Tags: NASA | single Pilot | Commercial Aircraft

NASA Studies Single-Pilot Commercial Aircraft

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:32 AM

Although it may not come to fruition for decades, researchers at NASA are studying the possibility that commercial flights could be flown by a single pilot, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A new study being conducted by NASA in conjunction with Rockwell Collins Inc. is exploring the idea of having a single pilot on the airplane while a co-pilot would provide assistance during busier portions of the flight, as well as during approach-and-landing maneuvers.

The researchers are not endorsing the notion of single-pilot airliners, an idea which still faces both political and financial challenges, notes the Journal.

In addition to obstacles related to safety, Parimal Kopardekar, the program’s manager based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in northern California, tells the Journal that because aircraft today are designed to have two pilots on board, making structural changes "may be too expensive and may be too difficult" to obtain regulatory approval.

"The early industry discussion was aimed at cutting costs, but Rockwell’s latest study is partly inspired by an anticipated shortage of pilots. Boeing projects a need for 533,000 new commercial airline pilots over the next 20 years as the number of miles flown doubles, and the plane maker has warned that personnel availability might fall short," reports the Journal.

The first phase of the study, which is part of a $4 million contract with Rockwell Collins, will be announced Tuesday. The four-year contract will involve several phases during which simulations will be conducted and potentially live flight trials.

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based company has been a leader in technology development related to unmanned vehicles and drones, including receiving a contract from NASA in 2011 to develop a communications data link for drones, reports the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Rockwell Collins is examining several ways to bring innovation to commercial air travel, including pilot voice recognition, which would allow a pilot to guide a flight. Speech recognition systems already are used by the Pentagon, reports CNN.

"I certainly think that we¹re moving toward pilotless airliners," Rockwell Collins engineer Geoff Shapiro tells CNN, noting that the technology exists in unmanned drones.

Related Stories

 

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
Although it may not come to fruition for decades, researchers at NASA are studying the possibility that commercial flights could be flown by a single pilot, The Wall Street Journal reports.
NASA, single Pilot, Commercial Aircraft
3533
2014-32-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 09:32 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved