Single-pilot passenger planes soon could take to the skies, says Boeing

SEATTLE – Plane maker Boeing is actively working on technology that would remove the need for two pilots in the cockpits of its passenger jets. The Independent reports.

Sep 11th, 2018
Single-pilot passenger planes soon could take to the skies, says Boeing
Single-pilot passenger planes soon could take to the skies, says Boeing
SEATTLE – Plane maker Boeing is actively working on technology that would remove the need for two pilots in the cockpits of its passenger jets. The Independent reports. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

11 Sept. 2018 -- Existing European aviation rules state that passenger planes with more than 20 seats must have a minimum of two pilots in the cockpit. But Steve Nordlund, a vice president at Boeing, said autonomous technology that would allow for a reduction in on-board crew was being developed at a “good speed."

He said Boeing “believes in autonomous flight and self-piloted aircraft” and the firm's commercial aircraft division was “working on those technologies today. I don't think you'll see a pilotless aircraft of a 737 in the near future,” he says.

He suggested cargo jets could be the first to trial the technology but that it made “business sense” to pursue a reduction in the number of on-board crew on passenger planes, too. “A combination of safety, economics and technology all have to converge, and I think we are starting to see that.”

Related: Two become one? Plane makers work on technology to reduce pilot numbers

Related: 1.5 million pilots, aircraft technicians needed through 2035 to support growing global fleet, Boeing predicts

Related: L-3 to convert Cessna Caravan single-engine turboprop aircraft to surveillance platforms

John Keller, editorial director
Intelligent Aerospace

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