Unmanned Commercial Flights: How far is Pilot-less Aircraft Technology?


Unmanned Commercial Flights: How far is Pilot-less Aircraft Technology?

The aviation industry is at the forefront of implementing pilotless aircraft technology to reduce costs. The move is in the final stages, but there are still issues like unemployment and the accidents caused by hackers. The industry has to address before the execution. 

Are Politless Aircrafts Any Close?

The push towards the use of commercial pilotless aircraft technology has been there for years now. Most companies are now using pilotless drones, which are commonly known as Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The use of drones with airship platforms, rotary wings, and fixed wings is less costly compared to operating helicopters and other aircraft that have pilots. Also, the effectiveness shown by the use of drones has triggered the development of pilotless airplanes. The move towards pilotless commercial airplanes is underway and in the final stages of implementation. 

The Technology of Unmanned Aircrafts

The advancement in technology has always triggered the push for pilotless aircraft. Companies operating commercial planes are now moving towards incorporating technology into the airplanes. The utilization of tech in the aircraft is believed to be a safety measure. For instance, one such aircraft was tested in New York in 2019. The flight had a well-developed cockpit that enabled it to fly without a pilot. This test was evidence of the move towards the use of pilotless aircraft in commercial airlines as the FAA approved it. Also, the test was per Aurora Flight Sciences, tasked with overseeing the implementation of the unmanned aircraft in the commercial airfield. 

Safety of the Unmanned Aircrafts

The airport industry is incorporating technology in the operation of aircraft with the use of advanced switches and sensors. These sensors give an alert if there is any impending hazard resulting from failure in flight control and fluid management. This technological move is working towards minimizing errors caused by humans. The aviation industry believes that automation through the use of artificial intelligence is a move that eradicates human pilots since the sensors are reliable and ensure the safety of commercial airlines. The success of the autopilot tests carried out by Airbus on A350-1000 in 2019 is clear evidence of the possibility of taking off without the help of human pilots in the aviation industry. The take-off was made possible by the replacement of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) with recognition technology fitted on the planes. Therefore, the shift towards pilotless aircraft technology is on the final stages, although there are still some hindrances that hinder the implementation. 

Dangers of Pilotless Aircraft Technology

The use of pilotless airplanes is a danger to humans as it leads to unemployment. Although full automation is a prime example of an advancement in the aviation industry, it renders jobless thousands of aviation industry employees, and this is making it hard for its implementation. The labor unions that support aviators are contributing to political lobbying activities to curb the execution of the pilotless program. Also, pilotless technology is dangerous because the presence of codes will only attract attacks by hackers. Any software malfunction caused by hackers will cause the failure of the entire airplane system; thus, leading to fatal accidents. These hindrances are delaying the implementation of the pilotless aircraft technology.  

In conclusion, the execution of pilotless commercial aircraft is ongoing, and it is in the final stages. The industry has seen some successful tests done in New York and by Airbus in France. Also, the evidence of the successful operation of the airplanes without human help is by the use of drones. However, the unemployment and safety of passengers are some of the essential points hindering the implementation of the technology.  

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Published on: 15 Apr 2020

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