Drone Airliner Testing In Scotland
A smaller executive aircraft was flown via a ground-based control system for several hundred miles over Scotland last year. Details are just being made public now, and while the takeoff and landing were made by an on-board pilot (and the pilot was "standing by" during the test), the bulk of the flight was controlled remotely, as with a drone aircraft. Oddly enough, the stated purpose for this experiment was not to pave the way for ditching airline pilots, but rather to evaluate a collision avoidance system installed on the aircraft. With massive drone presence apparently on the way whether we like it or not (personally, I don't), they need a reliable way to stop the little buggers from slamming into each other while aloft - preferably an automated method, as many drones will likely follow programmed flight paths rather than be individually controlled by a remote driver. The sense and avoidance system is designed to follow the rules of the air as established by the various international aviation authorities, so that drone aircraft with behave in an orderly manner and avoid entanglements with other aircraft (military and civilian).