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Old 10-09-2007, 07:52 AM   #1  
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Default Unmanned 727's at FDX

Hey guys,
Just wondering if there's any remote truth to any of this. I've flown with three different guys now at my current airline who have all said the same thing "I read somewhere that FDX is testing unmanned aircraft and wants to have them flying by 2010". When I ask these guys where they read it, or if they could get me a copy of the article, nothing turns up.

So, has anyone there heard any of this?

If, or when, unmanned aircraft make it into the commercial sector, one would imagine cargo to be the first place for it to be accepted by the public. I sure hope there's no truth to this though... Maybe all the unmanned 757's could be STV'd to the FDA's
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:08 AM   #2  
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Good luck with that.

Can't even get the 727 CAT III automation to work consistently.....


If...


Newer airplanes. Special runways and taxiways. Cargo airports like AFW.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:13 AM   #3  
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Sorry but that aint happenin till ATC gets it's upgrade first and foremost.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:17 AM   #4  
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sometimes I think my airplane is unmanned doing those am hubturns
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:35 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v1 uh-oh View Post
sometimes I think my airplane is unmanned doing those am hubturns
LOL



........
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:37 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudSailor View Post
Hey guys,
Just wondering if there's any remote truth to any of this. I've flown with three different guys now at my current airline who have all said the same thing "I read somewhere that FDX is testing unmanned aircraft and wants to have them flying by 2010". When I ask these guys where they read it, or if they could get me a copy of the article, nothing turns up.

So, has anyone there heard any of this?

If, or when, unmanned aircraft make it into the commercial sector, one would imagine cargo to be the first place for it to be accepted by the public. I sure hope there's no truth to this though... Maybe all the unmanned 757's could be STV'd to the FDA's
When its implemented in 2010 its going to be a really good deal, we'll be able to work our trips from home by monitoring the unmanned flights on our computers!

There may also be an option to use Wii, PS3 or XBox360 to work the flights, they haven't decided on a vendor yet, but some LCAs are already testing these. We'll be able to even cruise porn or play Halo3 while the flight monitoring is done in a seperate browser window!

No more medicals, drinking on the job will be okay.

We'll have to open an IM session with the other crewmembers though so we can share pictures of our sports car, motorcycles, boats, planes and kids. *****ing (ooops, whining) about our wives and girlfriends will be accomplished by leaving home with your laptop, say to Starbucks or some sports bar with a wifi hotspot, and working from there!

Also, all tipping will be done at the end of the month via PayPal on a set formula. Simple and easy, no guessing whose turn to tip. Bad deal for the cheap @ss $1 tippers though.

All disputed pairings will automatically become undisputable and the optimizer wil be let to run loose at full optimization.

The hold up on implementation right now is TSA approval of the firewall software to keep Al Qaeda from "hihacking" the flights! TSA will also require that twice a month we go to the local airport and get harrassed by TSA personnel - this is for their own currency requirements!

Once a year we'll get a round trip ticket (coach of course) to Subic Bay so that we can still get, uh, our laundry done.

The future is looking bright. FedEx also has a hiring pool full 14 yr old gamers that will work for free Red Bull.



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Old 10-09-2007, 08:38 AM   #7  
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Here it is. Directly from HR 2881. It authorizes R&D for ways to integrate UAVs into the national airspace stucture. I dont think pilots will be losing jobs to UAVs anytime soon. HR2881 also includes age 60 changes, and several other things. Google HR2881 to read the entire bill.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

H.R.2881
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 (Reported in House)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Subtitle B--Unmanned Aircraft Systems

SEC. 321. COMMERCIAL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS INTEGRATION PLAN.

(a) Integration Plan-

(1) COMPREHENSIVE PLAN- Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with representatives of the aviation industry, shall develop a comprehensive plan to safely integrate commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.

(2) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS- In developing the plan under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, at a minimum--

(A) review technologies and research that will assist in facilitating the safe integration of commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system;

(B) provide recommendations for the rulemaking to be conducted under subsection (b) to--

(i) define the acceptable standards for operations and certification of commercial unmanned aircraft systems;

(ii) ensure that any commercial unmanned aircraft system includes a detect, sense, and avoid capability; and

(iii) develop standards and requirements for the operator or programmer of a commercial unmanned aircraft system, including standards and requirements for registration and licensing;

(C) recommend how best to enhance the technologies and subsystems necessary to effect the safe and routine operations of commercial unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system; and

(D) recommend how a phased-in approach to the integration of commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system can best be achieved and a timeline upon which such a phase-in shall occur.

(3) DEADLINE- The plan to be developed under paragraph (1) shall provide for the safe integration of commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as possible, but not later than September 30, 2012.

(4) REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a copy of the plan developed under paragraph (1).

(b) Rulemaking- Not later than 18 months after the date on which the integration plan is submitted to Congress under subsection (a)(4), the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement the recommendations of the integration plan.

(c) Authorization- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 322. SPECIAL RULES FOR CERTAIN UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS.

(a) In General- Notwithstanding the requirements of sections 321 and 323, and not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall determine if certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system before completion of the plan and rulemaking required by section 321 or the guidance required by section 323.

(b) Assessment of Unmanned Aircraft Systems- In making the determination under subsection (a), the Secretary shall determine, at a minimum--

(1) which types of unmanned aircraft systems, if any, as a result of their size, weight, speed, operational capability, proximity to airports and population areas, and operation within visual line-of-sight do not create a hazard to users of the national airspace system or the public or pose a threat to national security; and

(2) whether a certificate of authorization or an airworthiness certification under section 44704 of title 49, United States Code, is required for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems identified under paragraph (1).

(c) Requirements for Safe Operation- If the Secretary determines under this section that certain unmanned aircraft systems may operate safely in the national airspace system, the Secretary shall establish requirements for the safe operation of such aircraft systems in the national airspace system.

SEC. 323. PUBLIC UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS.

Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue guidance regarding the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems to--

(1) expedite the issuance of a certificate of authorization process;

(2) provide for a collaborative process with public agencies to allow for an incremental expansion of access to the national airspace system as technology matures and the necessary safety analysis and data become available and until standards are completed and technology issues are resolved; and

(3) facilitate the capability of public agencies to develop and use test ranges, subject to operating restrictions required by the Federal Aviation Administration, to test and operate unmanned aircraft systems.

`detect, sense, and avoid capability' means the technical capability to perform separation assurance and collision avoidance, as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(3) PUBLIC UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM- The term `public unmanned aircraft system' means an unmanned aircraft system that meets the qualifications and conditions required for operation of a public aircraft, as defined by section 40102 of title 49, United States Code.

(4) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Transportation.

(5) TEST RANGE- The term `test range' means a defined geographic area where research and development are conducted.

(6) UNMANNED AIRCRAFT- The term `unmanned aircraft' means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.

(7) UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM- The term `unmanned aircraft system' means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements (such as communication links and a ground control station) that are required to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:42 AM   #8  
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Don't believe it will happen for a very very very long time. While attending the flag panel at this years Tailhook convention one admiral was heard to say something like the new Joint Strike Fighter might be the last manned fighter. So maybe as the life of that fighter runs out in say 30 - 40 years, I don't think you'll see a unmanned 727 on the next couple of bids...............

Last edited by JetJocF14; 10-10-2007 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #9  
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Additionally, note para 3 titled DEADLINE. It provides directives for a plan to be developed, not a UAV takeover. If this is like other govt plans expect it to slide several times before anything happens.


3) DEADLINE- The plan to be developed under paragraph (1) shall provide for the safe integration of commercial unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system as soon as possible, but not later than September 30, 2012.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:51 AM   #10  
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Perhaps this is the source of the rumor?

World’s first unmanned cargo aircraft being tested in Kansas

Salina — An unmanned aircraft the military uses for carrying cargo and dropping leaflets in war zones has earned the attention of the Kansas National Guard.
Designated the CQ-10A SnowGoose by its Canadian manufacturer, the unmanned aerial vehicle is undergoing several days of testing at the Smoky Hill Weapons Range outside Salina. Smoky Hill also is the home of the Guard’s Great Plains Joint Training Center.
“It’s ugly, but it’s very functional,” said Chuck Jarnot, a former Army helicopter pilot who is working as a consultant for Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology Inc. The Canadian firm has sold 40 of the aircraft to the U.S. military and they are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The SnowGoose is the world’s first unmanned cargo aircraft.
Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas adjutant general and Guard commander, invited MMIST to bring the SnowGoose to Kansas and use the Smoky Hill air space for further development and testing. It also let Guard leaders consider how it could be integrated into a variety of military uses.
“We see a lot of potential for it in Homeland Security,” said Lt. Col. J.J. Jordan, Great Plains training officer.
The SnowGoose can be used to carry communications equipment over disaster areas, and speakers can be attached and used to broadcast messages to areas without communications, Jordan said. It also can be used to re-establish cell phone networks in a devastated area.
The aircraft can transport up to 600 pounds of cargo and stay in the air for about 20 hours. Its cargo boxes are like a “chest of drawers,” Jarnot said. The cargo can be dropped from the air with a parachute or delivered after the aircraft lands.
The SnowGoose has been used to resupply small Special Forces teams in remote areas. Using it for such drops is safer for the soldiers, and it removes the risk of flying in a helicopter.
“It’s hazardous to the helicopter crew,” said Jarnot, who used to fly Black Hawk helicopters. “A more discrete milk truck or FedEx truck, if you will, in the neighborhood is far more effective at delivering these types of payloads. It’s quiet and it can fly at night.”
The SnowGoose is deployed with the aid of an attached parachute and a propeller engine. It can launch off the back of a trailer or Humvee truck and can be dropped from planes. A crewman using a control box and a joystick can guide the aircraft. It also can fly autonomously using a digital mapping system.
“The ‘black box’ with the computer software measures wind speed and direction and tells the plane when to make drops,” Jarnot said. “It is the real jewel on this aircraft; all other components are off-the-shelf components.”
The SnowGoose is usually sold in pairs for about $800,000, which includes supporting equipment, Jarnot said.
The Kansas Guard has not purchased a SnowGoose but is interested in that possibility, said Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for Bunting’s office. In an emergency, the Guard might be able to lease one.
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