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F16 Jet takes off... and no pilot..


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#1    seeder

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:59 PM

OMG, now jets are being made into drones... maybe one day there wont be pilots any more...


Empty F-16 jet tested by Boeing and US Air Force

Boeing has revealed that it has retrofitted retired fighter jets to turn them into drones. It said that one of the Lockheed Martin F-16 made a first flight with an empty cockpit last week.

Two US Air Force pilots controlled the plane from the ground as it flew from a Florida base to the Gulf of Mexico. Boeing suggested that the innovation could ultimately be used to help train pilots, providing an adversary they could practise firing on.

The jet - which had previously sat mothballed at an Arizona site for 15 years - flew at an altitude of 40,000ft (12.2km) and a speed of Mach 1.47 (1,119mph/1,800km/h).

The firm added that the flight attained 7Gs of acceleration but was capable of carrying out manoeuvres at 9Gs - something that might cause physical problems for a pilot.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-24231077


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Edited by seeder, 24 September 2013 - 10:01 PM.

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#2    lightly

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:03 AM

Turn old jets into drones for target practice ?    Shuuuuure.      I can see Unca Sam needing thousand of these things with all the latest and greatest weaponry.

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#3    EnderOTD

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:17 AM

Seems a bit expensive for a target no?  I would rather have us do this then dumping money on developing and producing drones.   Just a thought.


#4    DecoNoir

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:18 AM

Strikes me more as a "lets see if we can do it". I don't believe a fighter piloted by remote would do well in a combat situation, as in against another plane intending to destroy said fighter. For ground stricks, the question must be asked: why replace what what you have? With current drones, you don't have to design around a pilot, therefore removing the need to put a large amount of armor on said plane, increasing the operational range and allowing for more designs to reduce the radar signature.

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#5    Dark_Grey

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

I find this whole story terrifying. What kind of future are we headed towards here?? :unsure2:

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#6    seeder

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:06 PM

View PostDark_Grey, on 25 September 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

I find this whole story terrifying. What kind of future are we headed towards here?? :unsure2:

A possibly bad one - or a bad one for the bad guys anyway! I can see the point of it, to an extent, without a pilot - the jets, and even new versions that may be developed, will have such speed as G-forces wont apply so much without a human pilot. If they are just to be used as target practice, then fine!  But the article ends with this bit:

However, a spokesman for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots warned of the temptation to use them in warfare.

"I'm very concerned these could be used to target people on the ground," said Prof Noel Sharkey.  "I'm particularly worried about the high speed at which they can travel because they might not be able to distinguish their targets very clearly. There is every reason to believe that these so-called 'targets' could become a test bed for drone warfare, moving us closer and closer to automated killing."

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#7    Babe Ruth

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

The USAF has been flying drone aircraft since the late 40's.

Tyndall AFB has many of them, and the designation is Q, so this new one is QF-16.  They have been flying against them, and shooting a few down here and there, for decades.

How hard would it be to have a QB-767?  Not very. :gun:


#8    paperdyer

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:11 PM

View PostDark_Grey, on 25 September 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

I find this whole story terrifying. What kind of future are we headed towards here?? :unsure2:
Skynet is coming!


#9    FLOMBIE

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

But these drones, they are still being "piloted", right? Just not from someone inside the craft. So no skynet.


#10    pallidin

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:43 PM

View PostFLOMBIE, on 26 September 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

But these drones, they are still being "piloted", right? Just not from someone inside the craft. So no skynet.

Yep, that was not "autonomous"
The pilot(s) and weapons officers are on the ground in a special trailer or building, doing what they do as if actually in the aircraft.

EDIT: Of course, as a training flight, the weapons are dummy loads, and likely the fighter jet was outfitted with a ground control self-destruct mechanism if it strayed beyond ground control abilities.
Plus, there was likely even more people to oversee and effect an abort if necessary.

Edited by pallidin, 26 September 2013 - 06:53 PM.


#11    DONTEATUS

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 02:31 AM

We will Indeed See this Evolve  ! Not too far from the Skynet commit !


#12    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:26 AM

Oh, i thought this was going to be be a comedy vid of a plane charging off down the runway with the pilot running after it shaking his fist.
Actually it's not an entirely new concept; it's been tried various times before, even using B-17s during WWII.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

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#13    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:29 AM

View PostDecoNoir, on 25 September 2013 - 01:18 AM, said:

Strikes me more as a "lets see if we can do it". I don't believe a fighter piloted by remote would do well in a combat situation, as in against another plane intending to destroy said fighter. For ground stricks, the question must be asked: why replace what what you have? With current drones, you don't have to design around a pilot, therefore removing the need to put a large amount of armor on said plane, increasing the operational range and allowing for more designs to reduce the radar signature.
I did read that during the "No Fly Zone" over Iraq, a Predator or something similar did have a go at an Iraq MiG-29. It lost, but I suppose the pilot decided there was nothing to lose having a go.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#14    DecoNoir

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:03 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 27 September 2013 - 07:29 AM, said:


I did read that during the "No Fly Zone" over Iraq, a Predator or something similar did have a go at an Iraq MiG-29. It lost, but I suppose the pilot decided there was nothing to lose having a go.

999,9999 times out of a million a MiG will win. In a piloted drone you can only see what the cameras let you. Not to mention a Predator has the maneuverability of a cardboard box.

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#15    Chooky88

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:59 AM

What? They are worried an RC F16 could be used for warfare? Sounds more plausible than target practice. That's one hell of an expensive clay pigeon.





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