US Air Force looks into flying robotic multi-engine jet transports
Comment of the Day

February 13 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

US Air Force looks into flying robotic multi-engine jet transports

This article from NewAtlas may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

One key component for the United States and its global military commitments is its fleet of transport planes, including the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. These provide the US Air Force with the ability to deliver soldiers and their equipment anywhere in the world in short order and keep them supplied indefinitely.

However, it is an extremely expensive capability to achieve and maintain, and it often means sending air crews into dangerous areas where they may encounter hostile anti-aircraft weaponry. It also requires a large number of pilots, who do not come cheap and are invariably in short supply.

To counter this, the Air Force has hired Reliable Robotics to look into automating existing cargo aircraft. The idea isn't new, but adapting the technology to large multi-engine jet transports flying military supply missions adds another level of complexity.

Eoin Treacy's view

At a Superbowl party last night I had an educative chat with a senior manager at Intel. He mentioned two snippets of information I thought were worth considering.

The first is that he said in talking with pilots, there is a major difference between flying a Boeing and an Airbus. You get paid less for flying an Airbus because they are much more automated. They basically fly themselves so pilot skill is less important. Therefore most pilots train on both, so they can command higher salaries.

Airbus continues to consolidate in the region of the upper side of an 18-month range. A sustained move below the trend mean would be required to question potential for a successful breakout in due course.

Many airlines management teams believe fully automated flying would be possible but regulation needs to catch up to technical advances. It seems the most likely place that will occur first is the military and it would then be rolled out to civilian airlines.

The second thing he mentioned was Intel is building new fabs, but the reason for that is they wish to supply the domestic automotive sector.

That’s a big departure from the original business model and the fact the company is now also acting as a contract manufacturer is an even bigger jump.

The share appears to be building support above the $25 area following a steep decline from the 2021 peak near $70.

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