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Opinions wanted for UAV completely take over the helicopter in the long term future?

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Opinions wanted for UAV completely take over the helicopter in the long term future?

Old 20th Sep 2012, 22:05
  #41 (permalink)  
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The Kmax has hit the mainstream news:

Autonomous helicopters: Robocopter arrives | The Economist

And rather than 0 humans, some long-lining with more than you might expect:

Adel Abdessemed » Survey: Selected Works » David Zwirner

Adel Abdessemed » Survey: Selected Works » David Zwirner

Last edited by FairWeatherFlyer; 20th Sep 2012 at 22:06.
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 00:51
  #42 (permalink)  
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Management cannot fire an Autopilot on a UAV!
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Old 21st Sep 2012, 12:05
  #43 (permalink)  
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Forget the insurance, who would get on board as a passenger? Ain't going to happen.

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Old 22nd Sep 2012, 09:23
  #44 (permalink)  
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I've recently seen a "making-of" of a music video which featured quite impressive aerial shots, and they used a remote-controlled quadcopter with a gyro-stabilized cam. So for this specific segment, it will be hard to compete against this with a full-sized chopper.

We'll see UAV innovation primarily in the military sector, where cost-effectiveness is not always a primary concern. However, this will eventually trickle over to the civilian sector in one form or another. Civilian UAV applications are conceivable if they are commercially viable (Operating an unmanned K-Max is probably not cheaper than one with a pilot) and do not involve passenger transport (e.g. powerline patrol).

But before we'll see that, some legal issues are yet to be solved (e.g. "see and avoid" principle and liability questions).
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Old 22nd Sep 2012, 10:43
  #45 (permalink)  
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This is an old chestnut - much like the "everyone will have their own helicopter/ aerial car" to go to work in.

Never inside of hell freezing over!
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Old 22nd Sep 2012, 15:23
  #46 (permalink)  
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its all [email protected]

whenever you see the demos of these things..
the weather is always fine..

They wont work with 600' cloud base and 40 kt winds.. hence useless.

The other thing that the protagonists of UAVs always forget is that when a crew is searching for vehicles/persons (in daylight).. nearly all of it is done with human eye.. NOT by the camera.. The human eye has a MUCH wider field of view than a camera, and the human brain is much quicker and better at interpreting whats in view when seen first hand rather than via a remote screen on the ground..

The UAV manufacturers always ignore how much of our search work is done by actually LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW..!!!

I would relish a challenge whereby a large open area is searched for lets say a laid out casualty, by a normal police crew of 3, versus a UAV.. and lets see how effective the UAV is..
Of course the weather would have to be acceptible for the UAV..!!
Old 22nd Sep 2012, 17:15
  #47 (permalink)  

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Forget the insurance, who would get on board as a passenger? Ain't going to happen.
'Zactly. And who would carry the luggage, anyway?
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 10:56
  #48 (permalink)  
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[email protected], I'm actually overseas flying the K-MAX right now and think you’re a little off on your statements. Not trying to start an argument here but our capabilities to move things continuously under the cover of night with very minimal crew have quite a good purpose. Even if we pull one convoy off the road by supplying a FOB or COB with supplies they needed. There's more than just one truck carrying cargo, for that truck to get the cargo there's many support trucks that roll along with it. Also the maintenance man hour to flight hour is totally incomparable to even that of one 53. Albeit a 53 can carry a substantially larger load, the average load over here suits our mission quite well.

Instead of sending a 53 into a zone while requiring two gunships to escort, we have one robot this is quite a few less lives and machines to shoot at. You are correct it's not the fastest machine in the world but it is the first of its kind, most crawl before they walk. On the speed note, have you seen the download and upload times spent in these little LZ's. They are def faster on their ingress but they stay running on the deck for a good while.

I'm sure there are better ways to skin the cat but I think we're doing a pretty good job of getting the ball rolling. We've proven the concept and now are moving forward with far more knowledge in bettering the system and implementing greater uses for the Marines needs.

Now for UAV's to take over, I don't think we'll see it in our life time. I feel fairly confident that there will always be a need for a manned pilot at the controls in most cases.

Last edited by vrtcld; 23rd Oct 2012 at 10:59.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 14:43
  #49 (permalink)  
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With at least 2 "UAV" crashes on UK tv shoots in the past month (not reported), and no airworthiness requirements for anything less than 20kgs - we are just a few headlines & injuries away from heavy legislation.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 11:10
  #50 (permalink)  
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Some more mainstream news including some interesting sounding work on variable rpm rotary and something which sounds like a V22 Osprey:

Brain scan: The dronefather | The Economist

Regardless of legisalation, i think the biggest UAV shock is going to be when their role as an assassination tool becomes more widespread, not sure first world countries will appreciate that.

Last edited by FairWeatherFlyer; 9th Dec 2012 at 11:12. Reason: forgot to mention the v22 esque stuff
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 17:31
  #51 (permalink)  
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Hello Heli823,

I shared some airspace with you, in a manner of speak. What you have said is entirely correct given the environment you are in. I don't see a need to comment on each of your points. You are doing good work and keep it up.

The counter is that, after having shared airspace with a variety of UAV's and now happily working in a different environment, I absolutely do NOT want to do it any more. Until 'see and avoid' is in the UAV capability they should remain completely away from civil VFR traffic. Most models are fairly blindly cruising through the air which is dangerous in less controlled
and busier airspace.

I've also noticed a similarity to what these other posters have been hinting at: with no pilot at risk in the operation, many operators become very casual about what risk their tools are causing. This will eventually bring new and onerous regulation that will put the brakes on the explosion of usage that is happening now. Unfortunately, a few more deaths will be needed to get the pendulum swinging.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 10:04
  #52 (permalink)  
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I hadn't finished the print edition, there's an article on the concept of packet switched networks where small cargo is moved around by a grid of UAVs:

Monitor: An internet of airborne things | The Economist

Mentions delivering pharmaceuticals as a potential application. If you didn't see it, this was a good view into the difficulties in less developed nations:

BBC Two - Ewan McGregor: Cold Chain Mission
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 12:43
  #53 (permalink)  
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I understand that in Japan there are over 1000 Yamaha RMAX utilised for crop spraying.
Out of interest will UAV/UAS's will completely take over some roles apart from passenger transportation, some law enforcement and EMS operations, because of zero risk to aircrew and cost attraction?
Three years on and this question is still relevant.

As for my opinion - I think that ultimately UAV/UASs will take over some roles.

Will an unmanned aircraft complete the job to the same standard as a manned aircraft? No. Will it be 100% safe? No. Will it be cheaper? Yes. And that's all that matters - the cost.

I sincerely hope that UAV/UASs never take over roles such pax transport, EMS, etc, and I don't really see it happening. That being said, a beancounter somewhere will only see the dollar signs and will think that an unmanned pax plane is a great idea. Therefore, it will be attempted.

Last edited by TequilaMockingbird; 13th Apr 2013 at 05:58.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 16:15
  #54 (permalink)  
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New here but I feel like I have a little insight, perhaps somewhat repetitive, to what has already been said.

UAVs will very soon, from the perspective of trends, experience a heavy push in applications that meet the 3 Ds - applications that are Dirty, Dangerous, and Dull. Having said that, we are already seeing heavy research in the agricultural, resource management, and mapping sectors with substantial interest in the use of unmanned systems. They are aimed at improving safety and limiting operator liability in areas that are not populated or, if at all, very very sparsely populated.

Unmanned systems will NEVER replace passenger ferrying operations. However, they will very soon start chipping away at the aforementioned sectors.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 01:57
  #55 (permalink)  
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posted on an earlier thread

Black Hawk flies, lands and avoids threats - all without pilots at the helm (With Video) | al.com
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:42
  #56 (permalink)  
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Unmanned K-MAX nominated for Collier award

...though it faces steep competition from the Curiosity Rover and V'Ger.

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Old 28th May 2013, 10:51
  #57 (permalink)  
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When I read the headline I thought it would have missiles a la American's Assassination programme but looks like surveillance only for now!

BBC News - German railways to test anti-graffiti drones

The London Underground used to have pictures of a helicopter on their anti-vandalism posters, might have looked a bit like a squirrel on a blue background.

On a related note, I have a colleague who as a hobby is trying to build a small UAV to do data collection from low powered transmitters in beehives. I suspect that project is going to be under-resourced but it's an indication of just how affordable some of this stuff is becoming.

Last edited by FairWeatherFlyer; 28th May 2013 at 10:54. Reason: beehive addition
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