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Unpiloted Passenger Jet Tests 243

spacepingu writes "The UK military recently tested a remote-controlled passenger jet over south-west England. Although the pilot was sitting in the back of the aging BAC 1-11, he controlled it entirely using the 'UAV Command and Control Interface (UAVCCI)'. This also allowed him to operate several virtual UAVs in a simulated attack scenario. The ultimate goal is for a fighter pilot to control a swarm of attack UAVs alongside his own plane. Next March, a Tornado fighter pilot will use the UAVCCI to fly the unpiloted BAC1-11 as well as several simulated UAVs, all from the cockpit of his own jet."
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Unpiloted Passenger Jet Tests

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  • by witte ( 681163 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:12PM (#17034752)
    Ender's game = prior art ? :)
  • The cockpit of the future will have a button to fly the airplane, the pilot, and a dog. The pilot is there to feed the dog and the dog is there to bite the pilot in case he reaches for the button.
  • I've often joked about people who make huge radio-control aircraft just getting in and flying them, but somehow I didn't expect they'd put guns on them. Silly me.
    • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:29PM (#17035056) Homepage Journal
      but somehow I didn't expect they'd put guns on them. Silly me.

      Obviously you hang out with a different kind of R/C geeks than I do.

      I've seen a lot of planes that are built with an extra servo for use as a bomb release (also good for clicking the shutter of a camera). And I know some guys that tried to put CO2-powered BB cannons [ircwcc.org] on R/C aircraft, but they ended up just being too hard to use and too heavy to be practical. The gas systems required limit them to rather large aircraft and helis, the vibration causes them to jam a lot, and the obvious safety issues keep you from flying them in most places. Plus unless you have full-auto guns (they do exist) you can't do a whole lot with them, even in ground attack or against targets.

      However, they're pretty cool when mounted on balsa-wood ships [ausbg.org]...
      • Well, to be honest, I tried to build an R/C with a full-auto bb gun in it. It did not work at all. So my friends and I went to doing ship-to-ship battles. Too bad: it would've been great to do real dogfighting. (Or, as I dreamed in my nefarious moments, be a sky pirate and fly the plane into an R/C park, shooting down other planes, and then make my escape.)
        • We used to have RC glider dogfights - no weapons, just ram the other guy out of the sky without killing yourself. Good times!
          • That's awesome. That's the coolest thing I've read in a while. Next time I fly gliders with someone else...
            • If you have a club that you fly with, get together and make a bunch of foam core wings + bodies. Cover them in packing tape, put in the (cheap!) radios. Get them flying, and try to wack each other down. Last one flying wins.

              In our contest, any repairs you could make with duct tape were allowed. We flew on a ridge, using the updraft of wind blowing up the mountain - more fun than legally allowed!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glesga_kiss ( 596639 )

      Of course they put guns on them. Adding explosive chemicals is a sure way to get funding!

      Personally, I think this is one of the more disturbing elements of the 21st century. The only thing that stops us western powers invading the next oil-rich country is the fact that body-bags equals votes for your opposition. If you can fight a war where no people* die, then fighting war just became politically cheaper.

      *People as in the "there are only 3000 deaths in Iraq" form of the word. You know, the racist "our

      • War becomes cheaper, but the law of unintended consequences suggests that if group A has no chance of fighting group B in a formal war (because they don't have killer death robots) group A will instead use non-formal war, aka terrorism.

        So, yeah, I entirely agree with you. It's a really bad idea, but I don't think it's avoidable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

        If you can fight a war where no people* die, then fighting war just became politically cheaper.

        *People as in the "there are only 3000 deaths in Iraq" form of the word.

        From Starship Troopers: There are a dozen different ways of delivering destruction in impersonal wholesale, via ships or missiles of one sort or another, catastrophes so widespread, so unselective that the war is over because that nation or planet has ceased to exist. What we do is entirely different. We make war as personal as a punch in the

        • by Fred_A ( 10934 )
          Show me a remote controlled machine that can "go down and kill or capture all left-handed redheads in a particular area" and I'll be impressed.
          One with a colour camera ?
      • We'll have a casualty-free war about the same time we get our flying cars and paperless society. They're pipe dreams of the wannabe visionaries who have lost touch with reality.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pilgrim23 ( 716938 )
      I recall a Nova PBS program about a pilotless plane. It shows a jetliner plowing into a forest but then a computer was flying it...
      Honestly though. a jet pilot, in the fur-ball of combat, not only flying HIS craft but controlling pilotless drones alongside? That is crazy!. Combat already uses 110% of the pilot's concentration, adding an aditional plane(s) to his work load will tip him to overload. The enmey need not worry; the pilot will probably run into his own..
      • On the other hand, if the other aircraft were mostly slaved to the pilot's aircraft and would faithfully follow him around and participate automatically, but he has the option to control them when he has time, could be very very useful (and has been the subject of countless up-scrolling and side-scrolling shooter games. Gotta get the bit! Or the option for you Konami fans.)
  • I wonder if any of these pilots can rub their stomach and pat their head at the same time too.
  • Hijacker hackers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arniebuteft ( 1032530 ) <buteft@gmail.cCOUGARom minus cat> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:14PM (#17034802)
    So, in the future, someone can hack your passenger flight and take control of it remotely? Hope they stock clean underwear along with the barf bags on these flights.
  • I hope they are also unpassengered.
  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) * on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:16PM (#17034836) Homepage
    Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder. If the pilot can't be personally threatened, and isn't directly faced with passengers being threatened*, it would be easier for "don't go along" training to be effective.

    *Does anyone have a link to that study where people were asked to press a button to "electrocute" other people, and how many were willing to do it as long as they were told by an authority figure it was ok? Were there also results regarding whether or not the subject could see the person being "electrocuted?"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Here ya go:
      Milgram Experiment [wikipedia.org]
      YA article... [findarticles.com]
      • At the risk of going off-topic, the Milgram Experiment seems to me more like an exercise in "let's assume that people are terminally stupid and gullible, and base a whole experiment and its conclusion on that unproven assumption."

        What's wrong with it?

        - When the range of "punishments" is as stupidly large as 450V, which is _far_ into the lethal range, few people would assume this to be anything but a bulshitting experiment. Everyone knows that 110V can be deadly, and 220V usually _is_ deadly, by simple virtu
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jon Luckey ( 7563 )
          When the range of "punishments" is as stupidly large as 450V, which is _far_ into the lethal range

          Just for future reference, its current that's deadly, not voltage. For example you get zapped by way more than 450 volts from a static spark like you get from scuffing your feet on some carpet.
          • True, but only to some extent, and only in some warped way of splitting hairs.

            1. Either when you're getting an extremely short pulse from a spark, or when you're connected to thick wires and with your arms on metal plates (as in at least one version of the experiment), then U = I * R, or I = U / R. There's a direct and linear proportionality between the two, so "it's current that kills" vs "it's voltage that kills" is just splitting hairs.

            2. In practice, neither kills you as such. In practice you need both
    • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:24PM (#17034988) Homepage Journal
      Does anyone have a link to that study where people were asked to press a button to "electrocute" other people, and how many were willing to do it as long as they were told by an authority figure it was ok? Were there also results regarding whether or not the subject could see the person being "electrocuted?"

      No, but that's one of the best episodes of the original Twilight Zone... guy going around door-to-door, with a mysterious box and a dilemma: will you, miss, push the button, with the understanding that someone you don't know will die? She struggles through the idea until she gives in to her curiosity. Nothing appears to happen. Then he packs it up, and assures her that he's off to see someone else, someone who doesn't know her.


      • Does anyone have a link to that study where people were asked to press a button to "electrocute" other people, and how many were willing to do it as long as they were told by an authority figure it was ok?

        I saw that experiment conducted on youtube. Turns out the cops will push the button [slashdot.org] at least 5 times.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slashjames ( 789070 )
      It's actually easier to crash/hijack a plane that's flown through radio controls than one flown by a pilot. If it's radio controlled, you just have to build a bigger transmitter and aim it at the plane (from a safe distance). At least with a pilot flying it they have to force their way into the cockpit. After September 11, no passengers on the plane will allow the latter to happen.
      • That's an excellent point...and I hadn't thought of it.

        I imagine you could design the control protocol such that it would be arbitrarily difficult for an unauthorized person to fly the plane, but I can't think of an obvious way to prevent someone from preventing you from flying it.

        Here's hoping somone mods you up for this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Uh, easy way to avoid that - encrypted, frequency hopping control transmissions. We have moved on considerably since the days of basic wide range analogue radio where having a more powerful transmitter won.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DerekLyons ( 302214 )

        It's actually easier to crash/hijack a plane that's flown through radio controls than one flown by a pilot. If it's radio controlled, you just have to build a bigger transmitter and aim it at the plane (from a safe distance).

        No, building a bigger transmitter won't do it. (I.E. as usual, the people who do things for a living have, unsurprisingly, actually thought about these issues - they actually do know more than the average Slashdot poster.)

        It's easy to put an encoding scheme in place that has t

    • Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder. If the pilot can't be personally threatened, and isn't directly faced with passengers being threatened*, it would be easier for "don't go along" training to be effective.

      I don't think so.

      While the *people on board* are powerless to give in to a hijackers, all the hijackers would have to do instead is radio some ATC station and tell *t
      • But my point was that it's easier to make cold decisions when you're not faced with the immediacy of people being threatened. Human nature means it's harder to say "those are acceptable losses" when you can see the people you're writing off; it's much easier to say "those are acceptable losses" when you're talking about people you can't see, don't know, and will never meet.

        Regardless, as another poster replied to me, while it might be harder from a personal interaction standpoint to hijack a remote-control
      • While the *people on board* are powerless to give in to a hijackers, all the hijackers would have to do instead is radio some ATC station and tell *them* they'll start killing passengers unless the real pilot redirects the plane.

        They could take it a step farther than that: the hijackers could kidnap people from a bus, or standing in line at McDonald's, or some other place without security at all, and then call up ATC and tell them to land the plane in Beirut or whatever.

      • While the *people on board* are powerless to give in to a hijackers, all the hijackers would have to do instead is radio some ATC station and tell *them* they'll start killing passengers unless the real pilot redirects the plane.

        At which point the ATC station apologizes that they aren't authorized to negotiate with terrorists and tell them they will contact the people that do. At which point, they notify Homeland security who in turn orders an F22 already in flight to prepare its air to air missiles for lau
    • Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder.

      You mean easier, since the ground control transmitter can be overpowered if you know the appropriate frequencies and encryption codes? No need to even be on board the plane to turn it into a missile.

      -b.

    • by kabocox ( 199019 )
      Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder. If the pilot can't be personally threatened, and isn't directly faced with passengers being threatened*, it would be easier for "don't go along" training to be effective.

      I read your idea. The first thing that popped into my mind is having an airport command station with 20-30 pilots flying planes. Why try to hi-jack a plane as a weapo
    • Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder.

      It's even easier than that - have an "Emergency Land" button. At the first whiff of trouble, the pilot, behind his hardened door, presses a button that completely removes human input from the process. The flight computers land at the nearest suitable airfield, and there's no giant missile problem.

      If the Navy can land a plane on a mov
    • Not that I see this coming to commercial flights any time soon (if ever), but: having the pilot not actually on the plane would make airplane hijacking a hell of a lot harder. If the pilot can't be personally threatened, and isn't directly faced with passengers being threatened*, it would be easier for "don't go along" training to be effective.

      What most people don't realize is that the commercial airliners have had auto-pilot and auto-land for years. (yes, auto-land) Pilots use the auto-land about 1/2 of th
  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:19PM (#17034892)
    Machine over man, Spock?
    It was impressive.
    It might even be practical.
    Practical, Captain?
    Perhaps ...
    but not desirable.
    Computers make excellent and efficient servants,
    but I have no wish to serve under them.
    Captain ...
    the starship also runs on loyalty ...
    to one man,
    and nothing can replace it or him.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:21PM (#17034932)
    But I want my pilot to go down in flames with me.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:22PM (#17034944) Homepage Journal
    I want my pilots to take the same risks I take while flying in their plane.

    I want those risks to be as low as possible. We should put these drone navigation/steering controls into planes with pilots. Let the pilots steer for 15 minutes an hour, to keep them engaged. Let them analyze the air traffic data, with visual confirmations, for their airspace, shared with each other and on the ground. Keep all the telemetry streamed to the global network in realtime, instead of trapped in mysterious black boxes on the endangered planes. Put their bodies on the line, and their minds to work on keeping everyone safe.

    We can use these automations and networks to completely revolutionize air safety. From accidents, collisions, hijackings, onboard sickness and other other incidents. Don't just put pilots out of work: make the investments in the crew return many times more, with more effective use of their skills and motivations.

    "The Bravery of Being Out of Range" [rogerwatersonline.com] by Roger Waters
    You have a natural tendency
    To squeeze off a shot
    You're good fun at parties
    You wear the right masks
    You're old but you still
    Like a laugh in the locker room
    You can't abide change
    You're at home an the range
    You opened your suitcase
    Behind the old workings
    To show off the magnum
    You deafened the canyon
    A comfort a friend
    Only upstaged in the end
    By the Uzi machine gun
    Does the recoil remind you
    Remind you of sex
    Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
    Old timer who you gonna kill next
    I looked over Jordan and what did I see
    Saw a U.S. Marine in a pile of debris
    I swam in your pools
    And lay under your palm trees
    I looked in the eyes of the Indian
    Who lay on the Federal Building steps
    And through the range finder over the hill
    I saw the frontline boys popping their pills
    Sick of the mess they find
    On their desert stage
    And the bravery of being out of range
    Yeah the question is vexed
    Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
    Old timer who you gonna kill next
    Hey bartender over here
    Two more shots
    And two more beers
    Sir turn up the TV sound
    The war has started on the ground
    Just love those laser guided bombs
    They're really great
    For righting wrongs
    You hit the target
    And win the game
    From bars 3,000 miles away
    3,000 miles away
    We play the game
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We zap and maim
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We strafe the train
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We gained terrain
    With the bravery of being out of range
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We play the game
    With the bravery of being out of range
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 )
      We should put these drone navigation/steering controls into planes with pilots. Let the pilots steer for 15 minutes an hour, to keep them engaged. Let them analyze the air traffic data, with visual confirmations, for their airspace, shared with each other and on the ground. Keep all the telemetry streamed to the global network in realtime, instead of trapped in mysterious black boxes on the endangered planes. Put their bodies on the line, and their minds to work on keeping everyone safe.

      Larger planes are

      • Oh, I believe it [slashdot.org]. I just want more, without the less.
      • Believe it or not, most commercial flights are already 95% done on autopilot

        hardly surprising, big sky,small planes, large clearances between planes giving plenty of ability to move out of the way and noone trying to shoot you down. All you have to do is keep the plane stable, follow waypoints and move out of the way if anything else comes too close.

        takeoff and landing is somewhat trickier (its done a lot because it can land safely in thick fog, thus reducing diverts) and i belive requires special ground eq
  • No way in hell I'll get on one of these unless there is a pilot there to take control if something goes wrong. As a business traveler with over a million miles in the sky, I like knowing that there are humans in the front hearing and feeling everything that is going on.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oldwindways ( 934421 )
      People are going to be understandably resistant to unmanned passenger flights. That being said, if this type of technology is cheap enough and has an acceptable degree of proven safety, companies like UPS and FedEx will not wait long to convert all their cargo flight. Pilots are an expensive resource, and with the unions, I doubt passenger airlines will wait long to jump on the bandwagon.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 )
      No way in hell I'll get on one of these unless there is a pilot there to take control if something goes wrong. As a business traveler with over a million miles in the sky, I like knowing that there are humans in the front hearing and feeling everything that is going on.

      Computers can sometimes route around trouble. But only trouble that they're designed for and that can be forseen by their human designers.

      Case in point, United Flight 232. In 1989, over Iowa, a United DC-10's rear engine failed catastro

      • Yet the pilots brought the plane down to a controlled crash and I think half of the passengers survived due to the flight engineer steering the plane with the throttles alone (actually, the pilots dictated to the engineer what they needed done by moving their [inoperative] control yokes). An amazing case of human cooperation saving quite a few lives.

        Especially since I don't believe any pilot has repeated the feat in simulation.
  • The idea of unmanned commercial flights is just ridiculous. No one knows more about what's going on in an airplane than a pilot sitting in the passenger's seat. No amount of sensors or cameras is going to let someone remotely know what's going on.

    Most flights today are pretty much done by just button pushing. Most FMS in aircraft enable the pilots to just enter the flight and the airplane basically flies itself. If you get an amended clearance from ATC, you just change the flight plan and let it fly the
    • by Gospodin ( 547743 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:42PM (#17035288)
      No one knows more about what's going on in an airplane than a pilot sitting in the passenger's seat.

      What about a pilot sitting in the pilot's seat?

      • by mirio ( 225059 )
        Oh if only Slashdot would let users edit posts. :-)
    • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:47PM (#17035364) Homepage Journal
      Unpiloted passenger aircraft are certainly a bad idea, but I could see a place for it. Think about cargo aircraft, particularly ones on trans-oceanic routes. You could build whole fleets of very inexpensive cargo carriers, because you wouldn't have to have a flight deck or windows, or run all of the control lines up to the front of the plane (all those miles of wiring); the computer "flying" the plane doesn't even all have to be in one spot, it could be in semi-independent pieces throughout the airframe. That means the only limitations to the design are technical and aerodynamic.

      Such a plane could fly low and slow to save fuel, because it wouldn't have to worry about pilots or passengers getting tired. And if the plane started to deviate course and fly towards a populated area, you'd shoot it down or self-destruct it up while it's still somewhere safe, just like a Range Safety Officer does for satellite/rocket launches.

      The lower cost of these flights could bring air cargo to parts of the world where it's currently not economically feasible (basically anyplace outside the First World or its major manufacturing centers), or bring goods that currently aren't economical to ship by air. Anything that lowers the cost of transportation can have wide-ranging effects.

      I think there's a definite market for self-piloted aircraft for cargo duty, on long-haul flights over unpopulated areas.
      • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:54PM (#17035492)
        Such a plane could fly low and slow to save fuel, because it wouldn't have to worry about pilots or passengers getting tired.

        Sort of like an Ekranoplan [wikipedia.org]? Cool idea - you can get a lot of lifting capacity with less fuel usage. The only problem is more vulnerability to weather effects than current high-level jets, but I could still see a use in situations that aren't extremely time sensitive - if the weather's bad today, they'll simply fly tomorrow or route around trouble spots. Still probably faster than a 6-day ocean crossing by cargo ship.

        -b.

  • This is actually a tiny bit different from current UAV/UCAVs. In those, you have someone on the ground controlling a plane in the air, while here, they're talking about a pilot flying not only his own jet, but several others as well. It's a bit easier to secure a short range link than a long-range one, especially when your "wingmen" will stay in relative tight formation. (I suppose it's a current compromise between the fighter jock who wants to pull G's vs. sitting in an office chair.)

    It's a nice transitio
  • by 3.5 stripes ( 578410 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:29PM (#17035064)
    But how do you control multiple vehicles moving at supersonic speeds in 3 dimensional space? I realize that most fighter pilots have things like g-forces to deal with, but even without that, there's a lot to think about in terms of movement, relation of your plane to target/other planes/other incidental objects..

    Just seems like some serious overload to me.

  • If the pilot plane get shot down, does all the other wing planes crash too? Or does the wing planes go into auto pilot mode to cruise along until someone can override, shoot down or let them run out of fuel? What if the plane doesn't want to give up control by disabling the self-destruct? Inquiring minds want to know...
    • what if all of these drones are robotic and networked together? A common, collective AI drives the entire "swarm" as if they were a single unit. A few get shot down, no big deal, the remaining "network" of drones simply adapts and keeps fighting.

      In other words, a single adaptive AI controlling multiple networked drones. That would be a difficult force to stop.

      Pity they don't still have BattleBots...I'd love to see someone try that.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        If Microsoft gets the contract, a blue screen, virus infection or service pack should take out the AI. :P
  • FTA (Score:4, Funny)

    by zero1101 ( 444838 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:32PM (#17035114) Homepage
    This makes each of the UAVs semi-autonomous: they fly straight and level on their own and can be given simple orders using a point-and-click interface on what Williams calls "a simple, flat, moving map".

    and later...

    The remote pilot has pushbutton commands for each UAV, telling it to loiter, undertake a search pattern, or attack a target," Williams explains.

    If this is the kind of game we're playing, we have NO chance against the Koreans.

    Poll: was that the best Starcraft joke I could have chosen? What other jokes could I have used?
  • In other words, the pilot-in-command in on the aircraft and in full control. However, should he and the flight crew become dis-abled (say, due to hijacking), ground control can take over the aircraft. This can either be based upon the pilot signaling ground control, or ground control noticing that the aircraft has deviated significantly from it's flight plan (and say, heading straight for a building).

    Not to take over for the pilot, but I can see it's potential as a safety.
  • So, that's the goal for a fighter pilot! I always wondered.
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @12:56PM (#17035538) Homepage Journal
    This'll work so long as there's a stewardess to keep the automatic pilot "inflated." [wikipedia.org]
  • So, let me see...

    If someone shoots one plane down, they get credit for shooting down 6 or more? Wow! What a great way to ensure victory!

    Call me narrow-minded but when a pilot gets busy when things are going wrong, he's not going to have a lot of time to control anything but what he's sitting in, right?
  • Unpiloted isn't the same as remotely-piloted.

    I blame television.
  • Oh wait... nobody watched Stealth. Carry on.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:17PM (#17035882)
    I want to welcome you to the first ever Atantic flight without an actual pilot. Please do not be allarmed. We have taken every precaution to make this experience the smoothest and the safest in the history of aviation.

    There will be absolutely nothing that can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong at can go wrong ...
  • Well, we have the simulator, now we just need the aliens and and a six year old prodigy.
  • by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:32PM (#17036110)
    ... is such that if this thing had augured-in the headlines would still read "Jetliner Crashes. No Survivors."
  • What the hell does a PASSENGER jet have to have a swarm of attack UAVs for?

    Oh, wait. The original article had NOTHING TO DO with PASSENGER jets. This is military technology folks, not something you're going to see on the next Boeing or Airbus being flown out of Heathrow.
  • by Asrynachs ( 1000570 ) on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @01:49PM (#17036360)
    I always had some comfort knowing that if I was in a plane crash the pilot would be killed along with everybody else. I imagine it would make a good point of conversation with the other screaming passengers. J'know I could turn to the guy next to me and say 'Well at least the pilot is dieing with us' but then he'd say 'Yeah, but think about it this way. He's probably got insurance, his family will get a big payoff for his incompetance while we're all totally frigging screwed here' Then I'd probably think for a minute and say 'Well okay, how bout this. Let's storm the cockpit and force the pilot into a parachute and throw him off the plane so he'll survive to get fired' then the guy would say 'well that wouldn't really work either, he'll just claim he went out to get help. He'll be hailed as a hero, and he'll probably recieve some great reward for that'. Then I'd probably say 'Okay, what if.. WE took the parachutes, escaped the crashing plane and survived so we could tell everybody that the pilot was incompetant?' Then he'd say 'Once again, that wouldn't work. Historically speaking airplane crash survivors are the most hated out of all accident survivors. If we don't get flogged just on the virtue of our survival we'll probably be thrown in jail for trying to slander the pilot'. Then I'd say 'You know it's times like this I wish airplanes were remote controlled. If the pilot was back at the airport and we all died he'd get fired, and his life might be ruined because of that' Then he'd say 'Yes, that does seem like it would be some small comfort'
  • He wants M5 transported back to the 23rd century, on the double.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

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