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Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

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Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Kikapu » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:18 am

I was reading a recent article about possible pilotless commercial flights in the future, say in about 30-40 years. It wasn't a question of technology being advanced enough of taking over from a pilot(s) in the future to carry out such tasks as the cases are with military drones without pilots, but was more to do with whether anyone would fly on a plane that did not have a pilot sitting in the front. If the flight can be totally automated, then why wouldn't anyone fly, specially if just one technical expert without pilot training was on board with his iPad that he/she can monitor what's going on on the flight deck from anywhere on the plane. It will solve any "Human factor" crashes for one, which is often the case with air crashes than crashes based on technical or mechanical factors. What problems do you see without having pilots on flights?
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby kurupetos » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:14 pm

What happens if the connection between pilot and plane is lost? :lol:
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Kikapu » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:40 pm

kurupetos wrote:What happens if the connection between pilot and plane is lost? :lol:


What pilot? The aircraft would be fully automated to taxi, take off, fly, and land with satellite guidance system updating the aircraft with the ground control. We send rockets to distant planets months and years at a time mostly controlled from the ground here on Earth.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby kurupetos » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:18 pm

Kikapu wrote:
kurupetos wrote:What happens if the connection between pilot and plane is lost? :lol:


What pilot? The aircraft would be fully automated to taxi, take off, fly, and land with satellite guidance system updating the aircraft with the ground control. We send rockets to distant planets months and years at a time mostly controlled from the ground here on Earth.

I mean between the pilot (or whatever automated system) in the control center at ground and the plane. What happens then?

Also what happens if the system is hacked?
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Kikapu » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:28 pm

kurupetos wrote:
Kikapu wrote:
kurupetos wrote:What happens if the connection between pilot and plane is lost? :lol:


What pilot? The aircraft would be fully automated to taxi, take off, fly, and land with satellite guidance system updating the aircraft with the ground control. We send rockets to distant planets months and years at a time mostly controlled from the ground here on Earth.

I mean between the pilot (or whatever automated system) in the control center at ground and the plane. What happens then?

Also what happens if the system is hacked?


System being hacked will be more of a concern than needing a pilot in the cockpit for emergency with advanced computers in the next 30-40 years. Besides, there will be someone on the plane with technical expertise to fix should there be any problems. Multiple level of anti hacking security will need to be in place, of course.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Get Real! » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:32 pm

I feel exactly the opposite. I have more faith in well written software than humans.

I dread that one day I *may* have to board a plane again and some idiot will be behind the controls, knowing that most humans are stupid by default and there’s not enough education on this planet that can change their state.

No doubt when software controlled planes come to pass there will be countless test runs conducted… with and without cargo, and in all weather and conditions, and in a whole bunch of other scenarios so as to fine-tune the software to perfection.

…but can you fine-tune a human pilot to perfection? :roll:

Far from it... humans are just emotional wrecks.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Paphitis » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:40 pm

The technology already exists. The military use pilotless drones all the time.

The same technology can easily be transferable to airliners, but the flying public will not trust it for a very long time.

it's at least 50 years away.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Robin Hood » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:16 pm

Paphitis wrote:The technology already exists. The military use pilotless drones all the time.

The same technology can easily be transferable to airliners, but the flying public will not trust it for a very long time.

it's at least 50 years away.


We appear to agree on something .... things are looking up! :roll:

Correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, the technology is already in the current generation of passenger aircraft and has been for sometime but is not activated ...... didn't Lufthansa(?) have the system removed by Boeing when they recently bought several new aircraft?

I understand there are three independent computers that control an aircraft, the pilot just inputs data from the flight controls. It is the computers that fly the aeroplane. It is a two-out-of-three voting system and each computer has software written by three separate groups,

Personally ..... I would rather a pilot up front ..... rather than some joy-stick jockey in a room several thousand miles away ..... who could just be having a bad-day when things go wrong! :roll:
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Paphitis » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:20 pm

Robin Hood wrote:
Paphitis wrote:The technology already exists. The military use pilotless drones all the time.

The same technology can easily be transferable to airliners, but the flying public will not trust it for a very long time.

it's at least 50 years away.


We appear to agree on something .... things are looking up! :roll:

Correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, the technology is already in the current generation of passenger aircraft and has been for sometime but is not activated ...... didn't Lufthansa(?) have the system removed by Boeing when they recently bought several new aircraft?

I understand there are three independent computers that control an aircraft, the pilot just inputs data from the flight controls. It is the computers that fly the aeroplane. It is a two-out-of-three voting system and each computer has software written by three separate groups,

Personally ..... I would rather a pilot up front ..... rather than some joy-stick jockey in a room several thousand miles away ..... who could just be having a bad-day when things go wrong! :roll:


No, Boeing and Airbus are not building arliners that can be piloted from a Ground Station.

The Authorities will never certify such types or let them fly under ANY circumstances.

But Boeing are making pilotless drones which can be controlled from a Ground Station on the other side of the globe. These are for military use.

ICAO and National Regulatory bodies like the FAA, CAA, CASA, EASA etc do not have legislation in place to deal with it and won't issue Airworthiness Operator Certificates.

Boeing wouldn't install such systems into an aircraft, and Lufthansa wouldn't be game to fly such an aircraft without an AoC.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Planes/Flights..

Postby Paphitis » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:54 pm

Oh yeh and yes.

You're talking about the Flight Management Computer. The FMC must have a current Data Base with all validated Instrument Approaches and waypoints.

Pilots enter a serious of coordinates or waypoints otherwise known as a flight plan. Most of the time, this is a pre-determined air route which you just select. Takes about 20 seconds. Pilots are however required to read out all waypoints and coordinates before accepting the flight plan.

Pilots however must perform the take off in case of a rejected take off prior to V1 decision. Then Rotate and V2. You can't activate the flight plan if you are being Radar Vectored but you can activate Standard Instrument Departures. Then the FMC flies the SID, then flies the Flight Plan, executes a Standard Arrival STAR, and Instrument Approach and descent and is capable of landing under certain conditions.

However pilots must take over at the Minimum Descent Altitude or Decision Altitude if VFR is not achieved to execute a missed approach. If VFR is achieved, the FMC can actually land the aircraft on a CAT111b Instrument Landing Approach. It will flare and even retard the thrust levers but won't engage the reverse thrust. Pilots hands are always on the controls and thrust levers no matter what.

And some companies will not allow Autoland at all despite a CAT111b ILS

The FMC can not be manipulated from the ground. Not on airliners anyway.

Drones probably have something similar to an FMC which can be manipulated from a ground station.
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