Missing F-35

Can you imagine being a troop getting into the UH-60 and not see any pilots up front? Maybe two generations from now they might sit down and fly. Maybe never. As a former 60 pilot, it just does not seem possible.

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I never said drones don’t exist. We all know they do. My point is that no CURRENT jet aircraft can fly autonomously. Many have been modified to fly remotely like decommissioned F-4’s for target drones. The F-35 cannot, that’s why the Air Force trains pilots.

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I know .Right? I crewed a UH-1H (OK I’m Old), I don’t know how you would fly one of those without “feeling it”.

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Except the X-62A ([t]he X-62A Variable Stability In-Flight Simulator Test Aircraft is a modified F-16)? I did not do a deep dive, as I don’t really care, but that is what I found in a cursory search.

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OK of course there are drones and modified test planes as I said.

I’ve been in the technology field for over 30 years. From networks to AI. The only reason that is not happening yet is lawyers, not technology.

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There is an easy way to convince everyone! Bunch of aviation execs will take flight in a plane with AI pilot. This publicity strategy worked for Howard Hughes.
Waiting for it to happen!

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Probably true in the civilian world but I doubt it in the military.

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While we all love Top Gun most people don’t realize that “air to air combat” is basically non existent in war anymore. The F-35 will probably be our last manned Jet Fighter. And we only have it because most of the 3-4 stars in the Air Force were fighter jocks and they still want to have a jet in the inventory.

99%+ of what military flying consists of is not very different from commercial aviation. Even the sexy flying like the super low level nap of earth C130 Talon does during SF infills is HEAVILY computer assisted already.

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Lawyers won’t let them do it so it’s not viable to even try to build it. But again it’s inevitable. When the current generation of folks in control dies the upcoming folks WANT this and they have been raised to trust AI more than humans.

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I disagree. While it’s certainly true that dogfighting is unlikely today and in the future, it’s still possible. Why does the Army and Marines still train in hand to hand combat in this age of drones and computers? Remember that after WWII the “experts” said you couldn’t dogfight in the jet age because the speeds were to great. Then they said that fighters no longer need a gun, until VietNam proved how wrong that was! The day that the human connection in combat is gone, we’re doomed.

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I dont think this is generational. Either the plane will go up, or it will go down. If a commercial liner goes down because of AI, then either the lawyers will sue the company out of existance, or they wont sue… No wait! Lawyers? They will sue the company out of exiatance.

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WAY more than unlikely. The last American air-to-air kill of a manned enemy aircraft was in 2017 over Syria, when a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Su-22 Syrian fighter the U.S. said was dropping bombs on its Kurdish partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces. And it was NOT a dogfight, it was a NAVY plane shooting down an enemy that never saw them coming. More of a PR move than a battlefield necessity. They could have as easily done the same with a drone or MANY other weapon systems. At the time even the Pentagon announced it was the first time a U.S. pilot had shot down a manned aircraft since 1999.

Vietnam was a looooooooooooong time ago…. This is not about a human connection, it’s about getting rid of the most expensive, fragile and least reliable component in the “fighter Jet” system, the human pilot. Any “fighter” airplane that can be designed today is capable of killing the human pilot just by pulling Gs. Hell a good stomach flu will put a pilot out of commission taking down a $150,000,000 F-35 weapons system. Actually a fault in the custom made helmet will render the plane virtually useless. All the major failure points are not electronic, they are human related.

BTW most fighter jets today are nothing more than stealth/expedient bomb dropping platforms and the 6th generation design is putting a high priority on Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) integration, which means one manned (maybe) jet digitally paired to a group of unmanned drones. So it’s way more of a control platform than a fighter.

No one loves the sound of an F-35 taking off or flying close to the ground more than me, and NO ONE has more respect for pilots, have several in my immediate family. BUT, I’m a realist and have enough of an inside look at the upcoming technology that I respectfully disagree with you and I guess we just can agree to disagree.

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It’s absolutely generational and I’ve read enough studies and marketing programs to know that without any doubt.

Remember decorum and privacy, things that most Americans took as sacred in they daily lives? Within 1-2 generations we now have thousands of teens posting their most private thoughts and images on social media all day long.

Making money as a wannabe porn star on OnlyFans is a real job. See any 13 year olds not glued to an iPhone or taking a selfie every 30 seconds? They love technology and trust YouTube more than their parents. I’ve heard several 12 year olds tell me they never intend on getting a drivers license because they view driving as a waste of time that they could be using watching TikTok videos. Self driving cars are already here and they are staying. Plenty of them being used as Taxis locally.

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The same sht-for-brain individuals whine horribly when they are fired for indecency, or suicide when exploited for indiscretion. That is what limits the trend.

Anyway, I am OK with self driving car and its 2-3 passengers. I am less OK with a plane loaded with tons of fuel and 200 passengers, piloted by AI. This technology needs to be tested a LOT, before it is ready for commercial use.
(I am in IT myself, and we incorporate AI tech in our products. so I get to see the state of the art)

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You must have seen in the news that Ukraine is testing autonomous killer drones. Before long, we may see some of the USAF NGAD tech tested there, in a smaller, slower frame

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Just a thought… Flying the plane is way less complex than driving the car. A lot less variables. At any given point there are 5-7,000 commercial aircraft in the air over the USA. That’s not even a busy avenue in Manhattan. Again just a thought.

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Maybe for limited testing, but they are not doing the award until 2024 and deployment is not for another 10 years after that. Right now R/D budget is only about $16 Billion.

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Commercial airplanes can already take off, fly to their destination and land on their own. Seems like pilots are only their to override the computer if it messes up. Eventually it will be like computers in cars where you can’t override it. Current day new cars if it thinks it was in a wreck, the car won’t start and if it’s running it won’t leave the crash scene.

Not true! You’re comparing apples and oranges. Using false analogies.