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F-16 makes its first unmanned flight


Arashikage

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That's right, the jet known as the "Flying computer," the F-16 Fighting Falcon has just successfully made an unmanned flight.  A QF-16 fighter jet, decommissioned and being used for target practice had been modified, refitted, and flown by two US Air Force pilots in a ground control station.  The jet took off, performed several maneuvers, reached supersonic speeds, and landed all without a pilot in the cockpit.  

This is amazing, even if we already have drones, none of them were actual fighter jets.

 

The best part is the video of the flight is online and can be viewed here:

http://www.boeing.com/boeing/Features/2013/09/bds_qf16_09_23_13.page

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I was talking more on a technological scale, I didn't know that that was breaking any rules if only the technical side of it was discussed.  In fact, I didn't even consider a political side.  Sorry

 

EDIT: I did in fact see what I said that could be seen as political and have edited the post in question

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UAVs themselves are not controversial at all. Its the police owning UAVs with the capabilities to fire military grade weaponry that is.

 

Nevertheless this is an astounding advance in the field of Unmanned technology and i am eager to see the advance of society in the years to come.

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UAVs are a controversial subject. Remember: political discussion is prohibited.

 

   Its not the politics I'm worried about, its idea that the military leaders will one day make a rapid push for robots to replace human soldiers. I know it sounds more like science fiction, but within the past century it has been rather prophetic in terms of technology and ideals. When I hear UAV I hear Cylon or Terminator.

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   Its not the politics I'm worried about, its idea that the military leaders will one day make a rapid push for robots to replace human soldiers. I know it sounds more like science fiction, but within the past century it has been rather prophetic in terms of technology and ideals. When I hear UAV I hear Cylon or Terminator.

 

How is that at all a bad thing? The human casualty rate would be replaced by the materials necessary to continue the war. Discounting the inevitable civilian casualties and such, i fail to see how the automatization of the military would lead to Such fictitious scenarios as an AI following circle logic and Robots managing to drive us off the planet.

 

Speaking of which, why does it remind you of terminators? Isn't it technically stereotyping to assume that just because something is, that it will definitely have those attributes? And that is beside the fact, because these aren't Artificial intellects, these are unmanned drones controlled by 18 year old Xbox champions and flown via joysticks..

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(this used to be a really funny stop sign picture, but it broke.)

 

Discussion of your fears of military applications is also very political, please try to keep all discussion simply on the technology itself.

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i'm pretty sure a thread about an advance in a field of military technology whose main point of discussion is its controversial political nature is pretty much inevitably going to turn political, and that will be the topic of discussion long before anyone gets to the potential civil applications of such technology or whatever

 

it's like starting a thread on abortion and saying "now don't go talking about politics, only talk about the methods of terminating pregnancies." yeah um good luck with that

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So this shall be a post that has nothing to do with politics!  (wait...crap!)

 

I was thinking back to a documentary that theorized the future of combat in space when I read this.  It basically suggested that our romanticized version of space combat along the lines of Star Fox or Star Wars is completely based on the limitations of humans being unable to exert extreme G-Forces on their bodies.  With drones however, this eliminates the human element of combat effectiveness in air, making for some sick new designs in fighter aircraft.  Seriously, think of the new designs that could be brought forth now that we don't have to worry about all of those little blood vessels bursting in someone's head when they pull a dive.   It will be interesting to see where Boeing goes with this...as well as Ratheon and Lockheed.  

 

On the downside, I see an increased use of these UAVs in conflicts that we would otherwise stay out of because of the human element on our side.  It seems once we detach ourselves from the risk of loss of life from our side, we take less concern for the other side.

 

"It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it"

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I second sroberson...

 

It makes me wonder what true limits of the jet, if any, were never realized on behalf of  the human element. I also like the application of this in the training realm. Tho, once robo jets start blowing up other robo jets...We probably need to ask: "Wait...guiz...what are we really doing here?" Otherwise, I'm glad the jets we already have are being put to good use.

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How is that at all a bad thing? The human casualty rate would be replaced by the materials necessary to continue the war. Discounting the inevitable civilian casualties and such, i fail to see how the automatization of the military would lead to Such fictitious scenarios as an AI following circle logic and Robots managing to drive us off the planet.

 

Speaking of which, why does it remind you of terminators? Isn't it technically stereotyping to assume that just because something is, that it will definitely have those attributes? And that is beside the fact, because these aren't Artificial intellects, these are unmanned drones controlled by 18 year old Xbox champions and flown via joysticks..

 

Dammit, I just realized I confused UAV with UCAV. 

picard-facepalm-o.gif

I failed my own stupid test :P

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Dammit, I just realized I confused UAV with UCAV. 

 

I failed my own stupid test :-P

I don't think you are wrong to refer to them as UAVs.  UCAV is simply a subset of UAV since they are both unmanned air vehicles.  One is just classified as having armaments attached to them.  

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