plane maker boeing is working on autonomous technology that could remove the need for two pilots in the cockpit of passenger planes. existing european aviation rules state that passenger planes with more than 20 seats must have a minimum of two pilots in the cockpit.
images courtes of boeing
vice president of boeing, steve nordlund, said in an interview with the independent that the new technology, which would allow for less crew on board, is being developed at a ‘good speed‘. he ‘believes in autonomous flight and self-piloted aircraft‘, and that the commercial division were ‘working on those technologies today‘.
I don’t think you’ll see a pilotless aircraft of a 737 in the near future,’ norlund continued. ‘but what you may see is more automation and aiding in the cockpit, maybe a change in the crew number up in the cockpit.’
the shift, which would likely begin with cargo jets before heading to passenger planes, could help solve the growing issue of pilot shortages. the comments recall a report released earlier this year, which claimed the firm is examining the possibility of having reduced crew presence in the cockpit of a proposed mid-sized jet that it aims to have in service by 2025. however, the plan depends on whether boeing proceeds with a launch decision next year, according to UBS analysts.
airlines globally could save around $15 billion a year by going down to a single pilot, UBS said, and at a time of a pilot shortage this would help ensure there are enough aviators to serve a fast-growing industry. replacing the vast array of knobs and switches with digital interfaces could help to shorten the amount of time it takes to train pilots, thus easing the shortage.
kieron marchese I designboom
aug 28, 2018