Do any aircraft have an automated takeoff capability? Why not?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Bill Watson, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    In the current commercial world, that’s right. But at some point there will be a move reduce the headcount in the cockpit. One person backed up with whatever flies drones around. Pretty much a given I’d say.




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  2. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    It'll be single pilot ops.....first.
     
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  3. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    And then we are going back to the FBO and you are getting checked out by the paramedics and on my recommendation, heading to the hospital. I don’t play with that stuff, if you give symptoms of being seriously ill, then checkride test or not, we are not flying.

    Not convinced an auto pilot could keep tracking the centerline on auto takeoff. I am probably wrong, it’s just a feeling.
     
  4. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Why is tracking it on takeoff more difficult than on landing? Off the top of my head, I recall X-45s and X-47s have taken off and landed autonomously. I'm also certain there others. ;)

    Nauga,
    stranger than friction
     
  5. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    More recently, didn't the Diamond DA42 Twinstar do it too?
     
  6. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    As someone who has a HUD with IR capability at work, the IR is great in dry particulate (smoke, haze), but it’s crap in wet air. It doesn’t do very well in wet cloud at all. For the low vis takeoffs, I turn the IR off and just use the HUD symbology and what I can see with the naked eye.
     
  7. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    I don’t think single pilot ops gets you anywhere. The whole idea behind large aircraft systems is redundancy. The second guy is in the cockpit for many reasons, not the least, but they are redundancy for the other pilot. You’ll have to plan for autonomous cockpits if you’re going to plan for one pilot. If that pilot “fails” then the plane has to be able to make it somewhere on its own.
     
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  8. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    I go lots of places single pilot....:D

    The technology doesn't need anyone up front (it might need someone on the ground in the loop). But, it bridges a paradigm shift (remember or maybe you're too young - there used to be (4) men crews - who woulda thunk).....and the one person with skin in the game gets the last word should something bad happen....if he even identifies it.
     
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  9. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Line Up and Wait

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    So do I. But what's the accident rate for single pilot ops vs. multi-pilot?

    So, what problem is this solving? You're just removing the human element from sitting in the plane to sitting on the ground and the programmer who wrote the code. Still the human element, and still error prone, just farther away from the product.

    I'm old enough to have crossed the ocean with a navigator and a sextant many times. I also have hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting sideways, plumbing a 727. Both those jobs, though, were very analog, very rote. No real critical thinking involved. Those were the perfect functions to be replaced by computers and technology. Move 3 feet forward in the cockpit and it's a different story.

    I think you and I went round and round on this exact topic months ago. I'm not saying it won't happen, but seeing as how the newest aircraft that Boeing and Airbus are planning have two seats and two yokes/sticks, I think the problem is one that won't be solved any time soon.
     
  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Well then....sounds like you disagree. o_O No problemo....you are entitled to your opinions. I'm a pilot, aero-engineer and mechanic, who works in a warm office with plenty of hot coffee, with this technology, daily....and been doing it since before the Gulf war.

    btw....the accident rate difference between GA twins vs singles, sadly, is not huge.
     
  11. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    It’s not that it gets you anywhere. It’s that it will be the last step before complete automation. Actually in a financial report, single pilot makes the company more productive and efficient .

    There’s a single pilot human onboard who backs up the otherwise completely automated air transportation system.


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  12. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    I have no interest in flying in an airliner with one engine. I also have no interest in flying in an airliner with one pilot.
     
  13. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Can’t wait till we have autonomous engineers! Woooo hooooooo
     
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  14. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Can’t argue with that as a personal line in the sand.

    But the FAA’s AAS (FAAS?) was a first serious but notably unsuccessful hack at it, or at least a hack in the direction. Do any of us really think it is truly stillborn?

    I was thinking about trains and it occurs to me that the human might be referred to as the “Conductor” rather than “Pilot”, where one might say “I have no interest in traveling on a train without an Engineer. (That hasn’t happened yet either.)

    Me, I’m mainly interested in flying with one pilot and one engine - i.e. Me in N215TG, over water no less!


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  15. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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  16. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    because takeoffs are optional, while landings are mandatory?
     
  17. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    The autoland system uses the localizer to track the centerline.

    As you proceed down the runway you are getting closer to the LOC antenna which increases the sensitivity. On an autoland, as you approach the antenna you are slowing down so the increased sensitivity is offset by the slower speed. On a takeoff you are accelerating as you approach the antenna so the increased sensitivity of the LOC signal is amplified by the increased speed.

    The go/no-go decision is also much more complicated on a takeoff than on a landing.

    The 737, the most prolific airliner in the world, doesn't track the centerline at all during an autoland. On an autoland, the autopilot is disconnected at touchdown and the pilot steers during the rollout. That's why the 737 autoland requires a DH of 50', where you must see to land, instead of the typical 100' AH (alert height) where you don't have to see anything prior to touchdown. Additionally, the extensive RJ fleet, which operates something around half of the US domestic flights, doesn't autoland.

    My last trip had six flights. Only half of them could have ended with an autoland as either the runway didn't support it or the wind/weather conditions were outside of the autoland limits.
     
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  18. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I can't wait till we have fully autonomous mechanical & electrical engineers!
     
  19. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    hey....the Chinese are sending their finest here to study for that. :D
     
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  20. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    How does the centerline in the syn vis database compare with the localizer? Seems to me that with WAAS it could be pretty close or perhaps even better.
     
  21. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    *Your* autoland uses the localizer ;) I'm not referring to any fielded commercial system but there are airplanes that are capable of doing autonomous takeoffs and landings. I posted two, and am aware of others.

    Nauga,
    who loves his job
     
  22. slacktide

    slacktide Line Up and Wait

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    In a 737? They ought to review their AFM, which has the following limitation:

    Additionally, when operating in single channel mode on a normal (non-autoland) approach, the 737 autopilot has a Minimum Use Height which varies between 138' AGL to 158' AGL, dependent on the model. Single channel mode is only allowed on a Cat I approach, so keeping the A/P on up to minimums is always acceptable.

    For a Cat II or III approach where the DH is less than 200', use of the dual-channel autopilot is mandatory, and it can remain engaged throughout touchdown and rollout.
     
  23. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    There is no synthetic vision in any of the transport jets that I have flown. I'm not aware of any such system certified in commercial transport jets for autolands. Current systems along those lines, are HUD-based and hand-flown. GLS is eventually intended to support autoland but is limited to CAT I at this time.

    I'm discussing what is currently certified in transport jets. That is what I fly so it is what I know. It is a long road for technology from unmanned drones to commercial transport jets. Some will make it, most will not.

    Lots of things are technically possible but never happen because they are not practical, offer little benefit, or are not economically viable.

    Which models? In the NG and MAX, the dual-channel autopilot is not capable of managing the rollout and must be disconnected at touchdown. The autothrust disconnects automatically just after touchdown.

    The larger Boeings manage the rollout with a three-channel autopilot system. You can't even turn off the runway without first disconnecting the autopilots.
     
  24. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    We’ve got a pretty cool autoland on the CRJ. It’s called the FO.
     
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  25. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I agree with everything you've posted here.

    However.

    Using something as (now) common as fly-by-wire as an example then if we use 'commercial transport jets' as the yardstick then there will be at least a decade-long gap between what is practical and fielded, and what is in use in a commercial transport. I agree there's little practical need for auto-takeoff in a commercial transport. I understand that there's a world of aviation that requires, and in some cases has, capabilities beyond those necessary for commercial carriage. What's in development, and maybe not within a decade of fielding, is well beyond that...but it's happening, whether there's a *commercial* application or not.

    Nauga,
    who, for one, welcomes our new insect overlords
     
  26. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't remember ever saying I fly the Jurassic jet. It's 100 ft in the bus.