With the rising costs to keep ahead of new missile technology, combined with their limited range, Breaking Defense argues that the future of air superiority could belong to large autonomous stealth bombers, capable of supporting a wide range of missions anywhere in the world.
“What I find most compelling,” the industry source says, “is the idea that we could develop a single, large, long-range, big payload, stealthy aircraft that would comprise the future United States Air Force’s combat arm. You would have a common airframe that could be outfitted with different payloads to do different missions.”
One airframe, the industry source speculates, could provide a strike version, an air-to-air missile version for self defense, a nuclear aircraft, an air superiority version fitted with directed energy weapons, and planes for airborne early warning and ground surveillance missions.
Meanwhile, a counter-argument on pilot-free planes:
Such wishful thinking is perhaps symptomatic of our infatuation with technology and gadgetry, and the belief that we can compute our way out of every problem. The proliferation of drone aircraft also makes it easy to imagine a world of remotely controlled passenger planes. In fact, Boeing has acquired a patent on a sophisticated, remotely operated autopilot system.
But for now these things exist only in the experimental stages. A handful of successful test flights does not prove the viability of a system that would carry up to four million passengers every day around the world. And remember that drones have wholly different missions from those of commercial aircraft, with a lot less at stake if one crashes.
|Inflatable Weapons of Mass Destruction|
|Despite a Decline in Wars, the World is Getting Less Peaceful Each Year|
|A Big Sea of Planes: Quantitative Display of World War II Bombers|
|The Traditional Submarine is Becoming Obsolete|
|World Peace is Closer Than You Think|
|“To create particles with negative mass.”|
|“People are getting rid of their cash.”|
|“How High Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|
|“The static fire is one of the last major tests prior to the maiden launch.”|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“World's first passenger drone.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“AI codes its own ‘AI Child’.”|
|How to Escape Planet Earth|