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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An Unmanned Aircraft Flies Over the UK

How would you feel about riding in a plane without an actual pilot in the cockpit? I mean, there would be a pilot but he'd probably be on the ground - possibly in his pjs, sipping tea and eating scones (well, maybe).

A 16-seat plane was the first to fly across the UK last month from Lancashire to Inverness, according to the BBC. There were no passengers but the craft did share airspace with commercial planes.

They did cheat a bit too with this plane - called the Flying Testbed - since they did have an on-board pilot do the take off and landing. But then someone on the ground handled the rest while the robotics on board avoided any hazards.

(an example of an unmanned plane - or so says Yahoo)

These Unmanned aerial vehicles have been around for a while. The first attempt was in 1916, according to Wiki. Instead of commercial, they seem to mainly be military aircraft (which, honestly, doesn't make me feel much better about them flying overhead).

It's all pretty cool - but - considering how nervous folks are already about flying, I'm not sure this will gain in popularity any time soon. I'd give it a few decades or so, maybe once we have unmanned cars too (which actually is pretty well on its way - with some estimates of mainstream arrival of unmanned cars in 2020 - there's even a summit about driverless cars coming up in June in Detroit).


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