DailyDirt: Robotic Planes... Seriously, And Don't Call Me Shirley.
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Human pilots get tired and need sleep -- and some airline pilots get some rest at "crash pads" when they're off duty. Knowing that might not be too comforting to many passengers, but who's willing to let a robot fly a few hundred people around? Autonomous planes are getting more advanced all the time, though mostly for unmanned missions with aircraft that couldn't possibly carry people on board. Maybe someday we'll have autonomous Jetson-cars... in the meantime, here are a few links to some interesting UAVs and flight automation.
- Northrop Grumman's X-47B is an autonomous combat aircraft that aims to be launching from and landing on aircraft carriers in a few years. Another trick will be aerial refueling, eliminating the limitation of onboard fuel capacity. [url]
- Would you believe the CIA developed a dragonfly robot in the 1970s as a super-secret intelligence gathering tool? Would you believe they also developed mobile phones hidden in shoes? Robotic fish? Cone of silence? [url]
- Last year, a solar-powered plane broke all the non-stop endurance records by flying for a week -- and it could have stayed up indefinitely. Cheap solar planes to replace telecommunication satellites would be a nice next step. [url]
- The safety of flight automation is being studied -- finding out that both human error and automation errors can cause serious problems. Nobody's perfect. [url]
- To discover more cool sites about aviation, check out what's currently flying around StumbleUpon. [url]