We're Doomed: Pilotless Flights May Be the Future of Air Travel

Okay technology, we were alright when you replaced our plane tickets with mobile apps, our check-in desks with kiosks, and our in-person safety demonstrations with cartoon videos, but when you took the pilots out of the plane, we began to get concerned.

An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) took its first fight in shared airspace, in the UK last month. The 16-seater Jetstream aircraft, also known as the "Flying Testbed," pioneered its 500-mile journey sans passengers from Warton to Inverness using technology such as on-board sensors and robotics to avoid collisions and other airborne dangers.

See Also: Le Slip Français Presents Indomitable, a New Line of Scented Men's Underwear Bad News, Snapchat Users, Those Nude Selfies Didn't Disappear

Oddly reminiscent of a child using a remote control toy, a pilot on the ground navigated the plane's journey with guidance from National Air Traffic Services while another pilot (presumably the one that drew the short straw) stayed on board to manage the take-off and landing of the flight.

Although this technology is still in its very early stages, the UAV which has received £62m in funding from commercial companies and the UK government, could one day be regulated for civilian use. That makes it a big day for aviation fans, and even better tomorrow for the makers of Xanax.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >