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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 3rd Dec 2009, 16:50
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Opinions wanted for UAV completely take over the helicopter in the long term future?

Its interesting to see the development and increase in UAV/UAS technology and proposals for use in law enforcement and firefighting and pipeline and powerline monitoring.

However does this mean that in the long term future that the role of the commercial helicopter pilot (and not meaning re assigned to the UAV/UAS ground operator either!!) may be reduced somewhat?

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?

Thanks
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 17:10
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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?
What about the risk to others below and around the UAV/UAS?? It would be interesting to see how that risk has been calculated. In the event that manned helicopter has to force land for some reason, at least the pilot can assess the various options open to him for landing without causing damage to the aircraft and/or other persons/structures. I'm not so sure that the person controlling a UAV/UAS would be able to do the same as they wouldn't have the advantage of "all round vision" and thus be able to assess various options quickly.
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Old 4th Dec 2009, 01:09
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Well, according to this link:
Yamaha RMAX Crash - Killed a person

Those UAVs are just as deadly.
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Old 4th Dec 2009, 14:09
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Offshore is another area where pilots will still be employed but as chopper2004 said, UAVs will cost less and besides the insurance payouts will be less. Don't forget this industry is driven by the insurance companies.
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Old 4th Dec 2009, 14:31
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Duncan Sandy's " There will be no need for Pilots"

Of course I am probably a bit older than most of you but I do recall the armed forces minister in the 1950's remarking, - as he looked at the new saviour of the RAF, - The Bloodhound Missile". That in future the RAF would not require manned aircraft any more, the missile would do all of that.

This sounds a bit similar!

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Old 5th Dec 2009, 11:00
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NB As I've just mentioned in another thread, most* UAVs still need a pilot. The only difference being that the pilot is sat in a ground station, not the cockpit. Current UAVs aren't autonomous - we're not at the Skynet stage yet...



*The Yamaha UAVs are obviously an exception. But they still need an operator to set their GPS routes.
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Old 5th Dec 2009, 11:26
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the pilot is sat in a ground station,
and, hopefully in a comfy chair.

Mustering? they may be a useful and fun tool. at least one big pastoral house has / is severely examined their potential use.
they also think that they will do away with the experienced pilot to fly 'em. Ho ho.

I see a lot of headless chooks running around, more headless than the usual less than gifted horsemen that we sometimes have to put up with nowadays I mean.

good luck I say, i think it will be a while coming.
tet
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Old 5th Dec 2009, 12:07
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Originally Posted by topendtorque View Post
and, hopefully in a comfy chair.
Absolutely!


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Old 7th Dec 2009, 11:01
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Is old mate above wearing the nomex zoom bag in case his console catches on fire?


....or is it for the chicks????

Last edited by helmet fire; 13th Dec 2009 at 23:17.
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 12:36
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Huh

The major problems with UAV's etc is that no countries regulatory authority is going to allow mixed traffic of manned and unmanned. Where as this may not be too much of a problem in the remote regions of our planet (Newcastle etc). In locations where there is high density population or manned traffic close to the surface, the usefulness of UAV's diminishes.

Jobs in the remote regions of our planet (Norwich), pipeline survey etc can I would have thought be carried out by a UAV adequately, but you always come back to the same old problem with sensor flown aircraft, the "drinking straw", which means that your view of the world is very limited and that something just out of view to the sensor head may be of interest to the operator but ends up being missed. Not ideal when a farmer is digging in fence posts and has'nt got to your pipeline yet.

I would have thought therefore that there are a limited number of jobs that would would be ideal for UAV's and that those of us still in control of and sat in a heavier that air flying machine will still have jobs for a number of years to come
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 14:26
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Originally Posted by chopper2004 Opinions wanted for UAV completely take over the helicopter in the long term future?

chopper2004
As you started this thread, what are your own thoughts/hopes regarding the future of UAVs & Helicopters?

F43
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 23:51
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Uav Cat ?

Let's think about this, there are currently a lot of self loading cargo which does not want to be in a manned helicopter, How do you think they would feel if the pilots were not going on the journey with them?????

Secondly, as a pilot you have a vested interest in the survival of you and your airframe as well as your passengers. Would you have the same vested interest sitting in a cupboard on the edge of an airport, if it all goes wrong you still get to drive home after the paper work is complete!

I think we are a great number of years away from being comfortable with unmanned air transport. I reckon the military might take the first hit on this one! ( 50 years perhaps?) Some operators are still using S61/Seaking

Pas.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 09:46
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flyer43,

I can appreciate some systems such as Predator, Reaper and Firescout are acceptable for some military operations though Predator and its new maritime variant are doing well to complement the manned assets for border patrol for the US CBP.

However I am not overly keen on UAVs replicating or replacing the manned helicopter even for surveillance be it powerline or parapublic or even crop spraying. Laying aside the risk argument and assessment for manned/unmanned flight, taking the pilot out of risk, out cockpit and sitting in a trailer 'flying' the craft.

Also on a personal level, a lot of UAV designs are IMHO, dead ugly to look at compared to manned rotorcraft say a Huey II, AS-350, EC-135.

One could argue that man since the early centuries has always wanted to fly and to travel....you can't do that with a UAV.

In conclusion UAVs are ok:

1) Providing they complement manned systems and do not dominate the airspace
2) They do not take away revenue from a small commercial helicopter outfit that may have crop spraying or surveillance as more than 50% of its business

Thankyou everyone for your thoughts and would appreciate more input as well on here.

Take care and merry xmas
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 10:34
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You mentioned HEMS and Police work, I wonder how the pax will feel knowing that while they are out in the middle of nowhere they will be relying on a guy miles away to pick out a good HLS possibly in hills, poor weather and with limited external cues? UK airspace is still a busy place to be in.
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Old 17th Dec 2009, 11:43
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I do seem to recall that manchester police were emplying about 6 UAV's for crowd surveillance and such, and according to my sources they were setting it all up on channel 35 until someone remarked that remote control aircraft both fixed wint and heli's operate on that channel, and use pegs at their flying field to make sure they do not switch on and conflict with another aircraft alreay operating that channel. It was pointed out to them the consequences of som3eone with a remore control on channel 35 inadvertently unknowingly switching it on and according to my sources there was a lot of shocked looks and expression son their faces as it dawned on them what the ocnsequences would have been. I was somewhat surprised that their researchers were not alreay aware of a conflict like this,
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 04:55
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The Navy's new Robo-Copter heads to Afghanistan


Next month, the Afghanistan war gets a boost. Specifically, a boost from a robotic helicopter that ferries gear to U.S. troops.

Check out the video above. That’s the K-MAX helicopter, a collaboration between defense giant Lockheed Martin and Connecticut aerospace company Kaman, lifting off from an Arizona test site in August, after its human pilot walked out of the cockpit. The copter ascends, toting nets bearing what look like hundreds of pounds’ worth of palletized cargo, flies the gear off to another part of the Yuma Proving Ground, drops it safely, and lands.

This isn’t the first unmanned helicopter used in the Afghanistan war. Earlier this year, the Navy — which also owns the K-MAX — sent its Fire Scout surveillance helos into the war zone, where they flew as much as 400 hours per month. But K-MAX is the first robo-copter used for cargo operations, and the Department of the Navy’s been looking for months at using drone helos not only to drop troops their re-supply, but to get wounded warriors to a field hospital before it’s too late.


It’s not hard to see why. Afghanistan’s craggy terrain isn’t great for airstrips large enough to land a hulking Air Force cargo plane, so helicopters have to hopscotch the south and east of the country to make their base drops. Those helicopters are at constant risk of running into Afghan insurgents packing rocket-propelled grenades or even shoulder-mounted missiles, especially if they’re freighted with heavy pallets. Even worse: Afghanistan’s terrain is hell on helicopters. “The most God-awful environment I’ve ever seen helicopters placed,” one commander recently told Danger Room.

The Navy’s other robotic helicopter, the Fire Scout, has a mixed track record. The Pentagon’s independent testing group says it only completed 54 percent of its missions during a recent tour about the U.S.S. Halyburton. The Navy strongly rejects that assessment, and wears the Fire Scouts’ shootdown over Libya as a kind of badge of honor. Still, the K-MAX will have a much different mission than the Fire Scout. And as long as a human pilot isn’t in danger, the Navy isn’t so concerned.

The K-MAX is capable of hauling up to 6,000 pounds at sea level, and can carry 4,300 as high up as 15,000 feet. In August, it ran a battery of tests at Yuma to show it can meet the Navy/Marine Corps requirement of moving up to 6,000 pounds of gear per day in Afghanistan. Pilots control the helicopter from a ground control station, like many larger drones.

Before the year is done, two K-MAXes will arrive in Afghanistan. (A Navy spokeswoman, Jamie Cosgrove, declined to specify where they’ll be stationed.)
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 08:06
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Drone software infected by virus

The media are hot to raise concerns of remote controlled craft going AWOL.


Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

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Old 9th Oct 2011, 10:42
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I've had a bit of a rethink about these gadgets, not that I would be at home in the "comfy chair" in a 'clean' bunker, but it strikes me that there could be an extensive usage of these machine for routine night street patrols, especially in the smaller provinical cities with smaller budgets.

In particular a growing menace is the gangs of under age and older louts that get about and mug law abiding citizens for money or often just for fun.

They are usually impossible to spot from the ground unless by accident, but a cooled off street background could be useful for a heat signature to show up even a small group of urchins and warrant investigation from the local squad car.

cheap, effective?

cheers tet
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 15:10
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I really can't see the saving or increase in capability that the remotely-piloted KMAX brings to the game... the helicopter is still vulnerable to ground fire (more so with no DAS and no pilot to take evasive action quickly), still vulnerable to the harsh conditions (heat and dust) and the lack of a pilot will only give an extra 200lbs of payload. A RPV will always be slower to complete tasks than a helicopter flown by real pilots - the video of the Kmax with the load is painfully slow compared to normal ops for pick up and drop off (increased exposure to threat again).

Pointless exercise in trying to save money. As for wearing the FireScout's loss as a badge of honour - that goes to show what morons you are dealing with making these decisions - 'we sent it to do a job and we lost it' that is very mission-effective...not!
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 17:07
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Real value is for next Fukushima & Chernobil like nuclear incident.....
1986 to 2011....
25 years in between and we are stll not capable to handle huge incdent pilotless.
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