It doesn't look like a difficult thing to achieve these days. The USAF have landed a Global Hawk at Ramstein within the last few years...there a plenty of UAV's in use all over Afghanistan, many of which are locally controlled for take-off and landing but controlled from the States for tactical ops.

I did hear an "aircraft accident" broadcast over there when a UAV went off the side of the runway..."Zero P O B".....the ambulance turned up anyway :D

Huck
4th Dec 2012, 12:59
Operating airline UAVs would not be too difficult.

Saving money by operating them would be impossible.

joe two
4th Dec 2012, 14:03
Pilots are the weak link in the system as is evidenced by 30+% of all accidents being attributed to "pilot error."

So 30% of all accidents , but if it wasn't for the pilots being there the accident rate would have been 100% of all flights

There wouldn't be any aircraft left after a day or so :)