General, Research, Technology

Soon there will be only one pilot on the plane. Why?

Onboard there are many reasons that cause peoplepanic. Some of them - completely irrationally - begin to think about the condition of the pilots. Are they tired? Tense? Do they pay enough attention to all the little things? And many passengers feel calmer from the fact that there are not one but two people in the cockpit (this is the minimum, the number of people in the cockpit depends on the model of the plane and the airline’s policy). But what if instead of two pilots, the liner will be controlled by one? Or if we get rid of the pilots at all?

One pilot on an airplane might not be the best idea

This year, the head of Boeing said that in the coming20 years of civil aviation industry will need more than 1.5 million new pilots and personnel who serve the aircraft. If you distribute this amount over the years, it may seem that it is not so big. The problem is that the shortage of pilots is keenly visible right now. And he is observed all over the world.


  • 1 Shortage of pilots in the world
  • 2 Aircraft with a single cabin
  • 3 Aircraft - drone
  • 4 How to stop being afraid of flying?

Shortage of pilots in the world

So, in Russian aviation institutes alreadyIt has long been said that pilots are sorely lacking. This is due to their high demand abroad and the growing costs of education and training. The pilot training process is quite long - from three to five years, it is rather difficult to predict, and therefore there is a shortage of personnel. And since there are no pilots, there are no qualified instructors who could train beginners.

Or here is a vivid example from the USA - last yearCalifornia was engulfed in forest fires, the extinguishing of which required special aircraft. Surprisingly, at least a fifth of all such aircraft could not fly into the air. Why? No, everything was in order with the technical condition, there simply weren’t any pilots who could control the planes.

Although it can be said that aviation is developingwaves, specifically over the past few years, airlines have faced a serious shortage of pilots, and no one denies this. It is not yet possible to solve the problem by attracting new personnel (some companies even raised the pilots' salaries several times, but this did not help). What can be the solutions in this situation?

Single-seat aircraft

So far, only small aircraft make single

Widebody Passenger DevelopersCR929, which is being created by the Russian United Aircraft Corporation and the Chinese corporation COMAC, recently proposed their own solution - a single cockpit for the aircraft. Moreover, two options are being considered - both a cabin for one pilot, and an autonomous cabin with minimal human participation. In the first case, the pilot will control the aircraft, as before (only one), in the second - to intervene in control only when necessary.

Double cabin CR929

Now, according to aviation safety standards,There are at least two people. This is mainly done for emergency situations: for example, if one pilot becomes ill, another will be able to continue the flight and land the plane. And for long flights, pilots in a crew of two can fly the liner in turn. It is not clear how safe the option with a single cabin will turn out, but in any case, the aviation authorities must adopt the relevant amendments to the rules of flights before such aircraft are in the air. Aviation experts believe that this can happen in the next 10 years.

See also - Created a robot pilot, able to control any aircraft

Drone aircraft

Army already uses unmanned aerial vehiclesdevices the size of small aircraft for warfare, where they are controlled remotely or fly along a pre-designated route. Moreover, pilots rely on autopilot in 95% of modern flights, why not automate the remaining 5% - takeoff and landing?

On the one hand, an autonomous airplane is reallymay be safer. Computers do not suffer from mental stress, which leads to incidents like what happened to the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who in 2015 sent a Germanwings passenger plane directly uphill in the French Alps. Aircraft crashes rarely occur today, but when they happen, finding out why this is all becomes harder and harder. That is why investigations often focus on “human factors” and try to expose psychological and physiological problems as a possible cause.

You can make unmanned not only a plane, but also any car

Developments in this area already exist - back in 2016the year the Chinese company introduced the world's first passenger drone Ehang 184, powered by electricity. And in the near future, civil aviation may try to switch to fully autonomous control.

The world's first passenger drone Ehang 184

But if everything works out, it will always remainone problem: the risk of a possible hacking of an unmanned vessel. Ground systems should have an extremely high degree of protection and possibly military-grade cybersecurity. In your opinion, what other problems may arise due to the use of autonomous systems? Share your opinion in our Telegram chat.

How to stop being afraid of flying?

Layout CR929

Whether it’s a remotely controlled aircraft orcontrolled by an artificial intelligence system, whether a person will press buttons or not, or a ground team will pull wireless strings, an important question remains unanswered: will we feel safer in flight? That is unlikely. It may be more difficult for people to accept the idea of ​​unmanned aircraft, because when a train or car loses control while under the control of an autopilot, it does not necessarily break. But the plane falls from the sky, and there is nothing to be done. Many are nervous when traveling by car or train, but this amount is negligible compared to those who can not tolerate flights.

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