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  #51  
Old 06-14-2009, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
Then again, you cant drink and drive but you can drink and fly. Unless you are the pilot... I hope.
Well being a passenger has it privilges....lol...
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  #52  
Old 06-18-2009, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Seven View Post
Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.
While I agree with most of this, I disagree somewhat with the last sentence. With the human removed from the equation, fighters could be made to perform greater maneuvers without fear of the pilot blacking out. Sure, air superiority has become more of a strategic fight rather than a tactical one, long range detection and evasion are KING right now, but in the dog fighting world I think a drone could be king of the hill given the pilot behind the joystick has proper environment input. There is already technology that allows pilots greater visibility thru the use of in helmet displays and various movable cameras around the airplane. I don't see why that could not be used for drone piloting. Pilots rely on sensor feeds and data on their displays, it's not like the old days where a pilot is about to bomb a target and then sees with his own eyes that the place is school with bunches of kids running around and then he aborts the mission. Now of days high altitude cameras relay information to the pilot and "see" what the pilot can not. Porting that kind of realtime intelligence to a pilot behind a joystick is the same darn thing.

Now if the drone had NO human pilot sitting somewhere, THAT would NOT be good!!
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  #53  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sohna View Post
And what happens when this control system malfunctions?
This happens. The pilot was trying to add power and pull up but the automated system thought the plane should be landing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTtvRWGtHnY
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  #54  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim in St. Louis View Post
This happens. The pilot was trying to add power and pull up but the automated system thought the plane should be landing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTtvRWGtHnY
Dang...I've seen that video before. I didn't know that it was completely automated, though.
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  #55  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:54 PM
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And more recently:

"One such faulty unit was blamed for a near disaster on a Qantas Airbus A330 over Western Australia last October. Confused data caused the flight control computers to register — mistakenly — an imminent stall and to disconnect the automatic pilot. They commanded a strong downward pitch from which the crew, fortunately, managed to recover, although 14 people were injured".

Source:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6523467.ece
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  #56  
Old 06-18-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MrQ1701 View Post
While I agree with most of this, I disagree somewhat with the last sentence. With the human removed from the equation, fighters could be made to perform greater maneuvers without fear of the pilot blacking out. Sure, air superiority has become more of a strategic fight rather than a tactical one, long range detection and evasion are KING right now, but in the dog fighting world I think a drone could be king of the hill given the pilot behind the joystick has proper environment input.
It is generally true that without a pilot physically in the plane that it's easier to make a plane do much tighter maneuvers. However I was talking with one engineer who deals with the F-22 and he said with thrust vectoring systems like that on the American F-22 and the Russian Flanker variants, we can now make planes do extremely tight maneuvers without subjecting the pilot for extended periods of time to higher vertical oriented g-forces that lead to blacking out, because instead simply doing banking maneuvers to turn, a plane with thrust vectoring can essentially pivot to a certain degree (not truly pivot) and do so at low speeds. Strangely this system for maneuvering has been omitted from the F-35, of course the F-35 was not intended to master dog fighting to begin with.

I personally don't understand the physics behind the whole thing so I'm inclined to just go with what the engineer says. Even without a pilot you are still limited by the g-forces the vehicle is capable of sustaining.
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Last edited by Akula2ssn : 06-18-2009 at 05:25 PM.
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  #57  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Akula2ssn View Post
It is generally true that without a pilot physically in the plane that it's easier to make a plane do much tighter maneuvers. However I was talking with one engineer who deals with the F-22 and he said with thrust vectoring systems like that on the American F-22 and the Russian Flanker variants, we can now make planes do extremely tight maneuvers without subjecting the pilot for extended periods of time to higher vertical oriented g-forces that lead to blacking out, because instead simply doing banking maneuvers to turn, a plane with thrust vectoring can essentially pivot to a certain degree (not truly pivot) and do so at low speeds. Strangely this system for maneuvering has been omitted from the F-35, of course the F-35 was not intended to master dog fighting to begin with.

I personally don't understand the physics behind the whole thing so I'm inclined to just go with what the engineer says. Even without a pilot you are still limited by the g-forces the vehicle is capable of sustaining.
Thrust vectoring has made a HUGE impact in the world of dogfighting. No matter the technology used to gain such maneuverability, the plane can usually handle more g-force than a human
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  #58  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:18 PM
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Can probably imagine what thrust vectoring can do for unmanned aircraft. Personally I think the main driving force for remote operated platforms is probably more of a cost thing. Training and maintaining pilots is quite costly. By taking the pilot out of the cockpit, you remove some of the requirements that conventional pilots have to meet and potentially opens the candidate pool. PRK and LASIK definitely opened up aviation to a larger variety of candidates by being able to treat myopia that otherwise would have been disqualifying right off the bat.

Lot of people think that firepower was what caused the gun to begin to replace the bow and arrow. In reality it was cost and ease of use and production. Early firearms weren't accurate at all and had limited penetrating power. However because they were easy to produce and use, larger numbers of people could be trained and equiped very quickly. Archery on the other hand required years of training and physical conditioning which limited the ability of countries to meet the demand of ever larger growing armies and to replace archers lost in battle.

On the other hand, manned aircraft don't require the need to maintain the communications network needed for pilots to control them remotely nor do you have to worry about the communications system going down or someone jamming the signals as well as other tactical complications inherent with communication signals. I also kind of wonder with the advent of aircraft mounted laser turrets if eventually even unmanned super maneuverable vehicles will find themselves outmatched. Of course you have to detect them first in order to target them but the thought of putting laser turrets on manned fighters is already out there. I suppose we'll see in the upcoming decades now that Boeing's Airborne Laser is entering the testing phase, that is assuming Robert Gates doesn't pull the plug on that one too.
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Last edited by Akula2ssn : 06-18-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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  #59  
Old 06-18-2009, 11:35 PM
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The airborne laser thing that I have heard of is part of the missile defense program. So its going to depend on whats eventually going to be done with that.
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  #60  
Old 06-19-2009, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Samuel View Post
The airborne laser thing that I have heard of is part of the missile defense program. So its going to depend on whats eventually going to be done with that.
The YAL-1 airborne laser actually predates the National Missile Defense program that has gained much attention over the past few years. Boeing began work on the ABL back in the mid 1990s. It was mostly in response to the threat of tactical ballistic missiles specifically the SCUD missile used by Iraq during the first Gulf War. This is different from strategic ballistic missiles which is the focus of the National Missile Defense program that most people hear about. I've heard that a less powerful laser was tested back in the 1980s on a Boeing NC-135A. ABL is a much smaller scale system than the National Missile Defense program and is intended to provide in theater ballistic missile defense to our forces in the field.

ABL is intended to shoot down missiles, but in theory can be used against aircraft. The current targeting systems being designed to detect ballistic missiles may not be able to acquire and aircraft nearly as well. Low orbiting satellites are another potential target. Ground targets are probably not an option since targeting is much more difficult, armored vehicles (particularly tanks) aren't nearly as vulnerable to the laser mounted on the Boeing YAL-1, and the denser atmosphere near the ground weakens the laser. The ABL works by shooting a megawatt class laser at a missile during the booster phase of launch and burning through the relatively thin skin of the missile and set off the fuel tank, idealy destroying the missile while it's still over the launch platform. I've seen a test target that was used in an on ground test of the Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser or COIL that was installed on the plane. It burnt a hole about twice the size of my fist into the target.
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