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Pilots are obsolete!

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Old 02-28-2010, 10:06 AM
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azalner
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Default Pilots are obsolete!

This is an excerpt that appeared in today's Washington Post. Could it be that this may be an inducement to get more young people into the RC hobby/sport?

The question, scrawled on a Pentagon whiteboard last fall, captured the strange and difficult moment facing the Air Force.
"Why does the country need an independent Air Force?" the senior civilian assistant to Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the service's chief of staff, had written. For the first time in the 62-year history of the Air Force, the answer isn't entirely clear.
The Air Force's identity crisis is one of many ways that a decade of intense and unrelenting combat is reshaping the U.S. military and redefining the American way of war. The battle against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq has created an insatiable demand for the once-lowly drone, elevating the importance of the officers who fly them.
These new earthbound aviators are redefining what it means to be a modern air warrior and forcing an emotional debate within the Air Force over the very meaning of valor in combat.
Since its founding, the Air Force has existed primarily to support its daring and chivalrous fighter and bomber pilots. Even as they are being displaced by new technology, these traditional pilots are fighting to retain control over the Air Force and its culture and traditions.
The clash between the old and new Air Force was especially apparent in the aftermath of the 2006 strike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq.
Predator crews spent more than 630 hours searching for Zarqawi and his associates before they tracked him to a small farm northeast of Baghdad.
Minutes later, an F-16 fighter jet, streaking through the sky, released a 500-pound bomb that locked onto a targeting laser and killed Zarqawi.
The F-16 pilot, who faced no real threat from the lightly armed insurgents on the ground, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the same honor bestowed on Charles Lindbergh for the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Predator pilots, who flew their planes from an Air Force base outside Las Vegas, received a thank-you note from a three-star general based in the Middle East. Senior Air Force officials concluded that even though the Predator crews were flying combat missions, they weren't actually in combat.
Today, the Air Force is flying 40 round-the-clock patrols each day with its Predator and Reaper unmanned planes, an eightfold increase over 2004.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default RE: Pilots are obsolete!

Pilots were obsolete the moment Cat IIIa approaches were perfected. With the accuracy of current commercial autopilots in airliners, living pilots are only needed to initially program the flight parameters and assure the autopilot remains functional. Long live flight attendants! At least they can bring the customers meals and drinks
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Pilots are obsolete!


ORIGINAL: Tired Old Man

Pilots were obsolete the moment Cat IIIa approaches were perfected. With the accuracy of current commercial autopilots in airliners, living pilots are only needed to initially program the flight parameters and assure the autopilot remains functional. Long live flight attendants! At least they can bring the customers meals and drinks
While I'm not a pilot of any note (haven't flown in over 20 years), A human will always be required in the cockpit...at least in passenger and cargo aircraft. If there's some kind of malfunction, there should be someone to take over manual control. However, if all airplanes are fly-by-wire, with no mechanical connection between the pilot and the control surfaces, I guess we're all toast if we're in the plane and something goes wrong. Somehow, I really don't like that idea in passenger aircraft...never have.

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:46 AM
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Default RE: Pilots are obsolete!

How long will it be before the Ubangi tribesmen have their own unmanned RC attack planes?
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