Experts to test pilotless passenger plane of future

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 17:10 hrs

London, Nov 27 (IANS) A passenger aircraft could one day be flown by remote by pilots sitting in a control room hundreds of miles away, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

Tests on a new breed of civilian aircraft which use the same pilotless technology currently found in military drones begin next month in Britain.

The consortium behind the project hopes it will dramatically slash the costs of air travel, make possible new airborne services, and free pilots from potentially dangerous but essential missions.

A twin−engined Jetstream commuter jet will take off from Warton Aerodrome, Lancashire and head towards Scotland under remote control within a few weeks.

Staged by government−backed consortium Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA), the test are will look at how well communications links operate with pilotless aircraft.

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