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Old 11-08-2013, 12:31 PM   #1  
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Default Legacy/Major pilots thoughts on UAS

FAA Releases Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Roadmap ? News Watch

I've posted this on some regional boards but I'm curious what you more "seasoned" guys think about this unmanmed aircraft stuff. I noticed this article in the latest ALPA fastread. I know they just did a test flight in the UK of an unmanned passanger aircraft that went flawlessly. I know this article isn't necessarily talking about pax aircraft, but do you guys think unmanned pax aircraft are closer than many think? Ive flown with a few guys who have been following this closely and many think we are less than 20 years away from this being a reality for pax flights. People might not go for it now, but in 15 years when most of our cars are driving us, I wonder if the public may feel differently.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:46 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by JetBlast77 View Post
FAA Releases Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Roadmap ? News Watch

I've posted this on some regional boards but I'm curious what you more "seasoned" guys think about this unmanmed aircraft stuff. I noticed this article in the latest ALPA fastread. I know they just did a test flight in the UK of an unmanned passanger aircraft that went flawlessly. I know this article isn't necessarily talking about pax aircraft, but do you guys think unmanned pax aircraft are closer than many think? Ive flown with a few guys who have been following this closely and many think we are less than 20 years away from this being a reality for pax flights. People might not go for it now, but in 15 years when most of our cars are driving us, I wonder if the public may feel differently.
I think the technology is very close, within 5-10years, but I don't think the public can be persuaded to get onboard an unmanned aircraft in that short of time. Hopefully that will take a lot longer
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #3  
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One big problem is the time lag between investment and payoff. Even if the public and the FAA bought the idea, CEOs must be convinced that they will save lots of money with UAVs, and quickly recoup the heavy start-up costs. Today's managers know they won't be in office long, and aren't willing to hurt their own bottom line just to help the management team that replaces them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #4  
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If the tickets are cheap enough, there are some people that will get on it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:29 PM   #5  
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I read a survey taken recently at I think the University of Missouri. A bunch of people were asked if they would fly on an unmanned airliner and nearly everyone said no. Then the same people were asked if they would do it if every ticket was $50. Almost everyone said yes.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetBlast77 View Post
FAA Releases Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Roadmap ? News Watch

I've posted this on some regional boards but I'm curious what you more "seasoned" guys think about this unmanmed aircraft stuff. I noticed this article in the latest ALPA fastread. I know they just did a test flight in the UK of an unmanned passanger aircraft that went flawlessly. I know this article isn't necessarily talking about pax aircraft, but do you guys think unmanned pax aircraft are closer than many think? Ive flown with a few guys who have been following this closely and many think we are less than 20 years away from this being a reality for pax flights. People might not go for it now, but in 15 years when most of our cars are driving us, I wonder if the public may feel differently.
If you're talking about that Jetstream the British did a test flight in I would hardly consider it pilotless. They used a pilot to perform the takeoff and landing THEN the flight was controlled from the ground. Well whoopdee doo! Those are the two most critical phases of flight. If they consider that pilotless than most flights today are already pilotless considering the whole flight plan is loaded into the FMS and most pilots (sadly) just turn on the autopilot shortly after takeoff and keep it coupled until just moments prior to landing. The technology is certainly out there and yes, it's scary to consider its implications but I don't think that Jetstream poses much of a threat.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #7  
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Where is my flying car and robot maid they promised 50 years ago?
JetBlast - search thread titles for UAV or Unmanned and you'll find lots of mature threads where this idea has been discussed in detail.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #8  
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I think that in the future I won't be satisfied until I've ingested enough of the spice melange and I'm one of the few Navigators in the universe capable of folding the space between DCA and MCO.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:39 PM   #9  
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If you're talking about that Jetstream the British did a test flight in I would hardly consider it pilotless. They used a pilot to perform the takeoff and landing THEN the flight was controlled from the ground. Well whoopdee doo! Those are the two most critical phases of flight. If they consider that pilotless than most flights today are already pilotless considering the whole flight plan is loaded into the FMS and most pilots (sadly) just turn on the autopilot shortly after takeoff and keep it coupled until just moments prior to landing. The technology is certainly out there and yes, it's scary to consider its implications but I don't think that Jetstream poses much of a threat.
Much of the savings for going pilotless, aside from the obvious pilot costs are life support and human factors systems. With the "looming pilot shortage," the Jetstream test demonstrates a likely mid-phase solution and that is ground control with a pilot on board. It isn't "pilotless" - so its not scary to the pax.

It is, however, a threat to the piloting profession.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #10  
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Where is my flying car and robot maid they promised 50 years ago?
JetBlast - search thread titles for UAV or Unmanned and you'll find lots of mature threads where this idea has been discussed in detail.
We've been hearing about the "aerospace plane" since I was a kid. New York to Tokyo in 2 hours, etc. The problem was not metallurgy, but instead the tech to make it work, primarily figuring out how to light the scramjet at high mach speeds. We cleared that hurdle about 3.5 years ago, but in the intervening time, the plane went from being piloted to pilotless.
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