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The Navy's X-47B Will Be So Autonomous, You Can Steer It With Mouse Clicks
Fox News ^ | 13 Apr 2011

Posted on 04/13/2011 8:59:27 AM PDT by mandaladon

To fly the military's baddest, most technologically advanced planes, you once had to have what Tom Wolfe called "that righteous stuff" -- the willingness to strap yourself to a jet-fuel laden machine and push it to the very limits of its mechanical capabilities. Nowadays, unmanned systems have taken the human danger out of some combat missions, though human pilots remain at the sticks.

But not for long.

The Navy's experimental X-47B combat system won't be remotely piloted, but almost completely autonomous. Human involvement won't be of the stick-and-rudder variety, but handled with simple mouse clicks.

Speaking to reporters at the Sea Air Space convention near Washington, reps from both Northrop Grumman (maker of the X-47B) and the Navy said the X-47B would be piloted not by human handlers in some steel box in Nevada, but by 3.4 million lines of software code. The rest of its functions will be able to be handled by non-pilot personnel (or your average child), as they will only require clicks of the mouse; a click to turn on the engines, a click to taxi, a click to initiate takeoff, etc.

For flyboys proudly boasting their nighttime carrier landing cred, the idea is anathema. But given the difficulty and danger of carrier takeoffs and landings, automating them is one way to ensure safety--provided the systems work the way they are supposed to. The X-47B has already taken to the skies from Edwards AFB earlier this year, but this is a Navy plane. As such, it will begin "learning" the ins and outs of carrier operations via simulated takeoffs and landings starting in 2013.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Technical
KEYWORDS: aircraft; military; navair; navy
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This takes all the fun of flying a combat aircraft.
1 posted on 04/13/2011 8:59:32 AM PDT by mandaladon
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To: mandaladon
...the Navy said the X-47B would be piloted not by human handlers in some steel box in Nevada, but by 3.4 million lines of software code.

What could possibly go wrong?

2 posted on 04/13/2011 9:03:38 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Half of all Americans are above average. Politicians come from the other half.)
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To: mandaladon

Having a plane that is not limited by the pilot’s ability to withstand G-Forces in turns takes the fun out of fighting against such an aircraft as well.


3 posted on 04/13/2011 9:04:31 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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To: mandaladon
REMF's revenge.

Terminator Mice.


4 posted on 04/13/2011 9:06:39 AM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: mandaladon
On the obverse, we have millions of 14-17 year old's that can whoop another country's air force's ass.

/s

5 posted on 04/13/2011 9:07:16 AM PDT by Michael Barnes
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To: Moonman62

What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?
What could possibly go wrong?


6 posted on 04/13/2011 9:09:02 AM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! <sarc>)
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To: magslinger

Heads up bump!!


7 posted on 04/13/2011 9:11:36 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: mandaladon

Depending on the type of plane..fighter, bomber, I’ve read that as much as 25-30% of the plane is devoted to the pilot/crew..space, protection, life support systems...eliminate this, and you can substantially increase payload/distance..and of course, the danger tot he crew..


8 posted on 04/13/2011 9:14:10 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: mandaladon

If it can land on a carrier, in a storm, at night...have they worked out a plan for mid-air refueling?


9 posted on 04/13/2011 9:15:09 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: mandaladon

How long before some script kiddie hacks it, I wonder?


10 posted on 04/13/2011 9:16:38 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Heading, with terror and slaughter return!)
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To: mandaladon

So now the Navy will have to relegate pilots to video game junkies, the X-47B will by controlled via the Sony PS3 game controller from mom’s basement.


11 posted on 04/13/2011 9:18:59 AM PDT by montyspython (This thread needs more cowbell)
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To: mandaladon

Kind of an eerie similarity to Ender’s Game.


12 posted on 04/13/2011 9:20:24 AM PDT by montyspython (This thread needs more cowbell)
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To: ken5050
If it can land on a carrier, in a storm, at night...

Why would it need to?

13 posted on 04/13/2011 9:20:24 AM PDT by Poison Pill
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To: Poison Pill

You prefer it lands in the ocean?


14 posted on 04/13/2011 9:21:35 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the Earth..It's the only planet with chocolate!!!)
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To: Moonman62

Dave, my mind is going...


15 posted on 04/13/2011 9:22:23 AM PDT by azcap (Who is John Galt ? www.conservativeshirts.com)
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To: mandaladon

All I have to say is “Manny, Moe, and Jack”


16 posted on 04/13/2011 9:23:13 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (President Obama’s approval ratings are so low now, Kenyans are accusing him of being born in the US)
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To: ken5050
Looks like things are pretty well worked out - here is yur evidence:


17 posted on 04/13/2011 9:25:42 AM PDT by frithguild (The Democrat Party Brand - Big Government protecting Entrenched Interests from Competition)
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To: mandaladon; microgood; liberallarry; cmsgop; shaggy eel; RayChuang88; Larry Lucido; namsman; ...

Not to be confused with an XB-47.

If you want on or off this aerospace ping list, please contact Paleo Conservative or phantomworker by Freep mail.


18 posted on 04/13/2011 9:27:14 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: al baby

Caught in a loop there, al?

What could possibly go wrong? Somebody forgot a conversion factor?


19 posted on 04/13/2011 9:32:59 AM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: mandaladon

The DNC has already registered each aircraft as a DemocRAT voter with the power of attorney to vote for it while it is deployed...which is any time the polls are open.


20 posted on 04/13/2011 9:35:46 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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