Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby HungryHobo » Wed May 15, 2013 9:02 am UTC

Angua gave 80% as the portion of problems that are caused by human error.
Approximately 80 percent of airplane accidents are due to human error (pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, etc.) and 20 percent are due to machine (equipment) failures.


Yes a computer is less likely to do the right thing when a terrorists is firing rockets at the plane while jamming all the local comms and a tornado has formed directly in the flight path and an EMP has just gone off beside the control tower.

The problem is that humans do the wrong things in mundane situations.

Just after take off there's an unexpected strong downdraft, the pilot overcompensates or does what would be the right thing in a small plane like the one in which he first trained but which is the exact wrong thing to do in a 747 and suddenly 400 people rapidly become terminally acquainted with the ground.

And the mundane situations vastly vastly vastly outnumber the extraordinary ones and after every extraordinary event you get to improve your autopilots so that they do the correct thing in future in that situation while the humans keep making mundane mistakes in mundane situations.

I've actually heard train drivers make the exact same sort of arguments I've seen in this thread, "but of course autopilots can fly a plane but a train is much different, a driver has to know.... yadda... balance, accidents, unexpected... yadda yadda" everyone thinks they're not replaceable, that no machine could do their job.
Last edited by HungryHobo on Wed May 15, 2013 12:06 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Angua » Wed May 15, 2013 9:55 am UTC

I'd just like to point out that when accidents currently are due to equipment failures (the 20%), that is presumably down to problems with the equipment that tells the pilot how the plane is, or problems with engines/landing gear. My concern is getting rid of a human completely would mean that any of those 20% of failures would now have to be noted by the computer (which might be more difficult as if it's a problem with the altometer a human can look out the window and see they're about to hit the ground, but the computer might not be able to do that) and then reacted too. This is also a problem with remote pilots as they'd have to also notice the problem, which might not be flagged up by the computer until it's too late.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Thesh » Wed May 15, 2013 10:38 am UTC

You can use redundant systems to mitigate this risk. Use three instruments and choose the consensus while logging the discrepancies.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Zamfir » Wed May 15, 2013 11:59 am UTC

Redundancy is not a magic bullet. Accidents are typically build ups of a series of errors, each leaving the system a tad more vulnerable. It's only reasonable that pilots who are at the spot, giving full attention to the craft, are somewhat better at noticing anomalies than a remote operator.

As yet, drones do drop from the sky for such reasons. Some things are off, the systems doesn't react well, end of machine. I am sure this will get better over time, by it is not as simple as adding some redundant instruments.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Chen » Wed May 15, 2013 12:44 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I'd just like to point out that when accidents currently are due to equipment failures (the 20%), that is presumably down to problems with the equipment that tells the pilot how the plane is, or problems with engines/landing gear. My concern is getting rid of a human completely would mean that any of those 20% of failures would now have to be noted by the computer (which might be more difficult as if it's a problem with the altometer a human can look out the window and see they're about to hit the ground, but the computer might not be able to do that) and then reacted too. This is also a problem with remote pilots as they'd have to also notice the problem, which might not be flagged up by the computer until it's too late.


While not directly related to pilotless aircraft, I'm pretty confident a lot of that 20% is due to maintenance errors which again come down to human factors. Most of the TV shows and wiki articles I've read where "Mechanical failuer" is the cause of the crash, it tends to be because of bad maintenance practices rather than poor design. Its very very rare your actual equipment/software is going to fail due to design flaw, in a manner that causes a crash (only one I can think of offhand was a rudder servo issue seen in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USAir_Flight_427).

On to fault detection, you'd be surprised how difficult it is for pilots to determine faults as well. Take http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroper%C3%BA_Flight_603 where the root cause of the crash was duct tape being left over the static pitot tubes after maintenance. It cause almost all the instrumentation to go haywire relaying incorrect speeds/altitudes etc. It was at night so visually the pilots could not determine where they were. I don't imagine a computer would work much better except for the one note on that page that mentions "The pilots, distracted by the conflicting warnings, did not notice the radar altimeter after passing through 2,500 feet, according to the accident report." This would NOT have been missed by a computer alone. Would it have saved the plane? Maybe not since all the other info it would use to automatically control the plane was faulty, but there is conceivably some "safe" condition to get to if you start getting warnings you're too close to the ground. And possibly time to start using other sensors as well if someone determined there was a single point failure that could cause catastrophic loss of all avionics data (i.e., start using the engine sensors as a backup if you're getting conflicting avionics readings, you'd at least get ambient pressure and temperature this way which you could use to determine altitude)

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Woopate » Thu May 16, 2013 1:10 am UTC

I believe they classify the majority of those as human errors already. They do not call it "pilot error" they call it "human error". Improper loading, poor maintenance decisions, ATC giving incorrect instruction could all still be factors in remotely piloted or autonomous craft. I'd expect a mechanical error to be a failure of a part that has failed since it was last examined, whereas a human error would be a mechanic writing the part off without properly fixing it.

EDIT: I'd also like to point out that the pitotstatic system is how you get ambient pressure. It uses a pitot tube which recieves dynamic pressure from the airflow, and a static port which is out of airflow to detirmine pressure. This system gives you airspeed using difference between the two, and altitude using the static source adjusted manually for current weather conditions. Interestingly, in a small craft, should your static port become blocked, you can just break the glass on your altimeter to get a secondary static source as a last resort (assuming analog instruments). In general, failures of this system are difficult to recover from, as airspeed is a crucial value that you cannot detirmine by looking out a window.

EDIT2: The reason the pitot tube is covered while groundside is to avoid dust and debris from causing a blockage(more dust, pebbles, grass, dirty fingers and bird poop at 0 feet AGL than 20,000), as this is such an important system and the backup plan is "don't screw it up in the first place". A second pitotstatic system could be installed and manually switched to I suppose, but if they forgot to take the sock off one, chances are good they'd miss both socks.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby ucim » Thu May 16, 2013 2:56 am UTC

sardia wrote:Let's take a example that is coming up now. Driverless cars....
Let's take a better example - driverless tandem tanker trucks filled with gasoline or FOOF. If a car crashes, a few people might die, and nobody except friends and family will notice. If an airliner crashes, hundreds of people die and it makes national headlines. A car won't be a terrorist target, an airliner might.

Like the internet, the hard part isn't doing the task, it is doing the task in the face of deliberate malice, and by going to a system where the pilots are on the other end of a comm-link, you are making it easy for malice to succeed.

Also, what Woopate said here.

The US Space Shuttle was marketed as a space truck. Space travel was going to be ordinary. The net result of that attitude was the loss of the attitude of excellence. It eventually led to the abandonment of manned space travel in that country. Management does not care to recognize the necessity of the attitude of excellence in air travel, and drones will make it easier for management to take more risks with people on the ground so they can send their packages. A side effect will be that greater and greater swaths of airspace will be off-limits to small human-piloted airplanes, which has implications for pilot training and personal freedom (if you value that).

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Adacore » Thu May 16, 2013 4:50 am UTC

Terrorism is ridiculously rare compared to accidents. By far the most common, and therefore most important, failure modes for vehicles - automated or otherwise - does not involve any malicious intent.

I agree that the hardest thing in implementing the system could well be integrating automated pilotless air traffic with conventional human-piloted traffic. A lot of the efficiency savings that become possible with automated vehicles only come into play once all (or almost all) vehicles are automated.

I do like the idea Airbus had of flying long-distance planes in flocks, once automated flight systems were sufficiently advanced. So you could have 20 planes take off from an airport in Asia flying to different airports in Europe, for example, but they'd fly in a V-formation for most of the way, saving a huge amount of fuel.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby ucim » Thu May 16, 2013 5:14 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Terrorism is ridiculously rare compared to accidents.
True. But it is not unheard of, and this just makes it much easier to accomplish. It's like painting a big bulls-eye.

Adacore wrote:I agree that the hardest thing in implementing the system could well be integrating automated pilotless air traffic with conventional human-piloted traffic. A lot of the efficiency savings that become possible with automated vehicles only come into play once all (or almost all) vehicles are automated.
Agree. I hope that never happens. There is a certain enjoyment people get out of flying their own airplanes, driving their own cars, sailing their own boats, and riding their own motorcycles. Enjoyment is ultimately the reason to be here in the first place. I would not want that to be taken away so that other people can be more efficient.

Adacore wrote:... 20 planes take off from an airport in Asia flying to different airports in Europe, for example, but they'd fly in a V-formation for most of the way, saving a huge amount of fuel.
I doubt they'd ultimately save much fuel. It means the aircraft would be flying a suboptimal route to catch the updraft from the other aircraft's wings. I suppose Airbus calculated that, but I'd need to see the numbers applied to other-than-optomistic scenarios before I'm convinced.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Woopate » Thu May 16, 2013 5:31 am UTC

I don't particularly think terrorism is a large concern for this discussion. The number of aviation related terrorist attacks are quite low compared to other acts of terrorism. The only really interesting problem is that if an exploit is found, dozens of active aircraft could be compromised all at once before the problem is patched(depending on what the details are of how the system works, etc. The potential for large numbers of targets is much greater using an electronic medium). And that could be absolutely horrific. That's really the only concern I see as far as terrorism goes.

Formation flying does save some fuel, but I don't know how it compares to flying optimal routes. On commercial flights, flight plans are carefully calculated for fuel efficiency, headings and altitudes are changed to accomodate weather systems that improve fuel as much as possible, within safety. If all the aircraft have a common departure point and destination, then there would be savings for certain. If you have 7 aircraft who depart from say Toronto, Montreal, and New York and meet over the Atlantic, have destinations (relatively) close together like Heathrow and Paris, you'd probably get quite a bit in savings.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby HungryHobo » Thu May 16, 2013 8:51 am UTC

ucim wrote:True. But it is not unheard of, and this just makes it much easier to accomplish. It's like painting a big bulls-eye.


The short version is: any terrorists with working brains have no shortage of targets.
They could blow the track just ahead of a high speed train and kill hundreds and there's nothing a driver could do about it and there's no way to guard that much track. Putting the passengers on rails and moving them at high speed it's like painting a big bulls-eye.hence... we shouldn't do high speed rail travel?

Adacore wrote:Agree. I hope that never happens. There is a certain enjoyment people get out of flying their own airplanes, driving their own cars, sailing their own boats, and riding their own motorcycles. Enjoyment is ultimately the reason to be here in the first place. I would not want that to be taken away so that other people can be more efficient.


people used to ride horses everywhere. people used to enjoy it. people still ride horses but they just aren't allowed to do it while blocking a 5 lane highway because everyone else would lose the efficiency gains of using cars instead of horses.

Your rich-kid hobby is less important than everyone elses standard of living.
You'll still be free to fly pleasure craft at your rich-kids airports and ride your motorcycle around private tracks and play with your little sailboat at a private marina.
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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Woopate » Thu May 16, 2013 9:05 am UTC

Too bad the poor don't get to fly as a form of employment(or enjoyment) though. Finding a job in the field is really the only way they can afford it. EDIT I'll even be so bold as to suggest that most pilots don't actually own a plane and could never afford to do so, doubly so when their services are no longer required. That's a lot of clipped wings and broken dreams. But dreams pay no bills.

/wistful

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 16, 2013 11:16 am UTC

The difference between airplanes and other forms of transit is where they go. Accidents on roadways and rail beds or at sea are away from habitation in most cases or are predictable in terms of the consequences. Which is why there are rules regarding what can be transported when or where. Planes have no fixed routes that they cannot veer from. It becomes a perceptual issue. Trains and cars can't fly into the side of 100 story buildings. Do I trust machines to fly over my head without human intervention. When the inevitable happens and a drone kills somebody on the ground by falling on them, what will the reaction be. Is there a perceptual difference between manned and unmanned aircraft?

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Chen » Thu May 16, 2013 12:18 pm UTC

Woopate wrote:I believe they classify the majority of those as human errors already. They do not call it "pilot error" they call it "human error". Improper loading, poor maintenance decisions, ATC giving incorrect instruction could all still be factors in remotely piloted or autonomous craft. I'd expect a mechanical error to be a failure of a part that has failed since it was last examined, whereas a human error would be a mechanic writing the part off without properly fixing it.


Wikipedia seems to be of two minds on the subject it seems. Sometimes they list the cause of mechanical failure even though the root cause was improper maintenance that lead to such failure. Other times mechanical failure is pure mechanical failure. I don't really have the time to dig through NTSB reports but I'm curious as to what the official definition is.

EDIT: I'd also like to point out that the pitotstatic system is how you get ambient pressure. It uses a pitot tube which recieves dynamic pressure from the airflow, and a static port which is out of airflow to detirmine pressure. This system gives you airspeed using difference between the two, and altitude using the static source adjusted manually for current weather conditions. Interestingly, in a small craft, should your static port become blocked, you can just break the glass on your altimeter to get a secondary static source as a last resort (assuming analog instruments). In general, failures of this system are difficult to recover from, as airspeed is a crucial value that you cannot detirmine by looking out a window.


I am aware airframe ambient pressure is determined via the Pitot tubes, but engine controller ambient pressure can be determined via sensors on the engine itself. The same goes for ambient temperature. These are needed to properly control the engines. Interestingly enough with regards to this conversation, many aircraft engines have been effectively fully automated for quite some time now. FADEC driven engines do not have the possibility of the pilot taking manual control of the engine control so if the FADEC fails so does the engine. I imagine there were similar discussions to this one about how this was an absurdity at one point too.

EDIT2: The reason the pitot tube is covered while groundside is to avoid dust and debris from causing a blockage(more dust, pebbles, grass, dirty fingers and bird poop at 0 feet AGL than 20,000), as this is such an important system and the backup plan is "don't screw it up in the first place". A second pitotstatic system could be installed and manually switched to I suppose, but if they forgot to take the sock off one, chances are good they'd miss both socks.


The problem in the case I listed was they didn't use socks at all. They just placed tape over the ports during the maintenance. The large orange socks with "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" on them do seem to work pretty damn well in most cases.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby wumpus » Thu May 16, 2013 5:37 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:as to the trains (subway and cargo)....they're straight line transports. subways are even easier than trains because they are a multi-track/single direction system. there are never two trains on the same track going in the opposite direction unless there has been a catastrophic failure in planning. automating the subway system is about scheduling and controlling breaking/acceleration. things that are easily automated. it's all about timing and scheduling. there is basically no expectation of external variables changing (the track suddenly going to the left instead of the right. there being a car you don't know about on the track. cows. geese. etc...). cargo/passenger trains (heavy rail) are just a LITTLE more complicated because there are external variables (cars on tracks, cows, etc...) but those are pretty limited too.


As far as I know, the only point of having a human on board is as a witness for any lawsuits over suicides (intentional and otherwise) on the tracks (There might be conditions on the Great Planes when you can drive the train while looking down a telescope looking far enough to stop the train, but I doubt that is where the deaths happen). Engineers in more populated areas tend to require a lot of therapy due to seeing all the deaths that they feel some responsibility for.

Zamfir wrote:As ready noted above: the article in the OP is not about pilotless passenger aircraft. It's a test about flying unmanned drones in the same airspace as civilian aircraft. The test vehicle happened to be a small passenger plane, but that's just because that was the available test platform. For the test they needed an aircraft that could fly both piloted and by remote operation.


Due to backwards compatibility with old radar systems and the speed of modern jets, aircraft need to be spaced 3 miles apart so air traffic controls can see they aren't going to collide. Routing an UAV shouldn't be much of an issue, but it might be enough to overhaul the old system (more likely just give the UAVs certain elevations).


Adacore wrote:As I understand it, most modern airliners are almost entirely fly-by-wire. If the flight computer dies completely, then a human pilot in the plane will be able to do precisely as much nothing as a computer pilot in the plane could.
the fly-by-wire systems aren't directly fly-by-computer......there are some direct pathways to critical controls just in case all the computers on the plane take a shit (based on my understanding of the failsafes in place on modern aircraft...which totes might be wrong)[/quote]

I wouldn't count on any. There have been cases where pilots of multiengine jets have flown the plane entirely by varrying the trust on each side of the plane, and landed that way. I would hope that pilots of such craft have practiced that in a simulator and could attempt it (with some manual control over the engines) in such a case.
[/quote]

One thing I will throw out here is that long ago I worked for Freewing, a UAV company that somehow missed the boom (thier French connections probably didn't help). They had plans to move from Maryland to Texas, largely because the insurrance against hitting a steer in Texas is cheaper than hitting a school in Maryland (I know there are schools in some parts of Texas, but it should be much easier to get to places where there aren't compared to outside of Baltimore or DC).

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Derek » Thu May 16, 2013 6:04 pm UTC

Woopate wrote:Too bad the poor don't get to fly as a form of employment(or enjoyment) though. Finding a job in the field is really the only way they can afford it. EDIT I'll even be so bold as to suggest that most pilots don't actually own a plane and could never afford to do so, doubly so when their services are no longer required. That's a lot of clipped wings and broken dreams. But dreams pay no bills.

/wistful

You can rent small airplanes for pleasure flights. It's still a fairly expensive hobby, I'm sure, but within the reach of the motivated hobbyist.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby ucim » Fri May 17, 2013 1:16 am UTC

Many pilots belong to flying clubs, and many other pilots rent aircraft. Owning a basic airplane is actually not all that expensive (you can get a used one for the price of a new SUV) but if you are not flying a lot, it's better to share or rent.

The point isn't about owning an airplane however. The point is about access to airspace. More and more airspace is being restricted and even blocked off completely, and drone airliners will simply amplify the process. It's like having a ten mile rule for boats - where only large cruise ships are permitted within ten miles of any shore whose population is greater than some value, whose initial value really is not all that important because it will inevitably shrink.

And the point isn't even about airplanes. It's about the idea that corporate efficiency should trump personal freedoms.

Also - does anybody else read the thread title as Pilotless Passenger Flight-Tested ?

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Derek » Fri May 17, 2013 5:11 am UTC

ucim wrote:Many pilots belong to flying clubs, and many other pilots rent aircraft. Owning a basic airplane is actually not all that expensive (you can get a used one for the price of a new SUV) but if you are not flying a lot, it's better to share or rent.

The point isn't about owning an airplane however. The point is about access to airspace. More and more airspace is being restricted and even blocked off completely, and drone airliners will simply amplify the process. It's like having a ten mile rule for boats - where only large cruise ships are permitted within ten miles of any shore whose population is greater than some value, whose initial value really is not all that important because it will inevitably shrink.

And the point isn't even about airplanes. It's about the idea that corporate efficiency should trump personal freedoms.

I don't see why corporate efficiency and personal freedom can't go together here. I mean, I can see the problem on highways, but the sky is fucking enormous and there aren't that many planes. The only time it will matter is on take off and landing. I don't know what restrictions there are about flying near cities, but I would assume those are motivated by (misplaced) fears of terrorism, not corporate efficiency.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby ucim » Fri May 17, 2013 9:10 pm UTC

Derek wrote:I don't see why corporate efficiency and personal freedom can't go together here. I mean, I can see the problem on highways, but the sky is fucking enormous and there aren't that many planes.
Planes are bigger than you think, when you consider the airspace around them that needs to be protected. Air Traffic Control doesn't depend on luck - these things are whizzing along at four hundred miles an hour. At a closing speed of eight hundred miles an hour, how much time do you think you have to see something and confidently avoid hitting it (and also not have to clean up the passenger seats afterwards)? Translated into space, that is a big bubble. Now figure that some of these things don't even have pilots on board, and if some amateur smacks into them, the rain of paperwork will be just as big as the rain of metal.

Do you think the aviation authorities might be... er... "encouraged" to restrict amateur flying in those areas? For the greater good, of course. And those areas will just get bigger, because there aren't enough amateur pilots to make a difference at the voting booth.

And you know what? Fewer amateur pilots means a future of fewer professional pilots, with fewer hours, and less joy (and thus interest) in their job.

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri May 17, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

Yeah, but amateur pilots are the drummers of the expensive hobbies world, so...

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby sardia » Fri May 17, 2013 11:58 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Derek wrote:I don't see why corporate efficiency and personal freedom can't go together here. I mean, I can see the problem on highways, but the sky is fucking enormous and there aren't that many planes.
Planes are bigger than you think, when you consider the airspace around them that needs to be protected. Air Traffic Control doesn't depend on luck - these things are whizzing along at four hundred miles an hour. At a closing speed of eight hundred miles an hour, how much time do you think you have to see something and confidently avoid hitting it (and also not have to clean up the passenger seats afterwards)? Translated into space, that is a big bubble. Now figure that some of these things don't even have pilots on board, and if some amateur smacks into them, the rain of paperwork will be just as big as the rain of metal.

Do you think the aviation authorities might be... er... "encouraged" to restrict amateur flying in those areas? For the greater good, of course. And those areas will just get bigger, because there aren't enough amateur pilots to make a difference at the voting booth.

And you know what? Fewer amateur pilots means a future of fewer professional pilots, with fewer hours, and less joy (and thus interest) in their job.

Jose

You're thinking is totally wrong, not to mention paranoid to boot. The reason the planes take up so much airspace is because the technology to locate the planes is antiquated. Since the control tower has a fuzzy idea of where they are, they need large spacing between planes to maintain safety margins. Better radar and automated planes will actually shrink the amount of space planes take up. Of course, you didn't know that, so you made up some shit that sounds right. "This tech means planes are better? -->>Obviously better planes mean planes fly more--->more planes mean more space taken up." Was that your flawed chain of logic?

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Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby ucim » Sat May 18, 2013 1:07 am UTC

sardia wrote:The reason the planes take up so much airspace is because the technology to locate the planes is antiquated.
Actually the primary technology to locate the planes is the eyeball. It's what the pilots use (despite their other instruments). Traffic controllers have radar, but they don't actually "control" anything. Collisions are avoided because the pilots look out the window, and avoid hitting other flying objects. This works when pilots can see out the window, but when they can't, there had better not be any other planes out there to hit. This is the reason that, when visibility isn't good enough, the only planes allowed in the air are those that are subject to air traffic control. Better technology helps reduce the needed separation under those conditions... but only because VFR (visual flight) airplanes are kept out of the mix.

Areas around major airports are similarly constrained. There are huge swatches of airspace which require more (expensive) equipment and training to enter, and subject the pilot to much more control. This is (of course) done for safety and to keep things in order, but it does tend to reduce the amount of airspace available to the amateur pilot.

The same kind of thing will evolve when aircraft are robotic. Robotic aircraft won't mix well with planes guided by the ancient eyeball technology (AET), and so little by little, there will be restrictions applied to non-robotic aircraft so that the robots (who are more efficient and don't care much about freedom or fun) can get their cargo through.

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Alexius
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Alexius » Sat May 18, 2013 1:18 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:people used to ride horses everywhere. people used to enjoy it. people still ride horses but they just aren't allowed to do it while blocking a 5 lane highway because everyone else would lose the efficiency gains of using cars instead of horses.

Your rich-kid hobby is less important than everyone elses standard of living.
You'll still be free to fly pleasure craft at your rich-kids airports and ride your motorcycle around private tracks and play with your little sailboat at a private marina.

The world does not consist of limited access highways. The Glorious Juggernaut of Progress has not yet got to the point where the vast majority of the world is open only to suitable corporate-run computer-controlled vehicles, and I hope it never does.

While you can't ride a horse on a limited access highway, you can do so (or ride a bicycle, which isn't a "rich-kid hobby" by any stretch of the imagination) on any other road.

Similarly, the sea and sky are big. Really, really big. You can still have "lanes" limited to use by controlled, robotic vehicles as arteries between major ports/airports while leaving the vast majority of the space open to human-controlled pleasure craft.

In fact, this is basically what already happens. The approaches to major airports (and certain other areas) are controlled airspace, that a pleasure pilot in their Cessna isn't allowed into except under special circumstances that require previous clearance. Similarly, small craft are required to stay out of shipping lanes apart from when crossing them, and their behaviour is restricted around ports- they may have to ask for permission to enter, or proceed under engine rather than under sail.

aoeu
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby aoeu » Sat May 18, 2013 2:24 pm UTC

Alexius wrote:The world does not consist of limited access highways. The Glorious Juggernaut of Progress has not yet got to the point where the vast majority of the world is open only to suitable corporate-run computer-controlled vehicles, and I hope it never does.

Except it kinda does. You need both a government certified driver and a government certified vehicle to take to the roads.

And anyway, not permitting civilian pilots to congested big airports has very little to do with government and everything to do with the airports wanting to maximize their profits. That is, you are not handing out enough cash. It's not the government's responsibility to do that for you.

Alexius
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Re: Pilotless Passenger Flight Tested

Postby Alexius » Sun May 19, 2013 12:18 pm UTC

aoeu wrote:
Alexius wrote:The world does not consist of limited access highways. The Glorious Juggernaut of Progress has not yet got to the point where the vast majority of the world is open only to suitable corporate-run computer-controlled vehicles, and I hope it never does.

Except it kinda does. You need both a government certified driver and a government certified vehicle to take to the roads.

No you don't. As I have said before, anybody can get on a bicycle (or a horse) and ride it on pretty much any road, no government certification required.

The exceptions are interstates, motorways and their equivalents- which is what I mean by "limited access highway". Less than 1% of the total length of road in the UK is this sort of road.


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