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Airbus + Cathay working on Single Pilot during Cruise with A350

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Airbus + Cathay working on Single Pilot during Cruise with A350

Old 16th Jun 2021, 23:43
  #41 (permalink)  
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There's been no mention of MO'L up to this point.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 00:28
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Airmann

And they shouldn’t. And if pax want to fly on it they should sign a waiver
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 02:33
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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How many safety engineers does it take to change a light bulb? None. We've done the safety case and can assure you it's safe to carry on in the dark. We call it the 'No change option'.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 03:17
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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tdracer

Yep, but which pilot is eliminated, the pilot flying or the pilot monitoring?

Oh, and you can save the money and weight of a cockpit voice recorder- no one to talk to.

You could save the cost of either the captain’s air data system or is it the first officer’s?

Would be more savings to eliminate the captain because first officers are paid less.

Why didn’t we think of this before now?
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 03:33
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps like the new Dassault 10X the cockpit will have lie flat seats, the rest bunk can be eliminated and more pax seats squeezed in. Win, win, two pilots always at their duty station, even though one asleep, and more pax, what more could a bean counter wish for? If only one pilot up front count me out as SLF, two fully alert homo sapiens needed at all times.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 05:57
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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This is happening, as much as people on this forum (understandably) hate it.

I expect unmanned cargo flights within the decade (why do you think Airbus is pitching their A350F so aggressively.... they are likely selling it as a 1 person operation, with potential to be fully automated for the second half of its life)

Once it's clear those operations are perfectly safe, passenger traffic will follow suit.

It's been done on trains, it's been done on cars, it's been done on ships....
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 06:07
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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tdracer

And we're not even doing Net Present Value here, and we're looking at salary only (lower accommodation cost, smaller training setups needed, the list goes on...)
​​​​
The potential is huge. That's why the beancounters are so hot on this one. Anything that structurally lowers operating cost by that much is a no-brainer.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 06:13
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Unmanned freighters, possibly being formation flying slaves of manned passenger airliners, might in fact be coming. But a passenger airliner ticket is a product that needs to be bought by people that trust it while sitting on board. Let one thing go wrong, severe thunderstorms over the pacific and complete loss of network connections and onboard computers, fire or similar and this idea will be toast. Imagine the airline having only bot planes and no more pilots then. The pilots are needed for the non standard decisions not for day to day ops only.

We are not there and won't be for some time. Not even with cars.

Last edited by Less Hair; 17th Jun 2021 at 07:45.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 06:22
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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The potential is huge. That's why the beancounters are so hot on this one. Anything that structurally lowers operating cost by that much is a no-brainer
At what risk though?

Like magic a whole bunch of problems that never existed will start appearing. Changing the whole infrastructure and foundation of aviation doesn't really do alot other than solve one problem which is human error and replace it with a litany of new ones which have traditionally be mitigated by humans operators.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 06:27
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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This would mean changes to all certification rules and standards. Requiring political pressure on certifying authorities unheard of before. I personally consider this neither certifiable nor accepted by the flying public.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 07:47
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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FMS82

The difference with Trains, Cars and Ships is that if it all looks like going TU you can just STOP! Oh, and Trains use a ‘dead mans handle’.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 07:48
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TBL Warrior View Post
I prefer it, as opposed to some IG kid getting in the way of me getting the job done.
That kid might be the one sitting alone in the cockpit.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 08:51
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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FMS82

I’m not so sure. There are a lot of problems still to sort out.

I have no doubt that eventually we will have fusion-powered autonomous electric aircraft but there’s a lot of engineering between now and then.

It's been done on trains, it's been done on cars, it's been done on ships....
I’ll give you trains but that was possible using 19th century technology and the vast majority still have human drivers. Cars, despite all the hype (and billions of $), are still a long way from full autonomy, and that’s in something that can pull over and stop by the side of the road with the hazards on if it gets really confused. Wish I could do that in an aeroplane!

I think there is a parallel here with driving automation levels: they go from zero (no assistance at all) to five (full automation). Level 1 includes things like active cruise control and lane assist, which operate within defined parameters and require regular driver input and Level 2 adds stuff like manoeuvring in traffic jams but driver still required. So far so good. Level 3 starts adding hands off stuff and Level 4 is close to not needing to provide any input, but still can’t “go anywhere”.

There is a significant body of opinion that Level 3/4 autonomy is less useful than it might appear and that we should really go straight to Level 5, even though it may take a while. One of the reasons is that you have abstracted the human away from the functioning of the vehicle, but still require them to intervene at short notice should things start going wrong. This is a big ask and similar to the automation dependence we see emerging in aviation.

There is a marked difference between technology demonstrations in a curated environment and something that can operate safely under all circumstances. For the level of autonomy indicated, this is going to have to involve ML/AI: how quickly are regulators going to respond to that?
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 09:12
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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tdracer

True, but aren't those savings usually passed onto the customer in order to be slightly more competitive against competitors? My thinking is that for the sake of a 10 saving for what's going to be a few hundred pounds for a ticket anyway, is it worth it?

Well clearly some people think it is!
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 09:13
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Beaker

That is music to the ears of managers. We had an argument over the 20p sachet of ketchup on the breakfast tray, before they removed breakfast altogether.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 10:16
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by procede View Post
Truckdrivers (and fighter pilots) have been using it for years: A bottle with a funnel.
I said workable.
Where Im from a truck driver involved in a fatal accident using a mobile phone got 10 years. How can a pee tube be legal?
Until the safety case for an unmanned flight deck mentally or physically is made for 10 or so minutes I can see a problem.
Oh hang on, wont this make pilots much more productive? Pay rises all round hurrah where do I sign?
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 12:02
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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It's coming folks, and you aren't going to stop it. Many underground systems are unmanned and work without incident. As someone said earlier Airbus have demonstrated an A350 gate to gate without anyone doing anything other than starting the engines. I can remember when folks said ETOPS was a bad thing and we'd have 1000's of hull losses. Autoland and autobrakes improved safety. The biggest air disasters have been caused when pilots did not follow instructions (Tenerife).

I totally get the 'what happens when' scenarios - engine failure, fire, a control surface detaching, non-retractable gear, etc. Many of these happen, and the outcome isn't always great with two skilled crew on board. I get the automated car analogy, but comparing that to aerospace is wrong. Automated cars have to deal with people, and people are unpredictable in their movements. Airspace there's separation and the systems will allow

For me, the biggest risk is the boredom faced by the solo pilot for 4 or 5 hours.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 12:58
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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With all the “Talent” at $20HKD per hour coming to the CX group what could possibly go wrong!? 😂
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 13:25
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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It's coming folks, and you aren't going to stop it.
This is true. But it is coming for every human endeavour - there is nothing that cant be automated. Even posting to PPRuNe (Although I think that this has already happened, judging by some contributions...)

The point I am trying to make is that an autonomous aircraft has to play nice with the rest of the infrastructure which was designed, built for and still in use by humans and I remain unconvinced that aeroplane manufacturers understand how difficult that might be, especially when it comes to certification. Making something that takes off and lands by itself and even taxies to the gate is not hard; it is covering the enormous set of edge cases that aircraft encounter several of daily that is the hard bit, as it is for self-driving cars.
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 14:04
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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There are proven cases where only three people on the flight deck could successfully handle surprising emergencies, like the first MAX upset (engineer), Qantas A380, Sioux City (three plus one). And the industry wants to go down to one? We have seen how fast a reputation can be damaged by saving at the wrong end.
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