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Old 02-19-2021, 04:31 AM   #1  
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Default They said it wouln't happen anytime soon

I once said it was coming and got a lot of blowback. Well, try this.
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:51 AM   #2  
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I used to hope that I’d have 20 years left in this career. Lately, I’ve begun hoping that I have 10.
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Old 02-19-2021, 05:51 AM   #3  
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I once said it was coming and got a lot of blowback. Well, try this.
https://nam03.safelinks.protection.o...amp;reserved=0
They might be able to pull it off with the smaller feeder airplanes, but we won’t see single pilot Boeing or Airbus products in our careers. Maybe even our lifetime.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:39 AM   #4  
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They might be able to pull it off with the smaller feeder airplanes, but we won’t see single pilot Boeing or Airbus products in our careers. Maybe even our lifetime.
Didn't the navigators and FEs say the same thing?
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:01 AM   #5  
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Didn't the navigators and FEs say the same thing?
I’m sure they did. But going from three to two is much different than two to one (or zero).

I watched a major biz jet manufacturer recertify an airplane from an existing model into a new and improved model, they changed wings and engines, and it took them seven years to get it approved. That was a model they were already producing. It was a fairly simple change and it took years.

To get a single pilot airplane certified, all the important switches need to be within reach of the guy flying the machine. As it stands right now, those switches are scattered all over the panel and overhead. Boeing and Airbus would (probably) gladly do the research and development to move all these switches and make them accessible to the one pilot, but A. there’s no room to fit them all within reach, and B. It’ll cost millions and millions to research it, develop it and certify it. Who is supposed to pay for all that development? The airlines buying the plane. The manufacturers will have to add millions of dollars to the price of each copy to get a return on their legwork.

I don’t know where you work, but I guarantee my employer won’t pay one extra nickel more than necessary to buy another airframe, let alone a few million more per plane. They’ll gladly continue paying us hundreds of dollars to continue operating the airframes we already own. It doesn’t make any sense. But then again, we get our flight releases on dot matrix paper, so that confirms the frugality.

That doesn’t even include the billions it would cost to upgrade the technology to pull off single pilot or autonomous aircraft operations. We don’t have autonomous trains or ships, and they’re single and dual axis controlled, making them much easier to operate remotely. Once that technology is in place and deemed hack-proof, only then will I even consider worrying about single pilot operations in large airliners. And I still stand behind the statement I won’t see it in my career (20+ years to 65).
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:56 AM   #6  
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I don’t know where you work, but I guarantee my employer won’t pay one extra nickel more than necessary to buy another airframe, let alone a few million more per plane. They’ll gladly continue paying us hundreds of dollars to continue operating the airframes we already own. It doesn’t make any sense. But then again, we get our flight releases on dot matrix paper, so that confirms the frugality.
You mean the same employer that declined additional 747-8s at discount bargain prices in favor of “new” MD11s that were practically given to us. Totally agree with your point. Our company is beyond frugal and would prefer to fly our current fleet until the wings fall off. The delta for return on investment between buying a two pilot used 76 conversion and a brand new single pilot factory freighter is sufficient to make the additional investment required unattractive. I suspect the ACMI companies have similar time horizons in mind when buying aircraft.

Single pilot ops is a red herring meant to force pilot unions to waste money and political capital. The next logical step from two pilot aircraft are autonomous aircraft. Eliminating an entire category of labor is attractive. However, the political and societal hurdles are significant. Not worried about it.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:04 AM   #7  
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I’ll worry when they implement automation into the basic shiz in society, til then....dream on, science boi.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:43 AM   #8  
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If anything in the corporate world I'm seeing insurance crack down on single pilot ops. Those premiums have been going through the roof. And this is for aircraft already certified as single pilot. I expect the same thing to happen in the airline world if that ever becomes an option for them.
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:37 AM   #9  
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I've received a lot of comments on my first post, but consider this. Do you remember when we used floppy disks, and the modems were dial up? Hmm? Now my home runs on blue tooth. Moore's law states, the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every 2 years. I just bought the Macbook Air with the M1 chip that has 16 billion (no, billion is not a typo) transistors on the chip. And it doesn't need a cooling fan. The DOD is already testing dog flights with one aircraft using AI. So far AI is winning The bottom line, technology is running a warp speed. And costs are coming down. GA aircraft now come with avionics that surpasses many commercial aircraft. Insurance, it may be high at first but as the technology progresses it will come down. The two downsides are public acceptance and on the regulatory front, eventually a pilot will have to leave the seat for bodily functions.
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:44 AM   #10  
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The DOD is already testing dog flights with one aircraft using AI. So far AI is winning .
Dog flights..?

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