So will we ever get used to climbing aboard our holiday flight to Cyprus or Greece and, instead of being greeted with a welcome from an upbeat and commanding captain, be met only with an automated message?
And those soothing words of reassurance in mid-air as the plane is buffeted through a nasty patch of turbulence?
They, too, could soon be a thing of the past. | News.com.au
X-47B UAV Completes a Carrier Takeoff - Popular Mechanics
These robots grow up so fast. It was just two years ago that personnel at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. escorted PopMech through the lab, describing how they were making the X-47B jet fighter-sized drone ready to take off and land from a carrier. Today, the unmanned naval demonstration aircraft launched from the deck of George H.W. Bush, zipped around the carrier a few times, and flew itself back to Pax River.Pilotless planes project begins test flights over Irish Sea | Business | guardian.co.uk
BAE Systems has taken a step closer to removing pilots from fighter jets by launching the first major test flights for a new generation of intelligent drone aircraft.Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) flying in civil airspace is inevitable | Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) News | Unmanned.co.uk
The defence group is assessing software for unmanned aircraft that will operate with an unprecedented level of independence. Defence experts believe pilotless planes are the next progression from manned fighters such as the Typhoon jet, made by BAE.
The project, named Astraea, differs from the current drone models in use in Afghanistan, which are flown remotely by pilots on the ground. Instead the prototypes will follow a set of programmed instructions, with the aim that they could fly difficult missions autonomously for days at a time.
Currently, unmanned aircraft in the U.S. can operate only in restricted airspace or through certificates of authorization (CoA) issued by the FAA to public agencies. A company that seeks to operate a UAS as part of a business must obtain a special airworthiness certificate-experimental category (SAC-EC). There are 285 active CoAs and 15 active SAC-ECs, according to the FAA. A proposed rulemaking governing the operation of small UAS–nominally 50 pounds or lighter–is anticipated by December, with a final rule following in mid-2013. In June, the FAA established an aviation rulemaking committee to consider larger unmanned aircraft.Related articles: