The Future of the Top Gun Fighter Pilot is almost over and indeed their days are numbered. This will be the last generation of human fighter pilots due to the rapidly advancing artificial intelligence and unmanned aerial vehicle technologies. Soon airliners will fly themselves just like light-rail systems only without the tracks. The cost savings to build aircraft without cockpits and human systems for control will save hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions in some cases. But this is not the only reason.
Consider if you will the cost of the military to recruit, train, house, feed a human fighter pilot. Think about the loss if you lose them in battle, not only have you lost a 50 million dollar or more aircraft, you have lost all your return on investment in training too. Indeed human pilots also have limits that future artificial intelligent unmanned aerial vehicles will not have. Humans cannot withstand much more than 8’Gs and we have missiles that can handle over 18’Gs now. In the future Fighter Aircraft without humans will be able to do the same and therefore complete nearly impossible maneuvers by today’s standards.
The current predictions and UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Roadmaps of the United States Air Force and United States Navy are calling for increased use of robotic aircraft and huge decreases in human piloted aircraft. Both cost and technology are driving this progression, but also driving this solution is the competition or potential adversaries. For our fighter aircraft to be more competitive and continue to dominate the skies removing the weakest link, the human pilot makes a lot of sense much to the chagrin of pilots like my Dad who did 250 combat missions in Vietnam in an US Navy A-4.
I hope you will enjoy this intellectual thought and concept. Maybe you will find it mindful and thought provoking, as this is its intended purpose. Perhaps this article is of interest to propel thought?
“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.