I hereby admit to being excited about the movie Stealth about this time last year, and for making my friends come and see it with me. I was expecting to enjoy laughing at what I presumed would be entertaining ridiculousness; instead, the laughter that fateful night in the theater was only to help make the pain go away.
Today I'm laughing again about unmanned aerial vehicles, but this time it's that through-the-teeth kind, indicating nervous apprehension—or maybe even fear. Today Lockheed Martin announced its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could someday be modified to fly pilotless, making it the world's first full-scale fighter aircraft with remote-operation capabilities.
This marks Lockheed's first major jump into the world of unmanned military aircraft--a field being heavily developed by weapons manufacturers which most have conceded will some day replace all conventionally-piloted military jets. In fact, many experts have projected that the F-35 could be the last major fighter to be designed with an onboard human pilot in mind. And while all of this has an obvious air of practicality, I can't help but feel more than a bit creeped out by the whole thing. I don't think I have to worry about our fighter jets achieving full Stealth-style sentience just yet, but still: a little more than 100 years ago, no one really believed we would ever even get off the ground. —John Mahoney
No offense, but there seems to be a serious lack of focus in these comments. While some of you noticed this article is on an aircraft. While only partially automated it is still being told exactly what to do by the operator. So there's little to worry about the uav mistaking a commercial aircraft from a target.
I do appreciate the acknowledgement that at least some pilots are still better than any technology we currently have, but I am not against a hybrid force of uav's and conventional fighters. Because no matter how well the aircraft is built/designed the missles targetting them are still faster and they're getting smarter. I am only worried that as previously mentioned wars will be more like games and people will not be held responsible for the "what if?" incidences.
PS- If you've got a problem with my spelling, "stick it." I'm an Aerospace Engineer Major, not an English Major.
Undergrad. at Cal Poly Pomona (What? Everybody else is doing it?)